Selection of the Month

Village Books Records

Month: 
August, 2019
Location: 
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies

Chuck and Dee Robinson established Village Books in 1980 as an independent bookstore located in Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven District. Throughout its history, Village Books has engaged in and supported a wide range of community events and programs, including author presentations and readings, book groups, the Chuckanut Writers workshops and conference, and the Chuckanut Radio Hour. Chuck and Dee Robinson have also been active members of professional organizations such as the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers Association, and received awards for their civic engagement and philanthropic work.

Village Voice newsletter November 1980

The historical records of Village Books are now available for public access and research through the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS). This rich collection not only documents the history and impact of a locally-owned, community-based independent bookstore, it also contains resources relating to issues of censorship, freedom of speech, and related legal cases. Subject files include, for example, documentation of the American Civil Liberties Union's 1988 lawsuit against the City of Bellingham (blocking an attempted anti-pornography initiative), in which Village Books was one of four plaintiffs.

Banned Books Week poster - CensorshipFree Speech Free Press poster

Newsletter and poster images above are from the Village Books Records at CPNWS. A detailed guide to the collection is available online here: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv492217/.

Chuck and Dee Robinson’s 2018 Distinguished Speaker presentation, “It Takes a Village Books: Building Community, One Book at a Time,” can be viewed on Western's online CEDAR platform here: https://cedar.wwu.edu/hrss/hrss/hrss_events/20/

For more information or to access collection materials, please contact cpnws@wwu.edu