New MLIS student tour of Special Collections – success!

Nicole Bouche, Pacific Northwest Curator, lead a tour of 44 new Master’s of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students through Special Collections. Not only was the turn-out larger than anticipated, but the group was enthusiastic and had some great comments and questions.

One of the questions was, “What is the oldest thing in your collection?,” to which Nicole answered, “We have Medieval manuscripts, but the Buddhist texts may pre-date those.” Stay tuned….maybe we’ll get a firm answer from Rare Books Curator, Sandra Kroupa.


Roethke Recordings Available Online

As recently reported in the New York Times, recordings of the American poet, Theodore Roethke, reading selected works are among the latest additions to The Poetry Archive.  This project to make historic recordings of poetry read by their authors freely available to the public was initiated by U.K. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion in 2005.   With the cooperation of the Poetry Foundation, the collection has expanded its scope to include American authors.

The Special Collections Division holds many materials relating to Roethke (who was a member of the University of Washington faculty from 1947-1963), including his papers.  The Roethke papers are described in a rather complicated finding aid, which you can begin to work your way through here.  Although the collection contains many photographs, this image is from our nearby neighbor, the Museum of History and Industry.  It shows Roethke (right) with Seattle-born musician and composer, Armand Russell in an undisclosed location.  Russell, who trained at the University of Washington, played double bass with the Seattle Symphony and several other orchestras, before joining the faculty of the University of Hawaii in 1961.

Image credit: Armand Russell and Theodore Roethke, Seattle, 1955. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle, Image No. 1986.5.41028.

Announcements – September 2008

What’s New in the Archives

Carsten Lien papers (27.36 cubic feet), circa 1980’s-2005. Research files, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, clippings, government publications, reports, audio reel tapes, microfilm, index card files, and maps, primarily relating to Lien’s books, Olympic Battleground: The Power Politics of Timber Preservation, and; Exploring the Olympic Mountains: Accounts of the Earliest Expeditions, 1878-1890; and a planned book on the Cascade division of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Ronald P. Phillips papers (29.86 cubic feet), 1863-2004. The Ronald P. Phillips papers document the personal and professional activities of long-time Seattle Symphony Orchestra clarinetist Ronald P. Phillips (1906-2004) and his first wife, Gladys Bezeau Phillips (1892-1978). The materials consist of biographical material, books, clippings, correspondence, musical scores, newsletters, notes, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs and photographic material, printed ephemera, scrapbooks, scorecards (golf), souvenir books, and yearbooks/directories.

Empty Space Theatre records (62.1 cubic feet), circa 1970-2006. The third and largest accession of the Theatre’s records (51.26 cubic feet) contains productions files­—including audiovisual materials—and administrative files dating from its inception through its termination in 2006.

New Staff

Jennifer Spamer joined the staff of the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections on April 1 as Acquisitions Specialist. She oversees the accessioning of all new manuscripts/archives/photograph collections. Jeni is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Information, and comes to the UW from a contract position at Microsoft.

Upcoming Events

The Pacific Northwest Collection will be highlighting recent archival acquisitions in an exhibit, December 2008-February 2009, in the Special Collections Lobby, Allen Library South.

Only in the Pacific Northwest Collection

I don’t wish to frighten small children, but I just wanted to let you know that the Pacific Northwest Collection of the Special Collections Division is still the only place you will find a copy of this hot biography in the University of Washington Libraries.

Adventures in Copy Cataloging

With Alaska so much in the news it was interesting to discover this recently acquired item in the cataloging queue.

Since there was cataloging copy at hand (eight other institutions already hold this item), it seemed straightforward enough a task. Clean up the ISBD punctuation, add local note about inscription, etc. — believe me, I know the drill.

What interested me most, however, was the whole question of what the purpose of this pamphlet had been anyway?  It seemed awfully like those promotional pamphlets put out by transportation companies, but since there is no tangible evidence of that objective, I probably should not assign either “Place marketing” or “Place marketing literature” as a topical or genre access point to this record.  Too bad.  I love it when the LC subject headings actually describe something accurately — sort of.  But it seems likely that Mr. Davis may have been more interested in promoting the sale of his photographs, than in Alaska boosterism, per se.

Image credit: Scan of front cover of Here and there in Southeastern Alaska

Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Call for Presentations

The Pacific Northwest Historians Guild has issued a call for papers and presentations for its 24th annual conference to be held on March 7, 2009 at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. The theme of this year’s conference is the centennial of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Submissions are due by October 15, 2008. You can go here for the full announcement.

About the Current Banner

I confess. The current image on this blog’s banner is not technically from the Pacific Northwest Collection, but it does come from the Special Collections Division. It is part of a digitized image of the cover of a souvenir menu celebrating the 1940 golden anniversary of the legendary Seattle department store, Frederick & Nelson. That store, alas, closed its doors for good in 1992 (although the downtown Seattle building remains as the Nordstrom flagship location), but its memories linger on in the Special Collections Division.

You can can find this particular menu and 739 other ones in the Historical Menu Collection (PH Coll 617) by perusing the online finding aid. A limited selection of images of other menus from this collection also is available through the Special Collections portion of the UW Libraries Digital Collections site.

In a perfect world, you also would find a corresponding record for the collection in the libraries’ online catalog, but there’s another one to add to the cataloger’s to-do list.

Image credit:  Cover from Frederick & Nelson Golden Anniversary Menu, Historial Menu Collection, PH Coll 617