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Heritage Highlights: "Collections In Action"

Posted on: November 15, 2018

Topic(s): Newsletters

Heritage Resources is pleased to announce that the Fall 2018 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue, we feature our “collections in action,” with information about our public programs, research opportunities, new acquisitions, and teaching & learning activities. We are particularly excited about a significant acquisition of materials related to Jewish and Holocaust Studies, as well as another important collecting initiative on the history of mountaineering, which forms the basis of our current exhibit, To the Mountaintop: A Social History of Mountaineering. Learn about these resources and other related activities in this issue!

Western Libraries Heritage Resources consists of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management. Contact for more information.

Image shows one part of the To the Mountaintop exhibition in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor), on display through March 2019. 

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"The Day After," Nov. 13

Posted on: November 1, 2018

Topic(s): Events

Masters of Asian Cinema: “The Day After,” Nov. 13

photo of a woman's face, from the film "The Day After"The next Masters of Asian Cinema film is The Day After, which screens at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13,  2018 at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street.)

The Day After is one of three films the prolific Hong Sang-soo released in 2017.  Like many Hong films, this movie focuses on characters in creative professions, in this case a famous author and publisher who hires a new employee, played by Kim Min-hee (who starred in The Handmaiden). Over the course of the film, more is learned about the publisher’s former employee, his wife, and Kim’s character. In typical Hong style, there are subtle games within this narrative that keep the audience guessing throughout the film.  The result is a lighthearted film with serious undertones.

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Asian Cinema series continues the rich tradition that began with the Masters of Japanese Cinema series, one of the Pickford's longest running and most popular series. Each film in the Masters of Asian Cinema series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. Series curator and librarian from Western Washington University, Jeff Purdue, will introduce The Day After.

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Map Collection Open House Nov. 14

Posted on: October 30, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Western Libraries hosts Map Collection Open House Nov. 14

In partnership with Huxley College of the Environment and to celebrate Geography Awareness Week, the Western Libraries will host an Open House for the Map Collection in its new location in Wilson 2 East on Wednesday, November 14, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

After seven years on the first floor of Wilson Library, the Map Collection has moved to a more prominent location alongside the Tutoring Center and the Daylight Lounge on the main floor of Wilson. The move was part of a larger project to relocate the Disability Access Center and Veterans Services to the first floor of Wilson Library.  Work on the maps portion of the relocation took place primarily over the summer and during the first part of fall quarter. Western Libraries staff and faculty express their appreciation to all library users for their patience and understanding during this period.

Open as of early November, the Map Collection invites users to engage with the Libraries’ 75,000 maps, globes, and atlases. The location also offers a new enhanced and improved destination study space and event space. During the Open House celebration, guests can explore the new area, enjoy light refreshments, and learn about some of the resources and services available in the Map Collection, including one-on-one consultations and research help, instruction sessions, workshops, and tours of the Map Collection.

The Map Collection houses a wide variety of resources, including topographic maps of the western United States and Canada, nautical and aeronautical charts, globes, and gazetteers. While maps are available for most geographic areas, the collection is particularly focused on maps of the Pacific Northwest.

For information about this event, please contact: Madeline Kelly ( or Dennis Matthews (

For information about other Geography Awareness Week events, please contact Aquila Flower, (360) 650-6487.

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David Mauro: The 'Why?' of Mountain Climbing

Posted on: October 18, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

The 'Why?' of Mountain Climbing

Photo of David Mauro on a snow covered mountainBellingham resident, climber and author David Mauro will give a talk entitled “The ‘Why’ of Mountain Climbing,” at Western Washington University at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6, in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public. 

The motivations of mountaineers may be a mystery to those who do not climb high mountains, and climbers themselves typically struggle to explain the forces that call these women and men into thin air. Author David Mauro will offer his own answers to this “why?” question through pictures, video, and readings from his recent release, The Altitude Journals, recounting the seven-year period during which he traveled to each continent, climbing its highest summit.

In addition to working as a Certified Financial Planner, David Mauro writes for Adventures Northwest magazine and blogs extensively on topics ranging from mountain climbing to why sardines are safe. He is an improv alumni of The Upfront Theatre, and in the course of his acting career has appeared in several commercials for television, the internet, print and radio. David is the 65th American to climb The Seven Summits, and is also a WWU alumni.

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program in connection with a new exhibition in Special Collections, “To the Mountaintop,” which explores issues of gender, race, and class in mountaineering. Co-sponsors include the AS Outdoor Center, Center for Canadian American Studies, and Mountain Environments Research Institute. For more information about the event, please contact Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources,, (360) 650-3283.

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Ella Higginson Celebration Nov. 2nd

Posted on: October 15, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Ella Higginson Celebration at Western Libraries 

Photo of Ella HigginsonA special reception  to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring celebrated Pacific Northwest author Ella Rhoads Higginson will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The reception will take place in the Western Libraries Reading Room, (Wilson Library 4th Floor Central) and will include refreshments and live music.

At the turn of the 20th century, Higginson was the most influential Pacific Northwest literary writer in the U.S.  Among her many honors and awards, she was named the first Poet Laureate of Washington state in 1931. However, like many women writers after World War I, over time Higginson and her writings fell into obscurity.  

Higginson was a close friend of Western’s founding librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson, and her papers were ultimately deposited in the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Libraries.  Dr. Laura Laffrado of Western’s English Department conducted extensive research about Higginson in the Western Libraries Heritage Resources collections, which led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.  

As part of Laffrado’s work to restore recognition of Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature, she raised donations from generous  faculty, staff, students, friends of Western, and friends of Pacific Northwest women writers to fund the creation of the Higginson bust. The bust will be installed near the north entrance of Wilson Library, across from the portrait of Mabel Zoe Wilson.

“I am thrilled that this beautiful bronze bust will have a home in the foyer of Wilson Library, and am so pleased that Ella Higginson’s connection to Western and the Western Libraries is being recognized and celebrated,” said Laffrado.

For more information, please contact Laura Laffrado ( (360) 650-2886).

Photo of Ella Higginson courtesy of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.