Special Collections

Monsters in Special Collections

Students from Michael Lorenzen's LIBR 320: Topics in Information Studies class visited Special Collections on Monday, February 11.  The topic of the course is Cryptozoology or the study of hidden animals.  Students learn how to use information resources to find information on legendary creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and other cryptids.

Michael and studentsMichael Lorenzen and Cryptozoology students

Special CollectionsStudents enjoy books from the Helene Whitson Collection of pop-up books.

Students examined and discussed exhibits from our collections that in some way are relevant to monster study.  The most explicit items with cryptozoology connections are the pop-up books from the Helene Whitson Collection.  Frankenstein, Dragons, Fairies, and other creatures are displayed in three dimensional movable books. 
Additional treasures from Special Collections included the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, a facsimile of the Ellesmere Chaucer illuminated manuscript; the Book of Beasts, a facsimile of a medieval bestiary; and Die Trinity-Apokalypse, another facsimile of an illuminated manuscript from our Rare Book Collection.   

Special CollectionsLooking at the oldest book in the library, Sir Walter Raleigh's Historie of the World, 1634.  

Students followed up their visit to Special Collections with a trip to the Goltz-Murray Archives Building on Wednesday February 20. Staff from the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, WWU Archives and Records Center and the Washington State Archives introduced their respective programs before providing students a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the facility (no monsters were in evidence).  The class then spent an hour exploring samples of records available at the Archives Building, with an emphasis on materials relating to myths, legends, and the weird and wonderful.  Highlights included files regarding Sasquatch and KVOS recordings from the 1960s about encounters of the alien kind.   
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Campus Protest on display

"Diverse Reactions: Campus Protest, Student Unrest, and Radical Thought
at Western Washington State College, 1965-1970".

A display by Heritage Resources

The nation’s legacy of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s is one of defiance, protest, discord, and tumult. The U.S. involvement in Cambodia and the unpopular war in Vietnam led to an eruption of protest movements, largely held on college campuses across the nation.  Western was not immune to these effects.  With an astonishing 14 campus protest in the 1969-1970 academic year, Western Washington State College proved itself to be a politically active campus, rife with student unrest.  Students from diverse backgrounds came together to speak out on a wide range of issues, either as individuals or student groups – such as Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Student Union, and Students for Peace.  Anti-hitchhiking laws, the Vietnam War, the Kent State shooting, and ethnic diversity were all issues that Western students rallied around.  Amid the chaos and often radical rhetoric, campus staff and faculty were faced with dilemmas on how to manage the conflict and disruption. College president, Jerry Flora, had the difficult task of leading the school through one of the most difficult eras in 20th Century U.S. history.  Ultimately, Flora’s lenient consideration for student led protests, teach-ins, sit-ins, and other demonstrations quelled any potential violence that may have occurred on campus, as was experienced by other colleges and universities at the time.

This display features duplicate copies of archival material from Western Washington University Libraries’ Heritage Resources programs. Heritage Resources comprises the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives. For more information about these programs or to view their collections, please send an email to Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu . You may also check out this handy research guide for additional resources on the history and impact of student movements.

The display was created by WWU History graduate students Kristi Roberts and Megan Garbett.


Special Collections closed Wednesday, January 23

Special Collections closed Wednesday, January 23.

Special Collections







Special Collections in Wilson Library is closed Wednesday, January 23.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.  Special Collections will re-open on Thursday, January 24, for our regular hours, 11am to 4pm.  

You may send an email request to speccoll@wwu.edu or call 650-3193 and we will respond as soon as possible. 

Mathes Reading Figurine

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The Chinese Chair

Publication Information: 
Creation Information: China : probably between 1850-1900
Special Collections--Research Room
December, 2012

Chinese Chair Full Size Few visitors to Special Collections can resist the magnetic attraction of the marvelously decorated "Chinese Chair" that lends an exotic air to the otherwise sober Research Room.

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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.

Library Department: 

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.


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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