Dr. Noel's Short Vita


E-mail: tom.noel@ucdenver.edu

Thomas Jacob Noel is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation &

Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. He is also director of the Center for

Colorado Studies at the Denver Public Library. Tom is the author or co-author of over 50 books. He appears regularly as Dr. Colorado

on Channel 9’s “Colorado & Company.”

Tom completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at CU-Boulder where his mother (a psychiatrist) and grandmother (a teacher) also did their graduate work.

Tom leads tours for various groups including History Colorado. He specializes in railroad, walking, cemetery, saloon and church tours.



University of Denver, B.A. in History, M.A. in Library Science,

Laval Université, Quebec, French Certificate, 

University of Colorado, Boulder, M.A., & Ph.D. in History.


Part‑time jobs 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 & photo librarian.

2018-present: Appointed Official State Historian of Colorado

2009-present: Co-Director of the Center for Colorado & The West

1990-present:  Professor of History & Chair 1992-96; Director of Public History & Colorado Studies, Univ. of Colorado at Denver

1981‑present:  Tour Leader for Smithsonian Institution's week-long "Railroading the Rockies" and for Colorado Historical Society Cemetery, Church, Ghost Town, Neighborhood & Saloon tours.  

1972‑81: Part‑time history instructor at Colorado Womens College, Arapahoe Junior College, Metropolitan State College, University of Denver, Regis College, University of Colorado at Denver.

1970‑72:  Language Arts Teacher, Hillel Academy, Denver.

1969‑70: Resource Librarian, Univ. of California, Riverside.


Center for Colorado Studies Director 2010-Present

Denver Architectural Foundation Board, 2002-2006

Denver Art Museum

Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Landmark Preservation Commissioner, 1983-1995; chair '92-95.

Denver Mayor Webb's Millennium Awards Committee Chair, 2000

Denver Museum of Natural History

Denver Posse of the Westerners, sheriff (1983)

Denver Public Library Friends Foundation, board 1983‑2000

Denver Public Library Acquisitions Committee, 1990-present

Fairmount Heritage Foundation Board, 2003-2007

History Colorado Board, 2001-2014

Historic Denver, Inc., Second Vice‑Pres.(1983) and Board Member (1981‑83)

National Register Review Board for Colorado, 1995-2008

University Press of Colorado Board, 1993-present.

Western History Association Speaker, Local Arrangements co-chair for Oct. 7-10, 2009 Denver Convention


2016: $500 High Plains Prize for Best Western History Book (Colorado: A Historical Atlas)

2016: $500 Colorado Center Book Prize for Best History (Colorado: A Historical Atlas)

2015: Appointed to Anschutz Medical Campus, Center for Bioethics & Humanities Faculty Affiliate

2015: Grand Marshall, Denver’s St. Patrick’s Parade

2014: $2,000 Angie DeBow Prized for best 2013-14 western history manuscript submitted to the Univ. of Oklahoma Press

2013: Pikes Peak Library District (Colorado Springs) Frank Waters Lifetime Literary Achievement $1,000 Prize

2011: Eleanor Gehres Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Western History Department, Denver Public Library

2009: American Institute of Architects. Honor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Architecture by a non-architect

2000: Who's Who in America

1998: Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers

1998: Dana Crawford Award for outstanding contributions to historic preservation from Colorado Preservation, Inc.

1998: American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Buildings of Colorado (Oxford University Press, 1997)

1998: Sons of the American Revolution Silver Medal for Citizenship

1997: Colorado Tour Guide for first ladies Blair, Chirac, Chretein, Clinton, Hashimoto, Yeltsin, et. al. for Summit of the Eight Conference

1997: University of Colorado Award for Excellence in Research

1997: Thomas Hornsby Ferril Lifetime Literary Achievement Prize

1995: Colorado Historical Society State Gaming Fund Grant for books Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts and Guide to Colorado Historic Places

1995: Colorado Authors' League Award for best non‑fiction article “Angel of Antonito”

1992: American Association of State and Local History Award for outstanding writing and tours

1990: Colorado Authors' League Award for best non‑fiction book Colorado Catholicism

1987: Historic Denver, Inc.'s "Award of Honor" for tours, talks and publications

1987: Denver Mayor Peña’s “Good Neighbor of the Year” Award

1986: President's Fund for the Humanities Grant to launch a Public History Program at CU‑Denver

1985: Noel Park dedicated in Larimer Square

1983: University of Colorado Award for Excellence in Research

1979: Colorado Authors' League Award for best non-fiction book Denver: Rocky Mountain Gold, and article “A Chat with Louis L’Amour”

1977: National Science Foundation, Ph.D. Dissertation Grant for research at Baker Business School, Harvard University