Updates

Back to the Future – Historic Films Capture Century 21 Exposition

Posted on: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 10:00am

Topic(s): Updates

2012 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair) of 1962. Held on the site of the present-day Seattle Center, the Fair’s theme and exhibitions emphasized the role of science and technology in paving the way to an improved future way of life. Among the notable attractions were the newly-constructed Space Needle and the Alweg monorail.  

Although the Space Needle frequently dominates memories of the Fair, visitors were presented with many and varied spectacles, including exhibitions of science, commerce, industry and art. Among the less orthodox and more adult attractions was Gracie Hansen’s “Paradise International Club” featuring Las Vegas style revue shows.  In an August 1962 interview with KVOS-TV (see footage below), Hansen described her “pet theory that science will never replace sex or cotton candy,” and subsequent journey to the stage at the Century 21 Exposition.

Clips from this KVOS interview (archived at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies) will appear in a new KCTS 9 documentary about the history and impact of the Exposition, entitled “When Seattle Invented The Future” (air-date March 24). Footage from the same “Girls, Glitter and Gracie” interview is also featured in an online trailer for Don Horn/Triangle Production’s musical “Gracie,” opening in Portland, Oregon in the Spring.

For more information about World’s Fair related materials available through Western Libraries and its Heritage Resources programs, please contact us and/or visit this online research guide at: http://libguides.wwu.edu/worldsfairs. A selection of KVOS Channel 12 Films (including “Girls, Glitter and Gracie” and an earlier Jack Webster Report about the 1962 Exposition) can be accessed online as part of Western Libraries’ Digital Collections.


Celebrate Women's History Month!

Posted on: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 10:42am

Topic(s): Updates

Did you know? Western Libraries’ Heritage Resources programs provide access to a vast array of unique and historical materials about women’s history. These include:

  • Photographs and oral histories (selections available online)
  • Campus history collections and institutional records documenting experiences of women students and faculty
  • Records of local and regional women’s organizations
  • Personal papers documenting the lives and achievements of women from Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest.

Interested to learn more? Thinking about a research project relating to women’s history? We invite you to explore our digital collections and online research guide, and to visit and contact Heritage Resources with any questions. A sample of images and other "women's history" documents from Center for Pacific Northwest Studies collections is presently on display near the Reference Desk in Western Libraries (Haggard Wing 2). 

Poster for event protesting Cruise missiles at the Boeing Plant, circa 1985

Poster advertising a protest at the Boeing Cruise Missile Plant in Kent, WA. circa 1985. From the Gay and Lesbian Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.


"Viva la California!" - Gold Rush Letters Online

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 12:46pm

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

Digital content from the papers of M. L. (Marc La Riviere) Stangroom is now available online as part of Western Libraries’ Digital Collections. Born in England in 1832, Stangroom travelled to America as a young man, where he engaged in railroad surveying work and mining speculation in California and the Sierra Nevadas. In 1888, at the request of railroad magnate Pierre Cornwall, Stangroom moved to Bellingham, Washington to assist in building the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia railway.

The new online collection includes digital copies and transcripts of correspondence from Stangroom to family members about his travels and experiences from 1855 through 1873. These handwritten letters provide extensive and fascinating detail of his early life and career, and vivid descriptions of western landscapes including California redwood forests and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Stangroom documents gold prospecting efforts, life in the mining town of Michigan Bluff (Placer County, California), and interactions between white settlers and the Native American population. A June 1858 letter describes how Californians are driven “stark raving mad” by the lure of gold in British Columbia, with hundreds of men leaving daily for the Fraser River. Stangroom’s letters also reveal aspects of his personal and family life, including his courtship and marriage.

Section of letter with illustration.

Illustrated portion of a December 2, 1855 letter by M.L. Stangroom.

The online collection includes full-text, searchable transcripts of all letters, a 16 page reminiscence by Stangroom about his life (also transcribed), and a fifteen-page report about the construction of the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad. Completed in 1891, the BB&BC Railroad provided a rail connection from Bellingham to Sumas and the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway.

The original and larger collection of Stangroom papers is archived and available at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest (CPNWS). A complete guide to the collection is available online.

Additional CPNWS holdings on the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad include corporate records of the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company. Related images are available in the Bruce Cheever Railroad Photograph Collection and through the online CPNWS Photo Database.


Historic footage of fishing operations

Posted on: Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:18pm

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

This 1958 film shows the use and impact of fish traps and set nets as part of commercial fishing operations in Clam Gulch, Alaska. The footage was captured originally on 16mm film by Rubin R. Tikka, and later donated to WWU's Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

 

The history of fish, fishing and the use of commercial fish traps in the Pacific Northwest is surrounded by conflict and controversy. Use of fish traps or other "fixed appliances for catching salmon and other fish" was banned in Washington State in 1935 following voter passage of Initiative 77 the previous year. Fish traps were not outlawed in Alaska until Alaskan statehood (1959) - very shortly after this footage was captured.

Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs offer a wide range of archival and other resources about fish and fishing. These include materials documenting commercial fisheries, Native American fishing and treaty rights, and fly fishing. See this Research Guide or Contact CPNWS or Special Collections for additional information.


Newsletter from CPNWS

Posted on: Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 9:43am

Topic(s): Newsletter, Updates

Read the latest about archival collections, web portals and other goings-on in the latest newsletter from CPNWS.


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