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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.

Library Survey Results

Posted on: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 1:20pm

Topic(s): Updates

Faculty & Student  Responses to the Western Library Survey Now Available

 During Winter and Spring Quarters 2012 Western Libraries surveyed the university’s faculty and students with regards to their use of library resources and services.  Of those surveyed 59% of tenure and tenure track faculty, and 21% (959) of students sent the survey link, responded.

Data summaries of the faculty survey and the student survey, as well as the executive summary document, can be found on the Library Assessment webpage under Western Libraries Local Survey Cycle.  Western Libraries is committed to ongoing assessment in support data driven decision making and maintaining the highest level of service to the university.

Frank Haulgren, Collection Services Manager & Assessment Coordinator

Back to the Future – Historic Films Capture Century 21 Exposition

Posted on: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 10:00am

Topic(s): Updates

2012 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair) of 1962. Held on the site of the present-day Seattle Center, the Fair’s theme and exhibitions emphasized the role of science and technology in paving the way to an improved future way of life. Among the notable attractions were the newly-constructed Space Needle and the Alweg monorail.  

Although the Space Needle frequently dominates memories of the Fair, visitors were presented with many and varied spectacles, including exhibitions of science, commerce, industry and art. Among the less orthodox and more adult attractions was Gracie Hansen’s “Paradise International Club” featuring Las Vegas style revue shows.  In an August 1962 interview with KVOS-TV (see footage below), Hansen described her “pet theory that science will never replace sex or cotton candy,” and subsequent journey to the stage at the Century 21 Exposition.

Clips from this KVOS interview (archived at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies) will appear in a new KCTS 9 documentary about the history and impact of the Exposition, entitled “When Seattle Invented The Future” (air-date March 24). Footage from the same “Girls, Glitter and Gracie” interview is also featured in an online trailer for Don Horn/Triangle Production’s musical “Gracie,” opening in Portland, Oregon in the Spring.

For more information about World’s Fair related materials available through Western Libraries and its Heritage Resources programs, please contact us and/or visit this online research guide at: A selection of KVOS Channel 12 Films (including “Girls, Glitter and Gracie” and an earlier Jack Webster Report about the 1962 Exposition) can be accessed online as part of Western Libraries’ Digital Collections.

Celebrate Women's History Month!

Posted on: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 10:42am

Topic(s): Updates

Did you know? Western Libraries’ Heritage Resources programs provide access to a vast array of unique and historical materials about women’s history. These include:

  • Photographs and oral histories (selections available online)
  • Campus history collections and institutional records documenting experiences of women students and faculty
  • Records of local and regional women’s organizations
  • Personal papers documenting the lives and achievements of women from Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest.

Interested to learn more? Thinking about a research project relating to women’s history? We invite you to explore our digital collections and online research guide, and to visit and contact Heritage Resources with any questions. A sample of images and other "women's history" documents from Center for Pacific Northwest Studies collections is presently on display near the Reference Desk in Western Libraries (Haggard Wing 2). 

Poster for event protesting Cruise missiles at the Boeing Plant, circa 1985

Poster advertising a protest at the Boeing Cruise Missile Plant in Kent, WA. circa 1985. From the Gay and Lesbian Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.


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