|Silvia Pettem at Carnegie Library, Boulder
Author, writer, historical researcher
During Silvia Pettem's forty-year career as an author, writer, and historical researcher, she has continued to write a local history newspaper column and has authored more than a dozen books. Her research has extended from fleshing out the life of a Victorian female professor to helping to solve the identity of a fifty-five-year-old cold-case homicide. Silvia, a grandmother of four, lives in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado, with her husband, Ed Raines, and cat, Nellie Bly.
B.A. from University of Colorado, Boulder, 1969
Citizens Academy, Boulder Police Department, 2002
National Training Academy for NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System), 2010
Volunteer, Detective Section, Boulder Police Department
Vidocq Society, Associate Member
NamUs instructor for CBI's classes in "Cold Case Investigations, Strategies, and Best Practices"
Historic Preservation Advisory Board to the Boulder County Commissioners (Mining representative)
University of Colorado Heritage Center Museum, advisory board member
Current writing projects:
Now that Cold Case Research: Resources for Unidentified, Missing, and Cold Case Homicides has been released, I'm considering a good-vs.-evil book that encompasses the crimes of serial killer Harvey Glatman.
I'm working on two projects for the City of Boulder: A History of its Waterworks, as well as interpretive signs at the Euclid Avenue bus shelter.
History columnist for the Boulder Camera
Past writing projects include:
Author of 21 books and booklets (Cold case research, Jane Doe, and Colorado history–see "Books")
History columnist for the Daily Camera since 1998
Video script writer: Boulder Sesquicentennnial and A Celebration of Macky: 100 Years
Writer of interpretive signs in North Broadway bus shelters
Writer of 12 interpretive panels on Boulder's Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall
Extensive research and writing for local governments
History columnist for the Boulder Planet, 1996-1998
Historical features writer for Longmont Times-Call, 1984-1988
Historical features writer and food columnist for the Daily Camera, 1977-1980
Recipient of the "Sheriff's Teamwork Award of Excellence" for the Boulder County Sheriff's Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, November 2011.
Winner of the "Book-length General Non-fiction Award" from the Colorado Authors' League for Only in Boulder: The County's Colorful Characters, May 2011.
Recipient of the Historic Preservation Award (along with Mike Greenwood and Mary Reilly-McNellan) from the City of Boulder Landmarks Board –– for the Dorothy Gay Howard Gravestone Reconstruction, May 2011.
Recognition by the Boulder Heritage Roundtable Association for Only in Boulder: The County's Colorful Characters and Boulder: A Sense of Time and Place Revisited, May 2011.
Recipient of the Vidocq Society's Medal of Honor for the Boulder Jane Doe case, October 2010.
Finalist in the 2010 Colorado Book Awards for Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe, May 2010.
Recognition by the Boulder Heritage Roundtable Association for Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe, May 2010.
Recipient of the City of Boulder Historic Preservation Award for "outstanding example of historic preservation" in working with the Boulder Transportation Department on the "Broadway In Motion" project, May 2010.
Recipient of Historic Boulder's "Preservation in Action, Volunteers of the Year award" for being a member of the Boulder Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, 2009.
Recipient of the Sheriff's Commendation Award, for being the "driving force" behind the resurrection of the 1954 Jane Doe homicide investigation, November 2008.
Recipient of the Square Nail Award, presented by the Boulder Heritage Roundtable “to people dedicated to the cause of preserving Boulder County’s cultural heritage and history,” May 2003.
Finalist in the Colorado Center for the Book awards for Separate Lives: The Story of Mary Rippon, October 2000.
First place winner for nonfiction in the Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association awards for Separate Lives: The Story of Mary Rippon, 2000.
First place winner for life stories in the Writers’ Digest national self-published book awards for Separate Lives: The Story of Mary Rippon, 1999.
Boulder County Business Hall of Fame, past board member
Boulder Genealogical Society, past board member
Boulder Heritage Roundtable, past board member
Boulder Museum of History, past board member
Boulder Sesquicentennial Executive Committee, past board member
Colorado Authors’ League
Historic Boulder, Inc., past board member
Mining History Association (national), past board member; past chair of the editorial committee
University of Colorado Alumni Association, past board member
University of Colorado Heritage Center Museum, board member