Food and history buffs should keep an eye out for an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain’s "No Reservations” show on the Travel Channel. The new and upcoming “U.S. Desert” episode (expected to air Monday August 8th) will incorporate a clip from one of the historic KVOS films housed at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. The clip is drawn from Vancouver newsman Jack Webster’s 1964 interview with George Van Tassel, a California businessman who claimed to have been visited by aliens on flying saucers. During the interview, Van Tassel discussed his experiences, the formula for time travel taught to him by the visiting aliens, and his work on the Integratron time machine.
Western Libraries is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. James (Jim) Scott, Professor Emeritus of Western’s Department of Geography and a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
Dr. Scott joined the faculty at Western Washington State College in 1966, and as an historical geographer became a noted and prolific scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. His interdisciplinary interests and expertise were evidenced in his wide range of professional achievements. In addition to his teaching, research and writings, he was chair of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning (1974-1982), and in 1971 established the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies as a regional research institute and manuscript repository. Under Dr. Scott’s leadership, CPNWS grew to operate a successful series of academic publications and conferences, and archived a host of key historical collections that form the foundation of its present-day holdings.
Dr. Scott’s contributions to Western, the community and to regional scholarship were remarkable. He authored, co-wrote and edited a wide variety of publications, including Whatcom County in Maps, Early Industries of Bellingham Bay and Whatcom County (both with Daniel Turbeville III), an Historical Atlas of Washington (with Roland L. DeLorme) and the award-winning Washington: A Centennial Atlas. He served on the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board, co-founded the Association of Washington Geographers, was active in the Pacific Coast Geographers’ Association, and was also a founding member of the Northwest Archivists Association. Following retirement in 1993, Dr. Scott and his wife Barta resided in Aberdeen for many years, and had recently returned to Whatcom County.
Dr. Jim Scott (right) pictured at Huxley Map Library, circa 1974-1977.
Image courtesy of Western Libraries Special Collections.
The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist.
This riveting book provides a wide-ranging historical perspective of the most tragic avalanche in our country’s history, and it took place in Western Washington’s Steven Pass during the late winter of 1910.
Fly fishing is an ancient and contemporary sport with a passionate following. Many anecdotal, philosophical, travelogue, and how-to books are written each year, but few books delve into its rich history. Paul Schullery writes the exceptions. He has written several books on the history and culture of fly fishing, the first and most comprehensive being, American fly fishing: a history.
Interested in folk music and the local folk scene? The Whatcom County Homemade Music Society has supported musicians and music in Bellingham for over thirty years. Between 2005 and 2007, then Fairhaven College student Coty Hogue interviewed founders and members of the Society, who shared many music-related memories dating from the 1960s to the present day.
Interview transcripts can now be accessed and enjoyed online as part of Western Librares Digital Collections - a complete guide to transcripts and audio recordings archived at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies is also available here.
Curious to learn more about other oral history collections available at Western Libraries? Check out this Library Guide for more information.
In the spirit of recent commemorations of the start of the American Civil War, Special Collections is pleased to highlight this remarkable memoir by one of the Union Army's most able and effective military leaders.
On February 22, 2011, faculty, students and administrators were invited to participate in a discussion sponsored by the Western Libraries. This event, Building the Future of the Library: A Dialogue, was developed based on so called “LibQUAL+ Summits” conducted by other university libraries. The event was as an opportunity for the Western Libraries to gather stake-holder comments and concerns by asking them to address questions relating to data gathered by the 2010 LibQUAL+ Survey of user perceptions and expectations.
The 50+ participants were broken out into 7 small groups. These groups were provided with three discussion questions connected by the over-arching theme that students and faculty have different expectations of the library. Given the difficult fiscal future the university and library faces the Libraries believes that this type of candid conversation can inform planning and future directions.
Comments made by student and faculty participants alike indicated a great deal of appreciation for the opportunity to speak with each other and to the Libraries about the discussion questions that were provided as well as other concerns.
A summary report that contains excerpts from the dialogues was distributed to the participants, Senate Library Committee and library staff on April 15th. That document is now available to the campus community on the Western Libraries web site.
Since its beginnings in 1899 as a “Normal School,” there has been a student newspaper at Western Washington University. From Normal Messenger to Northwest Viking to WWCollegian to Western Front (and other names in between), the student newspaper has chronicled the social, athletic, academic and creative life of the institution throughout its trajectory from teacher-training college to a prominent university with more than 15,000 students.
Thanks to the generosity of donations from Cindy Hacherl (Class of 1984) and Don Hacherl and Bert Halprin (class of 1971) more than a century of back editions of the student newspaper are being digitized by Western Libraries Special Collections.
Cindy Hatcherl and Bert Halprin are former Western Front student journalists. “It’s often said that journalism is the first draft of history, and thanks to this wonderful gift from Cindy, Don and Bert, the first draft of Western’s history — as published in the Front — will now be available to a much broader audience,” said John Harris, interim chair of the Department of Journalism.
The process of scanning and digitizing the back issues is ongoing but what has been scanned thus far can be accessed at http://content.wwu.edu/cdm-wfront/browse.php The culture of the times, the evolution of the campus and the sweep of campus leaders and activities all emerge from back editions. Readers can learn about campus and local life in 1899, read about how people coped with the Great Depression or local concerns as World War II loomed.
Digitizing the Western student newspaper was initiated by Marian Alexander; Tamara Belts, Sandy Celec, Leslie Lowery, and Peter Smith are library personnel currently working on the project. More than 55,000 pages will be digitized when the project is completed. Readers will be able to browse or search the newspapers from anywhere at any time.
“We hope this will be a great resource for students, the community and those doing research on local history,” said Tamara Belts, Special Collections manager.
The project was facilitated through the efforts of the Western Washington University Foundation. For more information on this or other Digital Collections available online via Western Libraries, please see: http://library.wwu.edu/digitalcollections
(repost from the Office of University Communications)
Paul Piper, a professor and librarian at the Western Libraries, has had a new book of poetry published. Piper's book "Dogs and Other Poems" was published by Bird Dog Press on April 1, 2011.
A copy of his current book is available in the libraries' "Western Collection" in Special Collections.
As one of the three Heritage Resources programs at Western Libraries, the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies provides a wealth of local & regional resources for primary source research.
CPNWS holdings include a wide variety of resources about the regional commercial fishing industry. Pictured here is a digitized letter from the Archie W. Shiels Papers, in which Filipino workers protest conditions at the Pacific American Fisheries cannery in Nushagak, Alaska (letter dated June 15, 1933). Archie W. Shiels was then President of the Pacific American Fisheries, a major salmon fishing and packing operation headquartered in Fairhaven, Washington.
Additional CPNWS holdings related to fish and fishing include the Pacific American Fisheries Records, Alaska Packers Association Records, Northwest Ethnohistory Collection, Women in the Commercial Fishing Industry Research Collection and the holdings of Galen Biery, a long-term PAF employee and one of Bellingham’s best-known historians.
Western Libraries houses additional primary sources about the regional fishing industry & canneries, including Filipino American newspapers on microfilm such as the Alaska Fish Cannery Workers Union of the Pacific. The Washington State Oral/Aural History program (available on microfilm at CPNWS and at the main library) meanwhile contains transcripts from interviews conducted in the 1970s, documenting lives and experiences of African Americans and Filipinos in Washington State.
If you're seeking primary sources about campus, local or regional history, consult Western Libraries and the Heritage Resources staff and archival collections: these are the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries' Special Collections, and/or the WWU Archives and Records Center. Links to additional and useful primary source repositories are also included in the Library Guide "Resources for Researching Local and Regional History".