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Western Connections: Western Front Goes Digital, 110 Years of History

Peter Smith and Marian Alexander Marian Alexander, Head of Special Collections Emeritus, and Peter Smith, Special Collections Librarian, gave a presentation about the Western Front Historical Collection at the Village Books lunch time series, Western Connections, on October 9, 2012. 

Marian began the presentation by offering a view of historical Bellingham in 1899 when the student newspaper began.  From the first issue of the Normal Messenger, she compared the newspaper text, "graceful terraces" of Sehome hill, with historical photographs that revealed a rough landscape.  Marian also described the complete process of digitization from the planning stages to the final product. 

Peter displayed search strategies and helpful tips about using the Western Front Historical Collection.  There was a brief question and answer session following the presentation. 

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TLA Dialogue Groups

This fall quarter, the Teaching-Learning Academy at Western Washington University will work on creating their BIG Question for this 2012-13 academic year.

TLA is a central forum that engages students, faculty, staff and community members in the study of teaching and learning. Each fall quarter, the TLA develops a BIG Question focused on enhancing WWU's learning environment.

Four dialogue group options are available:

  • Wednesdays at noon - 1:20 or  2 - 3:20 p.m.
    Oct. 3, Oct. 17, Oct. 31, Nov. 14 and Nov. 28
  • Thursdays at noon - 1:20 or  2 - 3:20 p.m
    Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Nov. 29.

Group dialogues are held in Wilson Library Room 270, and the average running time per session is 80 minutes.

Students can receive communication practicum credit for participating in the TLA. For more information, contact Carmen Werder at carmen.werder@wwu.edu.

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Library 3 Things Newsletter

This year’s first issue of 3 Things is just for you, Western’s faculty! Check out pieces on leveraging electronic resources to save your students money, then a quick review of demand driven acquisitions' first year including a video showing how to submit a purchase request, and we wind up with some thoughts on why the Learning Commons should be as important to faculty as students. Note the quick survey link to gather your input.

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Digital Divide: LIBR 397C

This Fall 2012, learn about the Digital Divide and take LIBR 397C!

What is the Digital Divide?  A phenomenon occurring across the world, this four-credit general undergraduate course will examine issues around information inequity found within, and between, different populations.  Students will participate in service-learning opportunities in local libraries and organizations in attempt to better understand the same issues they will be learning in class.  Potential projects include – but are not limited to – workshops on tech literacy, bilingual workshops or pathfinders for ESL library patrons, working with prison populations, or K-12 schools. 


When: Tues/Thurs, 10:30 to 11: 50 a.m. 

Where: Haggard Hall 233

CRN: 43708


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E-books at Western Libraries

E-books at Western Libraries

Thousands of E-Books available 24/7!

Over the last several months Westerns’ library has been quietly participating in a very successful pilot program with our Summit partners to make thousands of e-book titles instantly available to you. The coolest thing about all these recently published titles is that there is no limit to the number of simultaneous users that can have access to these books. In essence they are never checked out and always available to you! 3 a.m. and you’re hammering away at that paper? No worries. Always available!

Need help locating or downloading an ebook?  There are a few different ways in which you might find and access ebooks at Western.
Get help from the guide  E-book Readers and E-books


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Archival Photos Document Lower Baker River Dam Construction

The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies is delighted to make available a collection of almost 1500 images documenting the construction of the Lower Baker River Dam north of Concrete, Washington. See here for online images.

downstream face of Lower Baker RIver Dam 1925Downstream face of the Lower Baker River Dam, December 6, 1925. (#LBDC1576)

Completed in 1925, the dam is part of the Baker River Hydroelectric Project that formed Baker Lake and Lake Shannon and which is operated by Puget Sound Energy (The Upper Baker Dam lies nine miles upstream, and was constructed in 1959).

The original photographs, transferred to CPNWS in February 2012, are well-traveled. They were shot by the superintendent of the construction project, George P. Jessup, and document the day-to-day process of construction on the dam during 1924 and 1925. Jessup and his family later moved across the United States as he worked on other engineering projects, and the collection traveled with them. The images were eventually donated by Jessup's daughter, Nancy Underwood, to the Coffee County Historical Society in Manchester, Tennesee, whose staff took steps to research and transfer the collection back to its origins: The collection was delivered first to the editor of the Concrete Herald, and then to the custody of the Concrete Heritage Museum Association.

Museum Board members pursued a successful collaboration with Puget Sound Energy (present owners of the dam), who funded a project to catalog, preserve and create digital copies of the images. Reference copies are now available for visitors to the Concrete Heritage Museum. The original images and digital copies are now housed and accessible at WWU's Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Emma Darmody, an intern and graduate student in WWU's Archives and Records Management Program, readied content for this digital collection hosted on the ContentDM platform.

Related holdings at CPNWS include records of the Puget Sound Power and Light Company (and over 50 subsidiary and predecessor companies that pre-dated Puget Sound Energy).

CPNWS is a program of Western Libraries' Heritage Resources, and is located in the Goltz-Murray Archives Building at WWU.

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