A Brief Biography

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For over fifty years, Jan has visited ghost towns and other forgotten historic spots all over the American West in search of how pioneers lived and survived during the 1800's. An historian and writer since 1989, she has given dozens of presentations, programs, speeches, appearances and interviews on radio, television and in print. Her research, especially in the history of the prostitution industry, encompasses the entire western region of America and continues to expand.  

Jan also consults in the areas of historic preservation, genealogy, film and writing. She has published over 3,000 articles, produced two documentaries, and has worked on numerous other projects. She also enjoys working with government agencies, historical societies, libraries, museums and individuals to discover, document, explain and preserve American history. 

In 2010, Jan's book, Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains (University of New Mexico Press, 2009), was nominated for the prestigious WILLA scholarly nonfiction award by Women Writing the West. In 2011, she was nominated again as a co-author of Extraordinary Women of the Rocky Mountain West. And in 2015, she appeared as a history expert on TruTV's "Adam Ruins Everything."

For more information, program requests or consultations, contact Jan at JanMacKellCollins@gmail.com or by going to the Contact page.

Appearances, Articles & Accolades

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