Donated by Karen Cawlfield Thielbar, The Museum of Memory is a public history initiative at History Colorado that collaborates with Colorado communities to co-author a shared state historical record through community-based memory projects. The Museum of Memory utilizes the involvement of residents, community-based organizations, and school districts to support their telling, collecting, sharing, and preservation of community stories. One such effort is the Avondale Neighborhood Memory Project, which was done in partnership with the Avondale Resident Team, a community-led health equity advocacy organization based in Avondale, Colorado and supported by the Colorado Trust. The Museum of Memory project is part of the Avondale Resident Team's community building efforts to produce a photographic collection that reflects the historical and contemporary contribution the Avondale community has made to the cultural identity of Southern Colorado.
The photo collection resulted from community scanning sessions held in 2019 that were coordinated by Dawn DiPrince and Jose Ortega from El Pueblo History Museum. The scanning sessions consisted of current and former residents of Avondale who brought images they considered representative of the modern and historical life in the community. All photographs were then digitally scanned and preserved. The Avondale Neighborhood Memory Project features predominately Mexican American and Italian American communities, who made up Avondale's largest demographics. The collection articulates the story of a once affluent town that boasted the Pueblo Army Depot, high-producing generational farms, and a bustling main street. Unfortunately, Avondale would begin to decline economically in the latter twentieth century. Although a bygone era, Avondale maintains a rich history of military service, agriculture, religion, and sports. In all, this project shows the resilience of a community in the midst of change throughout the twentieth century.