Archival research

Photo By Pfc. Gregory Muenchow | Capt. Justin Lowe, the unit historian for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division shares a document with Capt. Sharron Gianessi, the division historian for the 10th Mountain Division. The archival research took place at the 10th Mountain Division Resource center at the Denver Public Library.
March 04, 2020

DENVER — Historians from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) visited the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center in Denver, Co., Feb. 13 in an effort to learn more about the division’s history.

In 1987, a group of 10th Mountain Division Veterans collaborated with the Denver Public Library and Colorado State History Museum to create the resource center, a central repository of hundreds of thousands of preserved documents, photos, and artifacts. The resource center is the living history of the 10th Mountain Division.

“One of our points of focus was finding more operational reports and orders related to Belvedere as well as crossing the Po River Valley,” said Capt. Justin Lowe, unit historian for 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. “As unit historians, we’re always looking to operationalize history, by presenting it to a group of leaders to evaluate and determine what went well, what they may do differently, or any lessons they may learn from it.”

Developing a deeper understanding of the division’s history and drawing relevant lessons for today’s 10th Mountain Division aren’t the only benefits the historians stand to gain.

“The other side of it is building a stronger team with the research we come across,” said Lowe. “In our research we see Soldiers talking about things we can all relate to on a very common level in our profession, so as historians we connect the past to the present and show that we’re all the same.”

This team building doesn’t only occur within the division’s active units, events like this also serve to strengthen ties with non-military partners, and the division’s community of veterans.

“This is the first time we’ve had Soldiers from 10th Mountain come out and it’s awesome,” said Keli Schmid, the archivist librarian for the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center at Denver Public Library. “Because the 10th Mountain Division’s roots are so unique, it’s incredibly valuable for their Soldiers today to know what they represent and to feel that sense of pride in the division’s history.”

The veterans she knows share that sense of pride and will be happy to hear Soldiers from the 10th Mountain came out to study their shared history, said Keli.
The unit historians we’re also thrilled about the opportunity to access this one of a kind archive of division history.

“It’s thanks to our fantastic partners outside of New York that we had this opportunity,” said Lowe. “As Soldiers, we approach military history with a perspective that’s different from our civilian counterparts and can apply it to present-day military operations and see the experiences of Soldiers through a Soldiers eyes.”