A Full-Service Branch Library. The Denver Public Library Commission named the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. Former Mayor Wellington Webb and First Lady Wilma Webb proposed the name, which combines the last names of Omar Blair, the first black president of the Denver school board, and Elvin Caldwell, the first black City Council member.
Denver Former Mayor Wellington E. Webb and First Lady Wilma J. Webb had a shared vision. They envisioned a research library and museum to preserve and showcase the many contributions of African Americans to Colorado and the West. Much of that history was in private hands — those of political leaders, community organizations, churches and individuals. Other history was unwritten, still in the heads and hearts of those who had lived it. In 1999, during his third term as Mayor of Denver, Mayor and Mrs. Webb saw the urgent need to collect this legacy in one place before it was lost forever. They proposed construction of an African American Research Library as part of the Denver Public Library system. “There’s so much history, and we need to capture that for young people,” he said. “So much of it is in boxes, in basements, or in our heads.” And so the journey of gathering that history began.