Special Collections News

Heritage Resources Fall 2014 Newsletter

The Fall 2014 issue of Heritage Highlights is now available! This Teaching and Learning Edition features several new and ongoing initiatives including our inaugural Heritage Resources Speaker Series, a recent class visit to the archives by Environmental Education graduate students, and the availability of records management training to Western’s campus community.

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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New Heritage Resources Speaker Series



Western Libraries Heritage Resources is pleased to announce that it will host its first annual Speaker Series during the 2014-2015 academic year. Featured presenters are authorities in their respective fields who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research. All programs are free and open to the public. Please email Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu or phone (360) 650-7534 for more information.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Medieval Manuscripts Support Learning

Professor Katie Vulić has been bringing her medieval literature classes to Western Libraries Special Collections ever since she first began teaching at Western. For the first several years, Vulić taught students exclusively from copies of original works; Special Collections owns a number of facsimile reproductions of medieval manuscripts that helped her students gain an understanding of the original context and culture of their class texts.

At the same time that she was using these facsimile materials, Vulić was also very interested in finding an opportunity to introduce original materials into her courses so that her students could engage directly with original manuscripts and learn from them firsthand about medieval literary culture.

“One of the goals in using original manuscripts is for students to recognize how hugely different their reading practices are between reading mass-produced, cheap, clean texts versus hard-to-produce medieval luxury goods, the kind where every letter written is its own work of art,”  explained Vulić. "Additionally, with the facsimile materials, I could say ‘Here is what is known, here is what has already been discovered.’ With the original materials, I can do that too, but then I can also come back and ask, ‘What can we learn from these materials that is not yet known? What are the differences between medieval reading practices and our own?’”

Last year, Vulić was able to pose these questions to some of her graduate students after she made arrangements to borrow some original manuscript fragments and incunables (early printed books) from Washington State University’s Special Collections for her class to use. These materials were kept in Western Libraries Special Collections, and her graduate students were then able to spend a number of hours over a two-week period working directly with the borrowed materials.

“I had them go the whole nine yards with the manuscript fragments: transcribe passages, prepare a thorough description of their features, and check the existing databases in order to identify what they were. Students did say it was a lot of work but they also really enjoyed it and said I should keep the project going,” stated Vulić.

Though all of the medieval items loaned from Washington State were just individual leaves of parchment separated from their full original manuscripts, students can learn a lot from scraps and fragments. “If a book was taken apart like that, it was often because it was considered commonplace, outdated, or not valuable. Old manuscripts could be used for scrap, or for reinforcing the binding of other more current books. What that means is most of the scraps we can afford and that we see tend to be in Latin and church-related, but one advantage of that is they also tend to be searchable,” explained Vulić.

While some of the manuscript fragments have cataloged information as part of their records, other fragments have very little documented information accompanying them. However, for the fragments that are not searchable, there is still a lot that can be discovered.

“It’s hard to make a huge discovery in just one day, but sometimes we could use context clues to figure things out. And students come away with a real appreciation for the unique methods, challenges and experiences of this profession. They also gain firsthand experience with archival practices and discovering something ‘new’ in an archive, sometimes even contributing quite a lot to existing knowledge. Students are surprised by how hard these materials are to read, but they seem to have a lot of fun with it, as if they are working out puzzles. It’s an opportunity that undergraduates don’t usually have—a chance for them to see and interact with materials that are usually kept behind glass.”

This experience with her graduate students made her think of piloting a similar project in her undergraduate classes, and one year later,  Dean of Western Libraries Mark Greenberg helped facilitate another loan of original materials from a rare book dealer with whom he has worked in the past.

Vulić has since used these original manuscript fragments this past quarter in two of her undergraduate classes. She synthesized the highlights of what her graduate class did over a two week period into two days, and Vulić thinks her classes have enjoyed the experience. She noted that access to these materials gives students an enhanced sense of the culture, can correct misinformation from movies, video games, and popular culture, and can help students become more grounded in the time period from which the pieces were produced, while simultaneously creating opportunities for interaction with the original materials about which there might not be a lot of known information.

Vulić explained that while she wished Western Libraries would someday have its own collection of original manuscripts, she also wanted her colleagues to know about the resources available to them that Western Libraries can help provide. She stated that she is always surprised when she meets someone who teaches at Western who has not visited Special Collections.

“It would be lovely if more of our colleagues would take advantage of these resources. I have found it to be fantastic working with library staff. They are always so willing to work with me and to meet my teaching needs. They have always been the best partners in just the best possible ways. I cannot say enough good things about them. For faculty thinking about setting up a new class and using some of these resources, it may take a little work to get things going, but it will be worth it in the long run, and you will always get the support you need from the library!” 

Dr. Polly Myers, James W. Scott award recipient

Beth Joffrion and Polly Myers

Polly Myers, a recipient of the 2012-2013 James W. Scott Research Fellowship Award, was the guest of honor at a reception in Special Collections, on Monday, November 26.

 Dr. Meyers is a History Instructor at Western and is researching the employment of women at the Boeing Company after World War II.  

The fellowships are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. (Jim) Scott, founder and first director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region.

Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources, congratulated Dr. Myers on receiving the award and invited the guests to return in Spring 2013, when Dr. Myers will present on the topic of anti-nuclear protest.

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2012-2013 James W. Scott Fellowship Recipients

Western Libraries’ Heritage Resources is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2012-2013 James W. Scott Research Fellowship Awards. 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. Awards are granted to two scholars who will undertake significant research in the historical collections of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Special Collections or the WWU Archives and Records Center.

The Senior Fellow for 2012-13 is Dr. Polly Myers. Dr. Myers is a History Instructor at Western Washington University. She is presently conducting research about the employment of women at the Boeing Company in the postwar period, and has a secondary project examining women’s roles in anti-nuclear protest in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Myers will be in residence during Fall 2012, and will deliver a presentation on the topic of anti-nuclear protest in Spring 2013.

The Junior Fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Mary Erickson, an Instructor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Dr. Erickson is expected to be in residence on Western's campus in Spring or Summer 2013, and will pursue research about the history of audio-visual media production in the Pacific Northwest.

We offer hearty congratulations to both Fellows, and look forward to welcoming them to campus. For more information, please contact Heritage Resources at Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.

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Steven Garfinkle presentation in Special Collections

Steven GarfinkleThe Western Libraries Reading Series invited Professor Steven Garfinkle, WWU History Department, to present his new book, Entrepreneurs and Enterprise in Early Mesopotamia: a study of three archives from the Third Dynasty of Ur.  The presentation was in Special Collection's Research Room, on Tuesday, Nov. 13.  

Steven Garfinkle discussed the role played by entrepreneurs from four thousand years ago and their role in the economy at that time.  

He studied thousands of clay tablets with cuneiform writing on them to gather evidence for the book, which is available in the library's circulating collection.

Entrepeneurs and Enterprise in Early Mesopotamia

More books by Steven Garfinkle in Western Libraries

 

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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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Celebrate Archives Month in Oct.

Three women fish cannery workers standing on a building roof top. Back caption: 'Aunt Clara & friends on top of P.A.F. roof." & Clara Weaver, Florence Pettibone, Carrie Salvo.' (GB465)

Clara Weaver, Florence Pettibone, and Carrie Salvo on Pacific American Fisheries roof. (GB465)

Western Libraries Heritage Resources invites you to celebrate our rich documentary heritage by participating in a range of FREE events we're offering throughout the month:

  • “Western Front Goes Digital: 110 Years of History” – Tuesday, October 9, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Village Books in Fairhaven (part of Village Books’ Western Connections series)
  • Basics of Historical Research Workshop – Saturday, October 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Building (in partnership with the Washington State Archives, Northwest Branch)
  • 2nd Annual Pecha-Kucha Presentation Event – Monday, October 22, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Building (for History and Archival graduate students and Archives/Records Management professionals) 
  • History Day Teachers’ Workshop – Tuesday, October 23, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Building (for educators interested in participating in National History Day)
  • Open House – Saturday, October 27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Building and Wilson Library 6th Floor (part of WWU’s Fall Family Open House)

We hope to see you at some of these events! Contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu or see event flyer for more details.

Steve Raymond explores the legacy of Roderick Haig-Brown

Steve Raymond, a life-long fly fisher and author, visited Special Collections and gave a presentation about Roderick Haig-Brown, fly fisher, author, and conservationist. 

The event attracted fly fishers from around the Northwest, who came to hear Mr. Raymond's insights into the literary works of Roderick Haig-Brown.  

Steve RaymondSteve Raymond

Before the presentation, Bruce Shepard, WWU President, presented a book about Western to Tobey Ishii-Anderson, niece of David Ishii, to honor the memory of David Ishii and his gift to Special Collections.

Steve and GuestsSteve Raymond with guests

After Steve Raymond's presentation, he answered questions about Roderick Haig-Brown and his own writing career.  Then everyone browsed the Fly Fishing Collections in the Special Collections storage area and the books exhibited in the Research Room.

Marian and Joan RaymondMarian Alexander and Joan Raymond

Raymond event

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Fly Fishing Students visit Special Collections

Fly FishingOn June 25th, Special Collections was pleased to welcome the Huxley College of the Environment class ESCI 315: The Art, Science, and Ethics of Fly Fishing, taught by Leo Bodensteiner and Steve Meyer.  

The class was shown many of the treasures from the Fly Fishing Collection, including the first American edition of Izaak Walton's classic, The Complete Angler, or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation (1857).

The deluxe edition of The Dettes: A Catskill Legend (enclosed in a custom slipcase with a shadow box on the front containing three mounted flies by the Dettes), The AmericFly Fishingan Fly Fisher, a periodical published by the American Museum of Fly Fishing.  And the Art of Angling Journal, which showcases the beauty of the sport.

Bamboo rods, fly plates, and other realia were on display in the Research Room.  Later the class toured the storage area, exploring the complete Fly Fishing Collection. 

Fly Fishing

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Teaching Learning Academy visits Special Collections

The Teaching Learning Academy (TLA) visited Special Collections this week, two sessions on Wednesday, April 18 and another two sessions on Thursday, April 29.  TLA is interested in the question, "How can we engage and connect multiple voices to strengthen Western as a 21st-century liberal arts university?" TLA in Special Collections
To investigate the history of the liberal arts at Western, TLA members examined several exhibits from the Campus History Collection in Special Collections, including the Annual Catalogue of the Washington State Normal School (an early name for Western), The Self-Starter: Women's League Guide-Book for Freshman Girls, and A Long Range Plan: Perspective of the Future, from 1968. Carmen Werder
The researchers found many references to broad-based, liberal arts, and civilization through the years, including an early reference to a required liberal arts class in a 1926 issue of the student newspaper of the Washington State Normal School, The Weekly Messenger, which was found by searching the new online WWU Student Newspaper Collection, in the library's Digital Collections.  Openers
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Return to the River: Steve Raymond explores the literary legacy of Roderick Haig-Brown

WWU Libraries Heritage Resources Presents

Ledge PoolReturn to the River: Steve Raymond explores the literary legacy of Roderick Haig-Brown

August 3, 2012

1-3pm

Special Collections
Wilson Library 6th Floor

Save the Date!

Roderick Haig-Brown is known internationally for his writing on fly fishing. Born in England, he came to British Columbia, Canada, and lived on the banks of the Campbell River, Vancouver Island.  He published many books and articles, and is known for his writing on fly fishing. 

Roderick Haig-Brown article in the Wikipedia

Books by Roderick Haig-Brown available in the library

Steve Raymond was born in Bellingham, Wash.  Raymond has been a major contributor of articles and book reviews to angling magazines, and served as an editor of The flyfisher and Fly fishing in salt waters. He has won many awards including the Roderick Haig-Brown Award of the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Letcher Lambuth Angling Craftsman Award of the Washington Fly Fishing Club.

Photo: Ledge Pool.  Image taken at the Grand Ronde River, October 15, 1964.  Ralph E. Wahl Photograph Collection, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, a department of Heritage Resources, Western Libraries

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Children's & Young Adult Book Sale

Book SaleLast week the Children's & Young Adult Book Sale happened in Special Collections. The book sale raises funds for the Children's Literature Conference, an annual event at Western.

The books are all new, fiction and non-fiction, including science, biographies, chapter books, easy readers, and books for both young people and adults or cross-over books. The sale is always popular, and many people came to buy during the two day sale.

Students in ENG 441, Children's Literature for Elementary and Middle School, were involved in setup and organization of the book sale, and  selected over 170 books to donate to a local Foster Parent/Caregiver Holiday Event.

Sylvia and Kathryn

Sylvia Tag, book sale coordinator and ENG 441 instructor, with Kathryn Boyd, Extended Education, take a moment during the sale to smile for the camera.

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Student Newspaper Digital Collection

Western FrontSpecial Collections has passed the half-way mark in completing the digitization of the WWU student newspaper.  Western has had a student newspaper from 1899, the first year of the university.  From 1899 to 1950 is now available online in the WWU Student Newspaper Digital Collection. 

Lesley Lowery, who is helping to get the paper online, enjoys seeing the news stories from the past.  "It's a lot of fun to get into, to get a feeling for the stories behind the names on buildings on campus I see everyday."  Lesley has discovered that the student newspaper reported on different events long ago, "They had proms and dances every weekend, the social theme was much more important then."

Discover the past for yourself, browsing through the old issues of the student newspaper, and check back for more recent issues coming soon. 

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Western Front story on the Western Front project

Sandy CelecStudents from a journalism class who are working for the Western Front visited Special Collections to ask questions and take photographs about the Western Front digitization project.

Sandy Celec is photographed at her workstation in Special Collections today.

The story may appear in the new student edition of the Western Front later this summer.

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Marian Alexander, Head of Special Collections Emeritus

Marian and friendsMarian Alexander and friends from Special Collections got together for a farewell lunch in her honor.

From left to right are Tamara Belts, Special Collections Manager, Marian Alexander,  Professor Emeritus, her husband David, Rick Osen, Assistant Dean for Collections & Technology, and Peter Smith, Special Collections Librarian. 

Marian is retiring from her position as Head of Special Collections, which under her leadership has moved into a modern facility and increased the number and size of the collections significantly.

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Children's Literature Class Visit

Special CollectionsChildren's Literature for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher (ENG 441) students visited Special Collections recently with their instructor, Sylvia Tag.

Tamara Belts and Peter Smith welcomed the class into the Research Room and presented information about the collections, including the Helene Whitson Collection of pop-up books, the Special Collections Children's Collection, original manuscripts by Steve Raymond from the Fly Fishing Collection, and photographs from the Campus School Collection.

After looking at items on the Research Room tables, students walked through the Storage Area and the Work Area. Lesley Lowery talked with students about the Western Student Newspaper digitization project, showing the brown, brittle pages of the original newsprint.

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North Cascades Audobon Society Visit

NCASMembers of the North Cascades Audubon Society visited Special Collections January 22, to see reproductions of John James Audubon's Birds of America illustrations.

"The Original Water-Color Paintings by John James Audubon for the Birds of America, Reproduced in Color for the First Time from the Collection at the New York Historical Society," is the full title of the set, published in 1966. It is a collector's edition, one of 750 copies.

Audubon bookThe book and print collection is the gift of Joe and Roberta Eblen in honor of their daughter, Anna Eblen, who is chair of the Communications department at Western.

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