Courtesy Pikes Peak Library District
Bill Thomas, Special Collections Photo Archivist at Pikes Peak Library District
, considers preserving the cultural heritage of the community to be an integral part of the mission of special collections.
And while the term "cultural heritage" typically calls to mind pioneer days and historical figures, in this case it refers to the development of our community day-to-day, especially in these politically tumultuous times.
Following the Women’s March in 2017, Debbie Vitulli, Senior Library Assistant, created The First 100 Days!
photo collection with help from Thomas. She had heard of libraries across the country collecting signs from their own local marches, but sadly PPLD didn’t have the room for such an endeavor. A digital collection, however, takes less space, and offers more opportunity for a wider variety of representation. With a digital collection, they could collect images not just from the Women’s March, but from every march, rally and demonstration.
And those first 100 days were vital on both sides of the aisle.
“As PPLD, we’re serving the community. Everybody,” Vitulli says. “We don’t pick a side or specific group. We’re open for everybody’s input. We were open to all the rallies, any kind of demonstration.”
With photos from the Women’s March, the March for Science, an April pro-Trump rally and more, The First 100 Days!
contains 420 individual images. Some photos are taken by cell phone, some are screen-grabs from video footage, but all were contributed by members of the community or taken by Vitulli and Thomas themselves.
An exhibit of 40 of the best and most relevant photos in the collection is currently on display at the East Library. Most of them depict the community organizers who led the charge in early 2017, including representatives from Unite Colorado Springs, the NAACP and more.
Thomas says: “The election of President Trump really motivated people. ... We saw natural leaders come to the fore, and we wanted to capture those folks.”
A smaller subset of this exhibit will travel between local libraries for the remainder of 2018, though the East Library will host the largest selection. Those interested in accessing the full collection can do so online for free
See below for a schedule of where the exhibit will travel for the remainder of the year, and a look at of some of the included images.
The First 100 Days! Exhibition Schedule
February: East Library
March: Fountain Library
April: Rockrimmon Library
May: Old Colorado City Library
August: Monument Library
September: Library 21c
October: Penrose Library
November: Ruth Holley Library
December: Sand Creek Library