Special Collections News

Exploring Decadence in Special Collections

Special Collections Research Room

On September 30, 2010, we welcomed Professor Kristin Mahoney and her students enrolled in English 410: Studies in Literary History (Decadence).

Among the Special Collections resources introduced to the students was The Yellow Book, the late 19th century avant-garde periodical published in London from 1894 to 1897.

Co-founded by Aubrey Beardsley who also served as its art editor, The Yellow Book was associated with aestheticism and decadence and frequently featured Beardsley's striking drawings.

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Charles and Pauline LeWarne visit Special Collections

Charles and PaulineOn October 20, 2010, we enjoyed a visit with WWU alumnus Charles LeWarne (BA/BAE 1955) and Pauline LeWarne. They brought additional items for the Charles Pierce LeWarne Collection, part of The Western Collection, as well as three Northwest history-related children’s books published in the 1930s, welcome gifts to the Special  Collections Children’s Collection.

Charles LeWarne, who received a master’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctoral degree in history from the University of Washington, is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs concerning regional history, including, most recently The Love Israel Family (2009) , the first extensively researched study of the well-known Western Washington commune.

He has been an enthusiastic contributor to The Western Collection and we thank him for his generous continuing support of this unique archive of scholarly and creative works by members of the Western community.

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Up Western! Special Collections Book of the Month

As Western faces strenuous fiscal challenges,
it may help to remember that
the institution has met and  surmounted such situations before, notably  in the mid-1970s. At that time, budgetary cutbacks resulted in invocation of the dread Reduction in Force (RIF) policy resulting in numerous lay-offs.

Western’s faculty engaged in vigorous debate with then-President Jerry Flora, a peppery leader with a distinctly confrontational style. Out of this environment came Up Western, a slim volume illustrating the viewpoint of the then-faculty union (AFT Local 2084) through cartoons and sharp caricatures of Flora created by faculty members Bob Balas and Bob Urso, professors of French and Art, respectively.

Balas, who taught from 1969 to 2001, passed away in 2006; Urso came to Western in 1969 and retired in 2008. Together, they created indelible images of the interactions between equally passionate parties at a pivotal moment in Western’s history. As Up Western demonstrates, a little humor at such times never hurts.

Author: Robert Balas
Publication Information:Bellingham, Wash. : AFT Local 2084, 197-?
Location:Special Collections -- The Western Collection
Call Number: Balas, R.
December, 2010

~Marian Alexander, Special Collections

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Fine Facsimile Publisher Visits Special Collections

On October 8, 2010, a representative of the fine facsimile publisher M. Moleiro, based in Barcelona, visited Special Collections while participating in the 2010 Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. The M. Moleiro company specializes in the reproduction of codices, maps, and works of art usually made on parchment, vellum, paper, or papyrus created between the 13th and 16th centuries. Many national as well as major museum libraries hold facsimiles created by the company. Here, Jeanne Armstrong of the library faculty and Kathryn Vulic of the English department examine examples of Moleiro’s outstanding work.

   
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