Heritage Resources

The News @ Western Libraries ---> Heritage Resources

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

Posted on: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:54am

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored

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. 

Celebrate Archives Month in Oct.

Posted on: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 12:10pm

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored

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.

Archival Photos Document Lower Baker River Dam Construction

Posted on: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 4:03pm

Topic(s): Updates

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.

Guide to Aerial Photograph Collection Available

Posted on: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 9:55am

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

Among the wealth of historic photographs available through Western Libraries’ Heritage Resources is the collection of over 30,000 aerial images archived at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Ranging in date from 1935-2001, these images were generated through numerous aerial surveys around the region, including the northwest counties and National Forest lands of Washington State. Formerly housed at Huxley Map Library, these valuable resources were transferred to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS) in 2011.

Following extensive work by Eric Mastor to further organize and describe the collection, a detailed guide to available flight indices and accompanying sets of images can be accessed online. CPNWS staff welcome inquiries from the public about access and use of the collection, and recommend that interested researchers contact us for an advance appointment to view materials at the archives.  

Stereoscope used to view aerial flight images.

A stereoscope, as pictured above, provides a means to view overlapping, vertical images and obtain a magnified, 3D effect (useful for assessing the depth of terrain). Stereoscopes are available at CPNWS for use by researchers.

The majority of photographs in the collection result from aerial surveys conducted by US government agencies, including the USDA Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources. These include coverage of Whatcom County, the Mt. Baker National Forest and other National Forest and Parks lands in Washington. The collection also includes some coverage of other Washington counties and U.S. states. For example, a small group of images document survey work conducted for the Alaska-Canada Highway during the 1930s. The collection is a valuable resource for researchers interested in environmental history and change (including forestation, glaciation and waterways), and supports fields of inquiry relating to habit restoration, urban growth studies and property history. All are welcome to contact or visit CPNWS to find out more.


Subscribe to Heritage Resources