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Bernard Valdez Papers

Identifier: WH1839

Scope and Contents

The collection contains: National Association of the Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni (NACCCA) records including by-laws, correspondence, and membership lists; a newsletter article about Valdez; a Civilian Conservation Corps calendar (1986); the transcript of an interview with Valdez; records and correspondence related to Valdez's work with various service organizations; photographs; and newspaper clippings.


  • 1949-2007


Language of Materials

Material is in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard "Bernie" Valdez was born in Cleveland, N.M. in 1912. He moved with his family to Colorado in 1926 to work on the Moffat Tunnel and later in the sugar beet fields in Loveland, Colorado. During the winters, Valdez sold The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News on street corners. Valdez joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 during the depression. The corps educational programs allowed him to return to high school in Ft. Collins, Colorado, where he also labored as a janitor and handyman while in school. Valdez received his diploma in 1936 at the age of 24. During WWII, Valdez worked with the Farm Security Administration in Worland, Wyoming. In this role, he supervised Mexican nationals working the beet fields in Worland, and convinced the town to accept migrant workers despite local residents' initial hostility.

Valdez later worked as a representative for the Larimer Farm County Labor Relations Board (1940s), with the Denver Parks and Recreation Department (1948-1952), and as a Project Manager for Denver Housing Authority (1950s). In 1963, Valdez was appointed Manager of Denver's Social Services Department under Mayor Tom Currigan. He served as president of the Denver School Board (1972-1978) and headed the Colorado Coalition for Dropout Prevention (1980s). Valdez was a founding member of LARASA (Latin America Research and Service Agency) and the Latin American Education Foundation. He was well known as an advocate for Hispanic rights.

In his personal life, in 1944 Valdez married Dora Velasquez, whom he had met while with the Farm Security Administration. Together they moved to Denver and raised two sons. Mr. Valdez died in Denver, Colorado in November 1997.


1 box

1 OVFolio

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Dora Valdez, 2004, 2008.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States