Monsters in Special Collections

Posted on: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 2:10pm
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.