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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.

Read more: Guide to Aerial Photograph Collection Available


"Accessing Primary Sources through Western Libraries' Heritage Resources Programs" web tutorial now available online

Posted on: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 1:13pm

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

Do your studies at Western require you to conduct research? Does some of that research involve using primary sources? Did you know there are places right here at Western where you can find and work with original primary source documents?

Check out this online tutorial for locating and accessing unique, archival material on campus through Western Libraries’ Heritage Resources programs. You may also use these handy, subject-based research guides to find additional primary source material available at Western and beyond.

Heritage Resources programs include the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives and Records Center, who work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.

Read more: "Accessing Primary Sources through Western Libraries' Heritage Resources Programs" web tutorial now available online


Celebrating Pride Month

Posted on: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 2:20pm

Topic(s): Resources

Did you know? June is Pride Month, designated in 2000 by President Bill Clinton to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York. 

Western Libraries and its Heritage Resources programs provide access to wide variety of resources relating to LGBTQ h(i/er)story, activism and experience here on Western’s campus and beyond. These include:

To find out more, visit this research guide at http://libguides.wwu.edu/lgbtq_research or contact Libraries’ staff for more assistance. A selection of LGBTQ-related materials from Western Libraries Heritage Resources collections will be on display throughout June next to the Libraries’ main Reference Desk in Haggard Hall.

         Poster for a Gala Ball hosted by Fairhaven College and the Gay People's Alliance, 1975. From the Robert Ashworth Collection, CPNWS.

 Left: Poster advertising a 1975 Gala Ball at Western's Viking Union, sponsored by Fairhaven College and the Gay People's Alliance [Robert Ashworth Collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center]; Below: Buttons from the Hands Off Washington (Whatcom County Coalition) Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Washington University. 

 

Images of buttons from the Hands Off Washington (Whatcom County Coalition) Records.

Read more: Celebrating Pride Month


"Viva la California!" - Gold Rush Letters Online

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 12:46pm

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

Digital content from the papers of M. L. (Marc La Riviere) Stangroom is now available online as part of Western Libraries’ Digital Collections. Born in England in 1832, Stangroom travelled to America as a young man, where he engaged in railroad surveying work and mining speculation in California and the Sierra Nevadas. In 1888, at the request of railroad magnate Pierre Cornwall, Stangroom moved to Bellingham, Washington to assist in building the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia railway.

The new online collection includes digital copies and transcripts of correspondence from Stangroom to family members about his travels and experiences from 1855 through 1873. These handwritten letters provide extensive and fascinating detail of his early life and career, and vivid descriptions of western landscapes including California redwood forests and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Stangroom documents gold prospecting efforts, life in the mining town of Michigan Bluff (Placer County, California), and interactions between white settlers and the Native American population. A June 1858 letter describes how Californians are driven “stark raving mad” by the lure of gold in British Columbia, with hundreds of men leaving daily for the Fraser River. Stangroom’s letters also reveal aspects of his personal and family life, including his courtship and marriage.

Section of letter with illustration.

Illustrated portion of a December 2, 1855 letter by M.L. Stangroom.

The online collection includes full-text, searchable transcripts of all letters, a 16 page reminiscence by Stangroom about his life (also transcribed), and a fifteen-page report about the construction of the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad. Completed in 1891, the BB&BC Railroad provided a rail connection from Bellingham to Sumas and the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway.

The original and larger collection of Stangroom papers is archived and available at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest (CPNWS). A complete guide to the collection is available online.

Additional CPNWS holdings on the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad include corporate records of the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company. Related images are available in the Bruce Cheever Railroad Photograph Collection and through the online CPNWS Photo Database.

Read more: "Viva la California!" - Gold Rush Letters Online


Historic footage of fishing operations

Posted on: Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:18pm

Topic(s): Resources, Updates

This 1958 film shows the use and impact of fish traps and set nets as part of commercial fishing operations in Clam Gulch, Alaska. The footage was captured originally on 16mm film by Rubin R. Tikka, and later donated to WWU's Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

 

The history of fish, fishing and the use of commercial fish traps in the Pacific Northwest is surrounded by conflict and controversy. Use of fish traps or other "fixed appliances for catching salmon and other fish" was banned in Washington State in 1935 following voter passage of Initiative 77 the previous year. Fish traps were not outlawed in Alaska until Alaskan statehood (1959) - very shortly after this footage was captured.

Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs offer a wide range of archival and other resources about fish and fishing. These include materials documenting commercial fisheries, Native American fishing and treaty rights, and fly fishing. See this Research Guide or Contact CPNWS or Special Collections for additional information.

Read more: Historic footage of fishing operations


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