Western History / Genealogy > Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautics Collection


Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautics Collection

Two remarkable men were responsible for the Ross Barrett Historical Aeronautics Collection. Frederick Ross, an early-day realtor of vision and culture, loved the city of Denver enough that he willed a substantial sum of money for the benefit of the library. Not only did this trust provide funds over a period of years for the construction of four handsome branch libraries, but also funded the purchase of many books.

This is a comprehensive collection of books, pamphlets, photographs, broadsides, and manuscripts that illustrate the impact of aeronautics on civilization. Of particular interest are the 18th-century engravings of balloon ascensions such as those of Montgolfier, many of which are hand-colored. Monographs on various early ascensions are also of interest. The collection was started, using monies from the Ross Trust Fund, for the purchase of all items listed in a catalog issued by Maggs Brothers in London.

It was later augmented by the acquisition of aeronautical books from the library of William E. Barrett, who is known and admired by readers of his numerous books, the latest of which is Lady of the Lotus. He also wrote the well-known Lilies of the Field. He served as a trustee of the Denver Public Library Foundation from 1967 to 1975.

For more, visit the Ross-Barrett Aeronautics Gallery.


Western History / Genealogy Department
The Denver Public Library

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