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Posted on: October 25, 2011
A collection of over 30,000 aerial photographs, formerly at Huxley Map Library, is now housed at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. The collection includes images from aerial surveys of significant portions of Washington State and beyond, including this state's Northwestern counties and National Forest lands.
Image taken during aerial surveys for the AL-CAN Highway, circa 1930s.
The bulk of the images date around 1938-1990, and were captured during surveys for government agencies such the USDA Forest Service or Washington Department of Natural Resources.
The Collection of Aerial Photographs is open to the public, although we recommend that researchers contact CPNWS in advance about their area(s) of interest and/or to set up an appointment. While staff are working presently to further catalog the collection, a preliminary listing of holdings is available in this LibGuide to the Collection.
Read more: Aerial Photographs Available at CPNWS
Posted on: October 20, 2011
In May of 1967, the Western campus received a visit from Julian Bond, then 27 years of age and a prominent civil rights activist, anti-war spokesperson and elected State Senator in Georgia. Interviewed outside Old Main for local TV by Political Science Professor and Chair Manfred Vernon and Duayne Trecker of KVOS, Bond shared his views on issues including the war in Vietnam, poverty, race relations and the civil rights movement.
Visitors to Broadway can now see still images from this interview as part of a photo montage shown in the current production of Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop.” Starring Samuel L. Jackson (as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and Angela Bassett, this play presents a “re-imagining” of events on April 3, 1968, the evening prior to Dr. King’s assassination.
Footage from the Julian Bond interview and other 1960s KVOS films are archived at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, with several available online as part of Western Libraries’ Digital Collections. Researchers interested in the civil rights era may also wish to view KVOS interviews with James Farmer, founder and leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, and the comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory.
Posted on: October 20, 2011
Special Collections has passed the half-way mark in completing the digitization of the WWU student newspaper. Western has had a student newspaper from 1899, the first year of the university. From 1899 to 1950 is now available online in the WWU Student Newspaper Digital Collection.
Lesley Lowery, who is helping to get the paper online, enjoys seeing the news stories from the past. "It's a lot of fun to get into, to get a feeling for the stories behind the names on buildings on campus I see everyday." Lesley has discovered that the student newspaper reported on different events long ago, "They had proms and dances every weekend, the social theme was much more important then."
Discover the past for yourself, browsing through the old issues of the student newspaper, and check back for more recent issues coming soon.
Read more: Student Newspaper Digital Collection
Posted on: August 19, 2011
Interested in the history of regional peace movements or responses to nuclear power?
Newly-archived records of the group Skagitonians Concerned About Nuclear Plants (SCANP) document the 1970s grass-roots opposition to a proposal to build a nuclear power plant near Sedro-Woolley in Skagit County. After considerable controversy and debate, Skagit County voters rejected this proposal by ballot in 1979. This collection of SCANP records was donated recently to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies by former member Debbie Aldrich, and is a fine addition to campus-wide historical collections documenting regional peace and other types of community activism. The collection also includes archival materials from the group Skagit Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament, the Skagit Peace Education Fund, and papers and posters documenting the annual "Magic Skagit" music festival.
Visit this online guide or contact CPNWS to find out more about the records of SCANP and other community organizations in Whatcom and Skagit County, as well as other holdings about nuclear and energy issues. Some related collections at CPNWS include:
- Whatcom County Nuclear Freeze Records
- KVOS Channel 12 Films (digitized footage of anti-nuclear and anti-war protest in Bellingham)
- Gay and Lesbian Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection (materials re: the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp in Kent, Washington).
- Jack Metcalf Congressional Papers
- Al Swift Congressional Papers
More primary sources about the proposed nuclear power plant can be located in "Nuclear Power Plant Rezone Files" among Skagit County Planning Department records at the Washington State Archives (NW Branch). Papers from SCANP founder Helen Day are archived at the University of Washington.
1979 Poster from the Skagitonians Concerned About Nuclear Plant Records,
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
Posted on: July 29, 2011
Food and history buffs should keep an eye out for an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain’s "No Reservations” show on the Travel Channel. The new and upcoming “U.S. Desert” episode (expected to air Monday August 8th) will incorporate a clip from one of the historic KVOS films housed at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. The clip is drawn from Vancouver newsman Jack Webster’s 1964 interview with George Van Tassel, a California businessman who claimed to have been visited by aliens on flying saucers. During the interview, Van Tassel discussed his experiences, the formula for time travel taught to him by the visiting aliens, and his work on the Integratron time machine.
Posted on: July 22, 2011
Western Libraries is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. James (Jim) Scott, Professor Emeritus of Western’s Department of Geography and a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
Dr. Scott joined the faculty at Western Washington State College in 1966, and as an historical geographer became a noted and prolific scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. His interdisciplinary interests and expertise were evidenced in his wide range of professional achievements. In addition to his teaching, research and writings, he was chair of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning (1974-1982), and in 1971 established the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies as a regional research institute and manuscript repository. Under Dr. Scott’s leadership, CPNWS grew to operate a successful series of academic publications and conferences, and archived a host of key historical collections that form the foundation of its present-day holdings.
Dr. Scott’s contributions to Western, the community and to regional scholarship were remarkable. He authored, co-wrote and edited a wide variety of publications, including Whatcom County in Maps, Early Industries of Bellingham Bay and Whatcom County (both with Daniel Turbeville III), an Historical Atlas of Washington (with Roland L. DeLorme) and the award-winning Washington: A Centennial Atlas. He served on the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board, co-founded the Association of Washington Geographers, was active in the Pacific Coast Geographers’ Association, and was also a founding member of the Northwest Archivists Association. Following retirement in 1993, Dr. Scott and his wife Barta resided in Aberdeen for many years, and had recently returned to Whatcom County.
Dr. Jim Scott (right) pictured at Huxley Map Library, circa 1974-1977.
Image courtesy of Western Libraries Special Collections.