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Cross-Cultural Marriages in 19th Century Whatcom County

Posted on: March 27, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Candace Wellman to Speak About Cross-Cultural Marriages in Early Whatcom County

Photo of Candace Wellman

Local history expert Candace Wellman will give a talk at Western Washington University entitled “Inside the Archives: Researching Cross-Cultural Marriages in 19th Century Whatcom County,” at 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 16 in Western Libraries Special Collections. The event is free and open to the public.

While volunteering at the local archives, Candace Wellman discovered that nearly 90 percent of all early-Whatcom County marriages were cross-cultural. While historical evidence of the husbands, who included notable community founders and officials, was plentiful, the indigenous women they married remained unknown to history. Experienced in research methods, history, and genealogy, Wellman resolved to uncover these hidden stories and thus began a decades-long quest in which she spent countless hours in the archives, pouring over historical documents and collections.

After nearly twenty years of research and writing involving close to two hundred collaborators, Wellman’s first book, Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages, was published by Washington State University Press in 2017. The book, which looks at the lives and accomplishments of four indigenous women who married early-Whatcom County settlers, won the WILLA Award for Scholarly Nonfiction in 2018. A companion book, Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities, which includes four additional biographies, was published in March 2019.

Wellman holds a B.A. in Sociology from Washington State University and a B.Ed. in History/Secondary Education from Western Washington University. Born and raised in Washington, she is a local history consultant who speaks regularly about women’s history and regional settlement.

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program. For more information about the event, please contact Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Archives, at or (360) 650-7747.

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Library Intersession Hours

Posted on: March 15, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Intersession Hours

Photo of the exterior of Wilson Library from a distance with a tree in blossom in the foreground

Western Libraries will be open during the intersession, March 25 through April 1, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, closed weekend.

Normal library hours will resume on the first day of spring quarter, April 2, 2019.

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Library Seeks Undergraduate Submissions

Posted on: March 15, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award

Western Libraries is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award.  This year, we are expanding the submission period to allow eligible students to submit work completed during the spring and summer quarters of the previous year. Each Undergraduate Research Award winner receives $500.00 and publication in Western CEDAR, Western’s institutional repository.

For the past five years, awards have been given annually to students who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of papers for college credit courses that were taught at Western during either fall or winter quarters of the current academic year. With the new expanded submission period, you can now enter research projects that you completed in the spring and summer of 2018, as long as you will be enrolled as a student at Western during the spring of 2019.

Winners of the 2018 Undergraduate Research Award: (L to R) Matthew Horn, Madelyn Merritt, and Asia FieldsNow in its sixth year, the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award has grown to honor research from an array of disciplines. In the past, awards have been given to student research in the areas of ChemistryEconomics, Journalism, and Linguistics and Community Health. We encourage students to apply and faculty to consider nominating one of their outstanding students.

If you are a student who would like to apply for this award, or a faculty member who wishes to nominate a student, please see the full award guidelines and details here.

Applications are due by April 16, 2019. This year, the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award winners will be announced on May 14, 2019, the first day of Westerns Scholars Week. Questions? Contact us here.

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New Exhibit: "Nobody Goes Home Sad"

Posted on: March 15, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

New Exhibit at Western Libraries Featuring Beat Poets

Allen Ginsberg reading "Howl," Nov. 1955, from the Walter Lehrman Collection at Utah State University.

Western Libraries Heritage Resources will host a new exhibition beginning April 1, 2019, featuring several important figures of the Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Jack Kerouac.

“Nobody Goes Home Sad: Photographs of the Gallery 6 Poets, 1955-2015,” is a traveling exhibition on loan to Western from Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives Division.

On display through June 28, 2019, the exhibit will be available for viewing Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed weekends and holidays) in Western Washington University Libraries’ Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). It is free and open to the public.

“Nobody Goes Home Sad” features black-and-white portraits and performance shots of Beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, and Jack Kerouac. The photographic material comprises the work of two photographers, Walter Lehrman and John Suiter, who captured images of several of the Bay Area poets from the mid-1950s to around the 1990s.

In addition to 36 framed photographs, the show includes rare first editions, chapbooks, broadsides, and ephemera selected from Utah State’s extensive Beat Poetry and Little Magazine collection. Remastered audio-recordings of the poets reading at Berkeley’s Town Hall Theatre in 1956 are also featured.

For more information, please contact Tamara Belts, Special Collections Manager,, (360) 650-3193.

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"Canines & Cats on Campus" Return!

Posted on: March 8, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Canines & Cats on Campus Program Visits WWU

photo of students visiting with two of the dog volunteers with the Canines and Cats on Campus program.Western Libraries will once again be joined by members of the “Canines & Cats on Campus” registered therapy animal program from Monday, March 11 through the morning of Thursday, March 21. 

Teams of humans and animals will be located in the gallery space at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge on the Wilson side of the library off and on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during both the week preceding and the week of final exams. 

During this two-week period, this space will be reserved exclusively for the registered Canines & Cats on Campus therapy animal program, and animals who are not official volunteers with this program are not permitted in this area. 

Additionally, Western Libraries would like to remind everyone that while ADA service animals are welcome in the library, pets may not be brought into library facilities at any time.

For more information about the upcoming Canines & Cats on Campus visit, a schedule which includes the names of the volunteers, photos of the animals, and the times when they will be available for visiting, will be posted on an easel in the designated gallery area beginning Monday, March 11.

Remember to stop by the library to say hi or de-stress when you are in need of a break from studying for finals, working on projects, or writing those last few papers!