Published: Jan. 11, 2016

Original article can be found at Denver Business Journal  
Originally published on January 11, 2016 By Ed Sealover 

History Colorado has named a new state historian — one who will operate for the first time in a partnership between the quasi-governmental historical society and the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Patty Limerick, director of CU-Boulder’s Center of the American West, will replace Bill Convery, who retired as state historian last year at the same time that several other top History Colorado officials took buyouts. 

The duties of the position are undefined but typically have involved doing research into prominent topics, giving presentations on behalf of the historical society and a having a major hand in the structuring of exhibits at the History Colorado Center in Denver. 

Limerick will continue in her role at the university but will work part-time with History Colorado in Denver as well. 

A 30-year scholar of Western history and author of “Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West,” she said she has no particular goals for her new role but hopes to listen to what History Colorado leaders and historical organizations want to see from her office and find interesting ways to present that history to the public. 

“In a sense, it’s what I’ve been doing on my own for years — going around and talking with everyone under the sun about the value of history,” Limerick said. “This just gives me a better positioning for what I’ve always done and wanted to do.” 

History Colorado has gone through some major changes in recent years. First, in 2012, it opened the History Colorado Center, a $111 million, 59,000-square-foot museum in downtown Denver that attracted 400,000 visitors during the first year it was open. 

But after the gambling-tax revenues that provide a significant part of its funding fell over the past few years, the agency lost its top four leaders to buyouts in August as it announced plans to cut$3 million from its budget over the next two years. 

As part of its restructuring, History Colorado will partner with CU-Boulder to provide its state historian’s office staff. In addition to Limerick, Jason Hanson, a faculty member at the Center of the American West, will serve as deputy state historian and will be assisted by Sam Bock, a history PhD student at the school. 

Limerick has shaped her tenure at CU around the idea of exploring important and contentious issues in their historical context. She said she believe her tenure as state historian will have a similar focus.