Skip navigation

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies

Degree Programs

Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society

Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Archives of Rocky Mountain Jewish History

The Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives were established in 1976 in memory of Ira M. Beck, a prominent Denver businessman devoted to cultural arts and Jewish communal life. After the passing Peryle Beck in 2006, the archives were renamed to honor her memory.

The Beck Archives and the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society work together to preserve and publicize the vibrant Jewish experience in the Rocky Mountain region.

Housed on the University of Denver campus since 1976, the Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives of Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society formally became a part of the Penrose Library's Special Collections and Archives Department in 1992. The Archives serve as a repository of the heritage of Jewish culture and history of the region, as well as a necessary aid to researchers studying the Jewish history and sociology of the Rocky Mountain West and the American Jewish experience.

The Archives contain a variety of materials including manuscripts, private papers, institutional records, oral histories, photographs, newspapers, memorabilia and microfilmed documents that reflect the history of organizations and businesses. They also help capture the lives of individuals who have contributed to the building of Jewish life in the area.

Of special interest are the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS) and National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (NJH) collections, which shed light on immigration, health and ethnic history in America.

Many of the textiles and objects, textual records like B'nai B'rith minutes, JCRS annual reports, and the West End Press as well as highlights of the 5,000 photos in the Beck Memorial Archives have been digitized. These items reflect the history and culture of the Colorado Jewish community from the late 1800s to the 1970s.