Special Collection Donated to Western

Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 4:00pm

Topic(s): Feature Story, Updates

New Collection Features Doris Burn Artwork & Manuscripts

Siblings Skye, Lisa, and Mark Burn introduce Librarian Sylvia Tag to a portfolio of Doris Burn's drawings that now form part of the collection donated to Western Libraries.


Western Libraries has received a new collection of materials from noted children’s author and illustrator Doris Burn. A long-time resident of the San Juan Islands, Doris (Wernstedt ) Burn authored and illustrated the 1965 classic Andrew Henry’s Meadow, which won the Washington Governor’s Art Award. Burn also wrote The Summerfolk and The Tale of Lazy Lizard Canyon, and served as illustrator for a range of children’s works that are included in and documented through this donation.


Examples of some of the books and materials that are now part of the new collection.


The collection is a gift from the Burn family to Western Washington University via the Doris Burn Legacy LLC, and contains first-edition copies of children’s works written or illustrated by Burn, manuscripts and original artwork prepared for titles including Andrew Henry’s Meadow, and a number of unpublished and hitherto unseen manuscripts and drawings.


“This donation allows us to preserve the work and legacy of a noted children’s author and illustrator,” said Archivist Ruth Steele. “These materials are an important addition to the unique and rare collections held by Western Libraries.”


Skye, Lisa, and Mark Burn share memories of their mother's work with librarian Sylvia Tag and Archivist Ruth Steele.


These materials help document the cultural and artistic history of the Pacific Northwest region and were created by an artist and writer who sought specifically to engage with the needs, interests, and creativity of a younger audience. Burn’s work continues to speak to readers of all ages, and since her death in 2011, Andrew Henry’s Meadow has been reissued by Penguin’s Philomel Books. The title has also been published and is presently available in translation in Korea, China and Japan.


The collection of materials from the Burn family will be preserved and made available for research and use through Western Libraries Heritage Resources, in association with the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection, and is a valuable addition to the Libraries’ holdings. The Libraries promotes active use of these holdings by faculty, staff and students and also welcomes community members who may be interested in exploring these and other collections.

2016 James W. Scott Research Fellowships

Posted on: Monday, August 10, 2015 - 10:07am


2016 James W. Scott Research Fellowships

Western Washington University’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies welcomes applications for the James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships, established to promote awareness and use of archival collections at Western and to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. The fellowships are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. (Jim) Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies is a program of Western Libraries Heritage Resources, located in the Goltz-Murray Archives Building.

About the Fellowships

Up to $1000 funding is available in 2016 to scholars who propose to undertake significant research using archival holdings at CPNWS. The number and size of awards granted annually will be determined by the application review committee. Applications are accepted from individuals in graduate programs (and/or who are new to the field of historical research and writing) as well as those individuals who have finished the Ph.D (and/or are published authors). 

Fellowship Requirements

  • Fellows will be expected to spend at least one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2016. Additional information about CPNWS collections is available at http://library.wwu.edu/hr/cpnws.
  • Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include Western students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the general public.
  • After completing their residency, Fellows will be asked to provide a brief (300-500 word) written statement describing their research and use of CPNWS holdings to support scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. This statement may be quoted from and/or otherwise published by Western Washington University.

Application Information

To apply for Fellowship funds, please submit the following information by October 31, 2015:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
  • Two letters of recommendation

To apply via email, please send application materials to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu and enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of the message. To apply by postal mail, please send materials to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, 516 High St. MS 9123, Bellingham, WA 98225-9123.

Applications will be reviewed in November and awards will be announced by December. Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted their research at CPNWS, and delivered their presentation and written statement. Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.

Western Libraries & Bellingham Pride

Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 1:36pm

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored, Feature Story

This past Sunday July 12, Western Libraries’ faculty, staff, friends, and family came together in celebration of “Bellingham Pride,” something they have done each year since 2013. Representing Western Libraries in the parade and hosting a table at the festival has become an annual tradition that many at the Libraries look forward to and enjoy.


“Three years ago, the Western Libraries Diversity Committee felt it was important for us to have a presence at Bellingham Pride to show our support of our students and our community as a whole,” explained Western Libraries Circulation staff member, Amy Sedovic. Sedovic first marched in the parade with her friends in the Whatcom County Library System back in 2009. She noted that this was during the budget crisis, and that they carried a banner that read “Yes Libraries.”


“I was so amazed and happy to hear people cheering specifically for libraries, shouting things like, ‘I love the library!’” said Sedovic. She explained how libraries are seen as “open, welcoming, and affirming places,” and that she feels honored to be a part of that tradition.


As explained by the American Libraries Association (ALA), Libraries can serve LGBTQ people by ensuring that they are represented in library collections and provided with library services. They also note that as a population which frequently faces discrimination and harassment, LGBTQ people can benefit from access to information and the sense of community libraries provide. Librarian Rebecca Marrall explained that she looks forward to the festival every year because of the chance to connect with the community and raise awareness about the Libraries’ historical and archival collections that feature regional LGBTQ narratives.


“I love this event because we meet community members who can see themselves in our collections. Plus, we’re celebrating happiness. Who doesn’t love that?”  Marrall asked.


Archivist at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Ruth Steele agreed with Marrall that Bellingham Pride is a wonderful occasion to showcase some of the unique materials that many people are unaware exist or are unsure of how to access.  


“I love the opportunity to help represent Western and Western Libraries at Bellingham Pride,” explained Steele. “Heritage Resources houses some rich LGBTQ archival collections, and every year, we get to connect with individuals who are interested to find out more about these collections, and who later visit the archives as researchers, or contact us about LGBTQ records they would like to donate and see preserved for future generations.”


In addition to connecting with new community members, the festival also offers the Libraries a chance to see some familiar faces and reaffirm current connections.


“It’s also always a pleasure to revisit with long-time friends of the archives who stop by the Libraries’ table, and we are ever grateful for their support in helping to build and promote awareness of our collections,” Steele said.


Staff and faculty at Western Libraries anticipate increased participation in the Bellingham Pride events as enthusiasm for such an important and significant celebration grows. Sedovic encourages anyone at Western who is interested in joining the Libraries to walk with them in the parade next year and she reiterated that everyone is welcome.


For more information about the LGBTQ Archival and Primary Source Materials at Western Libraries, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.


Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together the three units provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Heritage Resources Newsletter

Posted on: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 11:05am

Topic(s): Newsletter

The Spring/Summer 2015 "Outdoor Recreation" edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! This issue features stories about rich and engaging resources from all three Heritage Resources programs, including Associated Students documentation on the history of several of Western's recreational facilities, books and artifacts in the Fly Fishing Collection, and photographs and newsletters from the Mount Baker 'Hiking' Club.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together these programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Images - top: Mount Baker 'Hiking' Club records, CPNWS; right: Viking Union Facilities Office records, UARM.


2014-2015 Heritage Resources Speaker Series

Posted on: Friday, October 24, 2014 - 1:45pm

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored


Western Libraries Heritage Resources was pleased to host its first annual Speaker Series during the 2014-2015 academic year. The program featured scholars who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.

2014-2015 Heritage Resources Speaker Series Line-Up:

  • Wednesday, November 12th at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Sylvia Tag, WWU Librarian and Associate Professor/Curator of the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection. What are the aims, ideals, and desires that we impart upon our children and youth? Tag's presentation will explore this question by examining the language, illustration, and composition of early readers, primers, and historical textbooks dating from 1866-1973.
  • Wednesday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building: Helen Morgan Parmett, WWU Communication Studies Professor and 2013-2014 James W. Scott Research Fellow, will discuss how KVOS - Bellingham's first radio and television station - helped constitute a sense of "local" identity and culture in the 1930s-1970s.
  • Tuesday, January 13th at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building: Michael Vendiola, doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, will present on his research related to the College of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington State College (now WWU).
  • Tuesday, February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Seth Norman, Pulitzer-nominated author and renowned fly fisherman, will disucss the art and craft of writing about fly fishing.
  • Tuesday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Sandra Kroupa, Book Arts and Rare Book curator at the University of Washington Special Collections, will examine how artists' books are received when they are viewed in person versus as visual images or through exhibition.
  • Tuesday, May 5th at 4:00 p.m. in the Wilson 4 Central Reading Room: Ron Judd, Seattle Times reporter and WWU Journalism Instructor, will explore the history and context surrounding a mid-1930s "Red Scare" in Bellingham and how it potentially impacted the campaign to remove Western Washington College of Education (now WWU) President Charles H. Fisher from office.

An announcement about the 2015-2016 Heritage Resources Speaker Series will be made in late-summer.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together these programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.






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