Courage in Action – Day of Remembrance Symposium on Gordon Hirabayashi


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

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!

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

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

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!

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

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!