Published: March 11, 2022 By

vintage typewriter from 1903

Beginning in the late 1890s, a small, poorly maintained natural history collection lived on the fourth floor of CU Boulder’s Hale Science Building. In November 1937, natural history professor Hugo G. Rodeck (BioChem’28; MA’29) helped open a larger museum in what is today the Henderson Building, located off Broadway and west of the University Memorial Center. Rodeck served as director of the museum — growing its campus presence and prestige — until his retirement in 1971. 

Rodeck used this typewriter, a 1903 Oliver Model No. 3, on campus. Perhaps it served as a tool to help him develop and teach the university’s first museology graduate classes, or aided him as he became a consultant for museums around the world. 

One thing is certain: Rodeck’s words and influence helped shape the trajectory of the CU Museum of Natural History to what it is today — more than 4 million objects and the largest natural history collection in the Rocky Mountains. 

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Photo by Mona Lambrecht, CU Heritage Center