Western Libraries News

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

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.

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Celebrating Pride Month

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.

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Back to the Future – Historic Films Capture Century 21 Exposition

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: http://libguides.wwu.edu/worldsfairs. 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.

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The Educator

Author: 
Atkinson, Lucy (Artist)
Publication Information: 
1945
Location: 
Special Collections -- Research Room
March, 2012

The Educator is a distinctive portrayal in oils of Charles H. Fisher (1880-1964), president of Western from 1924 to 1939. Measuring about 40 x 32 in., the portrait shows Fisher at age 65, several years after his contentious dismissal from the college. Despite his many acclaimed successes in curriculum reform and campus development, Fisher was from the mid-1930s forward the subject of a prolonged defamation campaign by local conservatives.

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Celebrate Women's History Month!

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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Atlas designed to illustrate Burritt's Geography of the Heavens

Author: 
Mattison, Hiram
Publication Information: 
Philadelphia : Sheldon, 1856
Location: 
Special Collections -- Rare Book Collection -- Extra Oversize
Call Number: 
G1000 .M3 1856
February, 2012

Orion the hunterThe constellation Orion which is in the night sky in February, a detail from an engraving that is a map of the heavens.  The entire map is 17" high and 14" wide, one of 10 pages that have become brown and fragile with age (158 years old). 

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Forum on LSD [sound recording]

Author: 
Presenters: Leary, Timothy; Cohen, Sidney; Brewster, Laurence W.
Publication Information: 
Bellingham, Wash.: WWSC, 1967
Location: 
Special Collections Campus History Collection -- Audio
Call Number: 
BF209.L9F69 1967
January, 2012

Timothy Leary Forty five years ago, on Feb. 4, 1967, famed LSD advocate Timothy Leary (1920-1996) came to town for a "Forum on LSD," sponsored by the Social Issues Committee of the student body of Western Washington State College.

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"Viva la California!" - Gold Rush Letters Online

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.

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A Christmas Carol in Prose: Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas

Author: 
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
Publication Information: 
Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1876, c1868.
Location: 
Special Collections Rare Book Collection
Call Number: 
PR4572.C68 1876
December, 2011

"Tis the season of many holidays and celebrations: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's and probably more. My own tradition includes an annual reading of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

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