History is a story always unfolding. Learn the latest discoveries about Anne Evans', the Evans Family's, and others' contributions to Colorado's Cultural Development.

Barbara Sternberg's Book about Anne Evans

Welcome to Anne Evans News - April, 2013 
by Barbara Edwards Sternberg

Anne Evans News – Thank you to those of you who have provided excellent feedback about both my Anne Evans News and Anne Evans Blog. Readers continue to report their appreciation for our biography of Anne Evans and the stories about the extraordinary individuals and groups that were involved in establishing the cultural infrastructure of Denver and Colorado, which we enjoy today – the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Public Library, the Civic Center, the restoration of the Central City Opera House and the Summer Festival and much more. With this monthly Newsletter I hope to bring you more in-depth coverage of new historical discoveries along with current events that tie into Anne Evans' life and contributions, along with those of her family and other key figures in the early development of Denver, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Anne Evans BlogYou may now automatically receive my Blog Posts via RSS feed. The Anne Evans Blog is an opportunity to share on a weekly basis bite-sized pieces of new information about Anne Evans' involvement in Denver and Colorado's cultural history, and new developments that relate to her contributions. In the first four blog posts I covered: the discovery of a rare Anne Evans painting, Catkin, and important new developments involving the old Carnegie Library building on the Civic Center to which Anne Evans made significant contributions. The next four blog posts started a discussion about Anne Evans' fascinating journey with theosophy. These blog posts are based on a very important article written by Anne that surfaced after the publication of the book. I call it "Anne Evans' five-page spiritual autobiography". Click here to see my blog posts.
Denver Westerners Award to B Sternberg

Honored by the Denver Westerners

I was honored when the Denver Westerners recognized our biography of Anne Evans as an "important contribution to Western History." More recently I was pleased to receive copies of the September - October 2012 issue of the Denver Westerners Round-Up and to find that the 2011 book talk I gave to the group - with extensive excerpts from the text - was the major focus of the issue. I did not know very much about this organization called The Westerners until I was invited to speak to the Denver Posse. They were an appreciative and knowledgeable audience, which was not surprising when I learned that the Denver Posse of the Westerners has, since 1945, been pursuing these objectives: "to investigate, discuss and publish the facts, and the color relating to the historic, social, political, economic, and religious background and evolution of the American West, and to promote all corollary activities and interests."1     
I believe that it its important for people to know the history of the places where they live and so I am very appreciative of the many individuals and groups who devote time and energy to learning and teaching about the lively history of Denver and Colorado. Not only for practical reasons such as the Spanish philosopher Santayana's reminder that, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,"
 but simply because, without knowing something about this history, we cannot understand the Denver and Colorado we live in today. 
1 Bathke, E. [compiled] (2012, September-October). Becoming an Active Posse Member of the Denver Posse of Westerners. The Denver Westerners Roundup, LXVIII (5), 27.

Dickinson Branch Library

Anne Evans Library Commissioner

Anne Evans was continuously a member of the Denver Library Commission from 1907 to 1940, when she resigned for reasons of ill-health. Early in her tenure she was actively involved in the construction of the Denver Public Library's eight original branch libraries. She helped with the selection of talented architects and was a stickler for bringing the costs within the available budget. With all of her public pursuits, Anne Evans followed her father's maxim, "Only the best is good enough for Denver."
Elyria Branch Library

The Denver Public Library

To Read More about Anne Evans' astounding contributions to the strength and vigor of the Denver Public Library, please read Chapter 15: A Center for Public Happiness: The Denver Public Libraryin our book Anne Evans - a Pioneer in Colorado's Cultural History: THE THINGS THAT LAST WHEN GOLD IS GONE.

Please share the Anne Evans News with your friends, colleagues, and family by clicking on the link below. Also, visit my LinkedIn Site and invite me to connect with you and your network! For those of you who received this Newsletter from a friend, please go to Simply subscribe to Anne Evans News and download a FREE CHAPTER of the book! You can easily order the book from our website.
M Somerville, B Sternberg at Auraria Library

Libraries in the News

New Life for the Old Carnegie Library
In my February 22 blog post, I wrote about a new life for the old Carnegie Library on the Civic Center. In 1911, it was the brand new Central Library of the Denver Public Library system, its first and flagship building. Anne Evans became President of the Library Commission during the final stages of construction. She was apparently the first woman in the U.S. to head up a major city’s Public Library system. After the Carnegie building became obsolete as a library it served as offices for the City and County of Denver. After extensive restoration and upgrading, it is now available for a variety of new community uses.

Auraria Campus Library
Now there is news of two major developments in Denver's treasury of college and university libraries. Mary Somerville* is University Librarian and Director of the Auraria Campus Library, which serves Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State College of Denver-now Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver. She is heading up a multi-phase redevelopment, and stage-by-stage remodeling of that remarkable facility, which won architectural honors for its design by German-born Chicago architect Helmut Jahn. 
Mary Somerville is working with consulting architects from Humphries Poli Architects, a Denver-based design firm with over 50 library projects to its credit, and Holzman Moss Bottino, a New York City-based design firm with significant academic library project experience. Mary is coordinating important research and input from the three schools and many departments, the Auraria Higher Education Center, the King Foundation, students who use the library, and interior design and architectural students.

Originally, "the 2007 Auraria Education Center Master Plan called for the replacement of the Auraria Library with a $150 million, 380,000 square foot new facility."1 Because the Auraria Library is largely dependent on state funding for any new construction, a new facility was considered not to be a viable option, and a re-visioning and remodeling of the existing facility was the path chosen.

Mary Somerville and her collaborators are developing recommendations for the design of a 21st century library that will function efficiently and effectively for the student of the 21st century. The existing library was designed in 1974 to serve 15,000 students. Today 25,000 students visit the Library monthly and 21,000 unique visitors access the Library website each week ( This facility is now facing entirely new challenges in the twenty first century. Some of these are technological: needed library services have changed radically with the rapid expansion of computerized/online knowledge and access. Educational methods also have changed. One good example of this is the increasing number of small group rather than individual assignments, which necessitates library spaces designed for productive group research and discussion. On a tour of the Auraria Library, Mary stressed that Librarians must be trained and highly skilled to serve as research specialists in specific academic areas, while they must also serve as IT specialists to aid in online research processes, and troubleshoot with software and hardware technical issues. Changes in food preferences also need catering for: more healthy, fresh fare, and less "junk" food. Some of the needed changes have already been made to the Auraria Library, others are in the planning stage. To learn more about these exciting developments go to the Auraria Library Website.

*Mary Somerville, in addition to her demanding duties as University Librarian and Director, Auraria Library, is Co-Director of The Center for Colorado and the West which co-published our book about Anne Evans. The other Co-Director is Dr. Thomas Noel, Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Denver, a long-time activist in expanding public knowledge about the history of our state. Please read more about The Center for Colorado and the West on our website.

1Humphries Poli Architects with Moss Bottino Architects. (2011, January). Design charette for Auraria Library. Retrieved from:

University of Denver Library
March 25, 2013 there was a major event at the University of Denver: the opening of its new Anderson Academic Commons, replacing the former Penrose Library. Chancellor Robert Coombe writes that that the new facility is the product of ten years of planning, and that these ten years were "years of tremendous transformation in higher education. This transformation has to do with the fundamental mechanisms of teaching and learning, the basic relationships between faculty and students, the nature of faculty work and the focal points of faculty scholarship." (University of Denver Magazine, Spring 2013) The Magazine's Editor, Greg Glasgow says that the new building "is so much more than a library," it is "a spacious, light-filled building with all sorts of nooks for studying, reading and dreaming." Characterizing the new facility as "a Catalyst of Connection" he explains that it features "several dozen tech-equipped group study areas, 'deep quiet' zones for intense study and an in-house cafe ...with a menu of seasonal, locally sourced cuisine." It is interesting to note that #23 of the 40 Things to Love about the Anderson Academic Commons is "founder John Evans' vision of a better educated Denver community brought to life."

It sure sounds as though, for those who are technologically savvy, or who wish to become savvy, and who love learning, now is a fine time to be a college student in Denver.


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