The Harold S. Colton Memorial Library began with the donation of Harold S. and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton's personal library. As the collection grew, the library found a home in the Museum Harold Colton Research Center Building, built in 1954. The main research area is referred to as the Katharine Bartlett Reading Room, named for the long-time friend of the Colton's and first Librarian/Historical Curator for the Museum.
The library's collection has grown to include several hundred periodicals, 50,000 books, 25,000 separates (pamphlets/booklets), and several thousand maps. The Library's collections are strongest in the fields of archaeology, ethnology, and geology, with additional materials on biology, geography, history, art, and museology. The Library, with its strong retrospective collection, is an indispensable resource for anyone doing research on the Colorado Plateau. Please be advised that the Library is currently available by appointment only. Only Museum staff may check out materials from the Library. Learn more about the Library & Archives Policies.
Due to software incompatibility, we have removed the "Search Our Holdings" link which allowed researchers to check the library's holdings. Please use the following PDFs to search our books, journals and magazines, and reports and surveys. Unfortunately, all of the library's holdings have not been entered into our database. If you are looking for a publication that fits what we collect but you don't see it listed, please email the archivist.
The library has access to the Arizona State Library with its excellent selection of online databases. These resources are freely available to Arizona residents at this link.
Researchers are encouraged to find electronic copies or other repositories holding publications of interest by utilizing tools like:
- Arizona Archives Online
- Arizona Memory Project
- BioDiversity Heritage Library
- Cline Library, Northern Arizona University
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- HathiTrust Digital Library
When requesting photocopies of articles from Museum publications, such as Plateau, Museum Notes or copies of the Museum's research publications or bulletins, please contact our Publications Department first. They may have copies available for sale which would be available to you more swiftly and cost-effectively than having the same materials duplicated by library staff. To assist with citations from older publications for early Museum publications, please review the indices for the Museum Notes and Plateau provided below:
- Plateau: A Bibliography of Articles in Museum Notes and Plateau Through Volume 31 (Supplement to Volume 31)
- Index for Volumes 32 to 48 for July 1959 to Spring 1978
- Index for Volumes 32 to 35 for July 1959 to April 1963
- Index for Volumes 36 to 39 for July 1963 to Spring 1967
- Index for Volumes 40 to 43 for Summer 1967 to Spring 1971