I have been the Manuscripts and Special Collections Materials Cataloging Librarian with the University of Washington Libraries since February 2008. As a member of the Monographic Services Division, I am responsible for the cataloging of print, archival, manuscript, and visual materials for the Special Collections Division. Although a proud native New Yorker, I have bounced back and forth between the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest several times since receiving my undergraduate degree (Art history and English) and a Masters of Art in English literature from Hunter College of the City University of New York, so there must be something about the region that draws me here. Along the way, I also earned another Master’s degree from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science, Long Island University and became a Certified Archivist.
I have worked at a variety of libraries, archives, and museums over the years. Prior to returning to Seattle, I was a cataloger and archivist on the Wilson Processing Project, a multiyear grant-funded project to process archival materials from the collections of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The performing arts, particularly ballet and musical theatre, continue to be major interests of mine and I can discuss the merits of the New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet with equal facility (try me!)
I joined Special Collections as the Pacific Northwest Curator in the summer of 2012. Having earned an M.A. in Scandinavian Languages and Literature from the UW, this marks a return to the Pacific Northwest after embarking on a career as a university professor and librarian/archivist. Along the way, I earned an MLIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and most recently served as Director of Archives and Special Collections at North Park University in Chicago. Before that, I worked as cataloger, and then Head of Library, at Augustana College’s Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois. Previously, I served as Director of the Scandinavian Program and Lecturer in the Department of Germanics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I hold a B.A. in Swedish with a minor in history from North Park College in Chicago.
Labor Archivist Conor Casey was hired in 2010 as part of a joint effort between the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies (UW) and the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections to collect, preserve, and make accessible the labor history collections of the Pacific Northwest. Casey oversees the development of the labor archives of Washington state, manages labor-related materials already in the UW Special Collections, and advises unions on records management and donations. In addition, he develops educational programs ensuring Washington’s labor history is widely accessible to union members, schools and the general public.
Conor brings with him years of personal, scholarly and professional experience with the labor movement and the preservation of its history. Casey first became interested in labor history through researching family history. His maternal grandfather was a striking San Francisco ILA longshoreman during the 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime strike and was later a member of ILWU Ship’s Clerks Local 34. His paternal grandfather was a lifelong union electrician for IBEW Local 6, and both of his grandmothers worked as union members as well. Casey’s father recently retired as a teacher and California Teachers’ Association chapter president.
From 2001 to 2008, he worked at the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, eventually becoming archivist and visual collections curator. Accredited through the Academy of Certified Archivists, Conor holds a masters of arts in U.S. history from San Francisco State University, and a master of library and information science degree from San Jose State University.
I am a second year graduate student working on my Masters in Library Science at the University of Washington. I’m currently a Student Assistant in UW Special Collections working with the university’s theater-related collections on a project funded by the Friends of the Libraries.
I joined Special Collections in August 2009, having served as a supervisor for the University of Washington Natural Sciences Library for 20 years. Special Collections is a good career fit, based on my appreciation of history, research, and old things, in general. In 1998, I earned a degree in history at the UW, and completed a UW Extension certificate program in Genealogy and Family History in 2006. From 2006-2008, I studied with Dr. Lorraine McConaghy, lead historian for Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, while participating in the MOHAI’s Nearby History writing and research seminars. This experience led to my co-authoring Snoqualmie Pass (Arcadia Publishing, 2007), as well as the publication of a 350-page family history.
Originally from the San Francisco East Bay, I have called the Seattle area as home for the past 30 years, with 14 of those spent in the Cascade Mountains at Snoqualmie Pass, a local ski resort. I currently live in Snohomish County, and when I am not working, commuting, or doing research, my interests include Norwegian-American pioneer history, genealogy, gardening, nature, blogging, and being a member of the Nearby Norwegians, a small Seattle-based writing support group.
Past contributors to this blog include former students and staff:
- Edna Bastien-Wennerlind
- Nicole Bouché
- Blynne Olivieri
- Jessie Sherwood
- Jeni Spamer