Thomas Noel (historian)

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Thomas Jacob Noel, (born 6 May 1945 in Boston, Massachusetts) often introduced in media interviews as Dr. Colorado, is an American historian specializing in the history of the Rocky Mountain West, and especially of the state of Colorado. He is a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Denver, where he teaches classes in the history of the American West, Colorado, Denver, historic preservation, mining and railroads, national parks, and Western art and architecture. He is the author of more than forty books, numerous articles, and newspaper columns.[1] He is the Co-Director of the Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library (CC&W) [2] CC&W provides many resources for students including Colorado books, book reviews, short-documentaries, as well as Native American, Hispanic, and other resource guides.

Noel won a Colorado Book Award in 1997 among numerous other awards.[3] Noel leads walking, railroading, and motor-coach tours for various groups including The Colorado Historical Society and The Smithsonian.[4] He chaired the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission and served as a National Register reviewer for Colorado. He teaches classes in Colorado, Denver,


Born in Boston on May 6, 1945, Noel is a graduate of the University of Denver (B.A. History and M.A. Library Science). He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado Boulder. His mother (a psychiatrist) and grandmother (a teacher) also received their graduate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.[5] His early work experience included part-time jobs such as a Christmas card salesman, gardener, paperboy, bus boy, soda jerk, pool hall attendant, life guard, swim instructor, library page, writer, dude ranch roustabout, Colorado Historical Society tour guide, collections, and photo librarian.[6]

Noel wrote a long-running newspaper column on western history for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. His column now appears in the Denver Post.[7] He television work includes roles as a historical consultant, "talking head", and narrator for The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The Travel Channel, and local Denver stations. He regularly appears as "Dr. Colorado" on Colorado & Company on Channel 9 (NBC television) in Denver.[8]

His many awards have come from, among others: The American Institute of Architects, The American Association of State and Local History, the City of Denver,The Old House Society, and The National Science Foundation.[9]



  1. ^ University of Colorado Denver, Dept. of History: Professor Tom J. Noel, accessed 10 April 2009.
  2. ^ Center for Colorado & the West website.
  3. ^ Colorado Book Awards, PDF file.
  4. ^ Dr. Colorado website
  5. ^ Dr. Colorado website
  6. ^ Dr. Colorado website
  7. ^ Denver Post Tom Noel columns
  8. ^ 9 News, Colorado & Company
  9. ^ Dr. Colorado website

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