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ENVS 3020 Advanced Writing in Environmental Studies (Vodehnal) - Rare and Distinctive Collections Virtual Visit

A guide to historical materials relating to scientific and environmental communication in the CU Libraries Rare and Distinctive Collections..

Left: Protesters at Rocky Flats, Colorado, 1984; Right: Agpat Glacier, Greenland, 1969

About this Guide

This library guide for ENVS 3020: Writing in Environmental Studies focuses on providing digital access to physical materials held in the CU Boulder Libraries. In Rare and Distinctive Collections (Rare Books, Archives, the Map Collection, and the Government Information Library) there are many documents that highlight scientific and environmental communication over the 20th and 21st centuries. Such materials include photographs and photography books, film, government documents, pamphlets, magazines, books, and scrapbooks.

This guide serves as a short intro to the topic by providing four case studies (two historical, two topical) to highlight the variety of ways that people communicate scientific and environmental themes. As you examine the material, think about how the source is trying to convey its information, what its intended purpose and audience are, and if you find its style effective. Also think about how the communication method has changed (or not) when similar mediums are used today.

Navigating the Guide

To get started, use the tabs at the top of the guide to navigate to items by theme. Many of the documents have been embedded into these pages so that they are viewable without opening in a new window. However, depending on how these look in your browser and if you want to enlarge them, you may want to open the embedded item in another tab or in its main webpage. For embedded PDF documents, click the title to open them in a new tab. For the embedded scrapbooks, you can turn the pages by clicking on them in the embedded view, or you can click on "Go to Source" in the top right to take you to our Digital Library site.

Some of the documents in this guide are large files (10-50 MB) and may take some time to load.

Using these Materials (Copyright and Citation)

All reproduced documents in this guide are either in the public domain (works before 1925 or government publications) or items in which CU Boulder holds the copyright (archival documents such as unpublished scrapbooks, film, or unpublished photographs). You are free to use these items or reproduce them as you see fit. To cite unpublished materials from our archives, cite as follows: Title of item, date of item, Collection Name, department, institution. For example: CU World Citizens Scrapbook, 1983-4, CU World Citizens Collection, Rare and Distinctive Collections, CU Boulder Libraries.

About CU's History of Science Collections

The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Rare and Distinctive Collections holds a strong collection of history of science and environmental materials. Much of this is tied to CU's history, with its strong tradition of scientific activity, but has been supplemented with major important donations and targeted acquisitions. Today, we continue to build this collection through new acquisitions to support research and instruction on campus and beyond. To find additional materials held in our Rare and Distinctive Collections, search the following two databases:

Library Catalog Advanced Search

  • This link takes you to a library catalog advanced search. The best way to find additional relevant books here at CU is to run this advanced search by keyword and limit the search with a date range to find historical copies of history of science books. For example, put in "pollution" as a keyword and limit the date range between 1950 and 2000. For better accuracy (and less results to sift through), limit the "Location" to Rare Books or Government Information.

Archives Database

  • This link takes you to our archival repository. Here, you can browse finding aids to our unpublished collections. Many deal with history of science and include documents such as field notebooks, photographs, research notes, grey literature, etc.

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B



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