Courage in Action – Day of Remembrance Symposium on Gordon Hirabayashi

20 02 2014


Join us for the 2014 Day of Remembrance, Saturday, February 22, 2014 to honor the life and legacy of civil rights icon Gordon K. Hirabayashi.  The symposium (free and open to the public) from 1:00 to 5:00 in Kane Hall on the UW campus will feature lectures, performances and remembrances by the Hirabayashi family, and the presentation of Hirabayashi’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded posthumously to Hirabayashi by President Obama in 2012.

The medal will be part of the Gordon K. Hirabayashi papers in Special Collections.  His journals, photographs, letters and legal papers were donated last year by his family and many items are on display in the Allen Library North Lobby in an exhibit titled “Civil Disobedience!”  The exhibit ends February 28.

There also will be book-signing in Kane Hall’s Walker Ames Room from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. by Lane Hirabayashi, co-author of the 2013 University of Washington Press book “A Principled Stand: The Story of Gordon Hirabayashi.”

In a related event, a play by about Hirabayashi titled “Hold These Truths,” by Jeanne Sakata, featuring actor Greg Watanabe, will be given a staged reading at Theater Off Jackson, Feb. 22 and 23.

Pacific Northwest Historians Guild 2010 Conference

4 02 2010

We seem to have missed the call for papers, but the program for this year’s Pacific Northwest Historians Guild conference has been announced.  The theme of the conference, “A Time for Reconsideration,” which will take place on March 5, 2010 at the Museum of History & Industry, is on trails and treaties in the Pacific Northwest.  Full program description is available here.

Greetings from Austin!

14 08 2009
Screen from the opening plenary, SAA 2009 Annual Meeting

Screen from the opening plenary, SAA 2009 Annual Meeting

Yes, I’m at yet another conference and I’m feeling almost as blurry as the photo.  This time around it’s the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.  The crowds may be a tiny bit smaller than they have been at the last few SAA conferences, but that has translated into a welcome lack of violence around the buffet steam table.  It also has made it easier to spot colleagues, including the UW Special Collections Division’s own John Bolcer and Nicolette Bromberg, as well as recent iSchool grad, Zola Mumford, who is giving one of the student poster presentations.

I may emerge from the cocoon of the air-conditioned hotel later this afternoon and try to see a bit more of Austin.  As you might imagine, the heat has made it unappealing to go outdoors for an extended period of time while the sun is out, but I did make it over to the Harry Ransom Center, which you can read more about on my other blog, as well as the mother of all Whole Foods, and, of course, the bats.

The RAO meeting is about to begin, so more after I get back.  See you guys soon in sunny Seattle!

(Sort of) Live from ALA in Chicago

13 07 2009
By the Bean (I'm in there somewhere)

By the Bean (I'm in there somewhere)

The frenzied atmosphere of the 21st century American Library Association Annual Conference is indeed a world away from that 1925 gathering.  There are so many things happening (and they all seem to be happening at the same time) it can be quite overwhelming.  Your hairdryer and WiFi become your best friends.

But both the weather and the mood have been great.  I’m dashing off right now to try to catch a bit of the (always entertaining) RBMS Exec meeting before heading over to the Theatre Library Association’s program at the Harold Washington Library Center, “The Plays the Thing: From Page to Stage to Archive in Chicago Theatres.”  Later this evening I’ll be returning to that same spot for a special tour of the Visual and Performing Arts department.  Whew!

Memories of ALA Annual Conferences Past

8 07 2009
Dancers at the PNLA luncheon, part of the 1925 American Library Association annual conference

Dancers at the PNLA luncheon, part of the 1925 American Library Association annual conference

As I head off for Chicago, it seemed a fitting time to share another exciting discovery from the PNW scrapbook collection.  With Edna’s help, I recently upgraded the bibliographic record for the Marguerite E. Putnam scrapbook.  Compiled especially to celebrate Putnam’s retirement from the University of Washington Libraries after thirty-five years, it was an especially lovely specimen, with pages contributed by the various departments of the library.

Also of interest, however, was yet another box of unsorted clippings and other material that went along with the volume.  Hidden amongst the clippings was an envelope containing eleven photographs.  The envelope was dated 1925 and sent to Putnam from F. W. Faxon, a giant of American bibliography and library history (though there’s currently no Wikipedia entry, so get to it!).  Or perhaps I am getting overly sentimental here since I sort of got my start in serials check-in.  Upon further investigation, it became clear that these snapshots were taken by Faxon at the American Library Association’s 1925 Annual Conference, which was held in Seattle.  All of the pictures were fascinating, but we both were especially captivated with the one above with its Isadora Duncan-ish dancers cavorting about on the UW campus.  Here’s how Library Journal (in somewhat tongue-in-cheek mode) described the event:

On Thursday, a buffet luncheon was served by the Pacific Northwest Library Association on the University of Washington campus, followed by exhibit dancing — not by librarians — in the Sylvan Theater…

Faxon apparently documented many of ALA’s early meetings.  Some of the same photographs (cropped differently) he sent to Putnam are available in digital form on the Digital Collections site of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (which holds the ALA archives), but not this one!

Live from RBMS in Charlottesville!

19 06 2009
Past Chairs of RBMS pause for photoshoot

Past Chairs of RBMS pause for photoshoot

Nicole Bouche, the Pacific Northwest Curator, and Blynne Olivieri, a freshly graduated MLIS student and scholarship winner to attend the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RMBS) preconference 2009, are here in Charlottesville, Virginia for the 50th Anniversary of RBMS.

We are in the second day of the conference, and the picture above is from this evening’s reception at the beautiful Colonnade Club on the University of Virginia campus. Gary Menges, UW Libraries Preservation Administrator is in the photo, to your left of center in the navy sport jacket and distinguished gray beard.

What an incredible opportunity to commune with professionals in the field and learn about trajectories in Special Collections.

Road Trip

20 04 2009
Northwest History & Heritage Extravaganza, Portland, Oregon 2009

Northwest History & Heritage Extravaganza, Portland, Oregon 2009

Apologies for the brief silence.  Several of us were attending the Northwest History and Heritage Extravaganza held in suburban Portland, Oregon.  This four-day event included tours, training workshops, panel presentations, and other activities.  Among those groups participating in this joint endeavor was the Northwest Archivists, who will be meeting next year in Seattle!

“Native Presence” – Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Conference

20 03 2009

The Museum of History and Industry, Saturday, March 7, 2009

Between presenters, audience members milled around the linen covered tables while a young woman adjusted the laptop next to the forward podium. Those of us who were seated were either discussing the “Seattle Meets the World” series of presentations or chatting with the presenters. I was fortunate enough to be seated next to Chuimei Ho, who along with her husband, Bennet Bronson, explained the immense cultural and community significance of the appearance of the first Chinese dragon parade during the A-Y-P.

Like most, I faced forward watching the screen and expected an introductory PowerPoint slide for the next presenter, Ana Novakovic, a student at the University of British Columbia. Ana was scheduled to read her paper titled, “Modernity and Tradition: Portrayals of Native Americans at the A-Y-P.” I was  perplexed that desktop icons along with an American flag displayed on the large viewing screen. It occurred to me that maybe there was a technical glitch; I contemplated getting up and offering to assist.

But then Chair Robin Wright from the Burke Museum introduced Ana. Neither women seemed perturbed, so I assumed there was no technical problem with the laptop and a PowerPoint slide would eventually appear.  Yet, the screen shot remained static. Ana, a polished young woman, slowly began reading. At first, I felt a bit uncomfortable. I kept looking at the screen – searching for a PowerPoint slide. I look at the audience and noticed there were others who were also looking for a slide – I found myself feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

My eyes and attention moved to Ana. She spoke firmly and slowly, emphasizing words that were significant or important to her presentation. Her voice never wavered; she scanned the audience for eye contact rarely looking down at her paper. The more material she read, the more she drew us in.  Her intonation and manner commanded and successfully owned our attention. She stressed how the Native Americans were recruited to portray a primitive past by the A-Y-P organizers. They were not viewed as participants but rather entertainers and performers for those who attended the fair.

When Ana finished reading, I was disappointed, not because of her presentation, but because of her presentation – I didn’t want it to end. Ana did not need a PowerPoint slide to enhance her presentation – she had her steady and confident voice which represented her well and those of the Native Americans who “entertained” at the A-Y-P.

University of British Columbia:
Undergraduate Student Awards 2006-2007
Leslie Upton Memorial Prize: best essay on the aboriginal peoples of North America – Ana Novakovic

~ contributed by Edna ~

Live blogging at ACRL2009

14 03 2009

OK.  This is the first time I ever have attempted to live blog a conference session, but with my new net book and the short commute,  I suppose the conditions are as favorable they’ll ever be for this experiment.  Even so, I feel as if my leg is starting to cramp up holding my tiny (2.8 pound) computer on my lap.  But that’s enough about me.

I am waiting for the last session in the contributed papers time slot to begin on the next to last day of the 2009 ACRL conference in Seattle. The paper I am waiting for, “From Babine to Yakima: Academic Libraries and Endangered Language Preservation”  will be given by Gabriella Reznowski of Washington State University.  This is the first session at the ACRL conference I have encountered with a direct Pacific Northwest Collection interest (although perhaps my colleagues have discovered others).  OK, it’s starting now:

WSU does not have a formal Linguistics department.  Reznowski came upon this role by accident through a weeding project which first opened up endangered languages as a topic of interest to her.

Spoken Here was one of the first books she encountered that really grabbed her interest.  She makes the great point that passion may be more important than expertise as a starting point in becoming an advocate for language preservation/reclamation.

She next cites  When Languages Die as having identified the Pacific Northwest as a hot spot of language diversity.  54 language units identified; 9 extinct languages.  Which institutions hold materials in these languages?

How well are these languages documented?  Linguists developed a rating system.

Communities are taking steps to do more than document their language, but to keep it alive.  What role should holding institutions play in supporting these efforts?  Libraries should not underestimate their usefulness as collaborators in language revitalization projects.

She has been trying to contact communities actively engaged in creating tools to preserve the language (for example, grammars, textbooks, recordings, dual language materials) and explored the Breath of Life workshops, pioneered by UC-Berkeley (but also presented at the UW).

The one endangered Pacific Northwest language taught at WSU is Nez Perce.  Because enrollment is not robust, a lack of support is perceived.  WSU developed a film series on endangered languages, a wiki to promote language material, class visits, and collaborate dwith faculty to develop workshops in the archives similar to the “Breath of Life” model.  The WSU archivist (sorry, didn’t get her name) also has been particularly helpful and has encouraged investigation of the materials in WSU special collections.

Types of materials: missionary dictionaries, sound recordings by elders, ethnomusicology collections, storybooks, religious materials, grammars, dictionaries.  Online dissemination of language materials requires consultation with the communities involved.

Other institutions with significant collections:  Evergreen State College.

What’s next?

Develop a collections document for the Pacific Northwest, based on the Yinka Dene Language Institute model.

  • Continue with online dissemination.
  • Continue workshops along the “Breath of Life” model.
  • Seek further opportunities for collaboration with campus language classes.

Excellent presentation.   WSU is clearly lucky to have a language librarian with Ms. Reznowski’s commitment.

(Note:  Perfectionist that I am I tried to clean this up as best I could after the conference, although all in all, my spelling wasn’t too bad)


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