By Stepanie Milne-Lane, Processing Archivist and Records Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the ongoing public health crisis forced the Hatfield Library to transition its services in March, the Willamette University (WU) Archives & Special Collections has missed the students, staff, faculty, and community members that frequently walked through our door.
We know that remote research comes with challenges — Not everything is digitized and there is something satisfying about opening a box and systematically going through archival folders. Over the years, the WU Archives & Special Collections has made steady progress in creating digital collections. Each of our four collecting areas boasts digital collections that are ripe for research.
The WU University Archives & Records has numerous digitized collections that are keyword searchable and hold the key to WU’s history. Popular digitized collections include The Wallulah, 1903-2006 (student yearbook), The Collegian, 1875-2020 (student newspaper), WU Student Handbooks, 1892-2020, and Catalogs and Bulletins, 1860-2007. Also available are materials relating to Freshman Glee, one of Willamette’s longest running – and most beloved – traditions.
A collaborative project of the WU Archives & Special Collections and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) is a collection of materials related to the careers of artists who are or were active in Oregon and Washington. Digitized PNAA collections include an Eunice Parsons online exhibit that explores and considers the development of Parsons’ more popular style through the lens of her personal sketchbooks.
WU’s extensive Political Papers contain photographs, memorabilia and audiovisual materials of elected individuals representing Oregon at the state and national level. The digitized Norma Paulus Scrapbooks offers a glimpse into Paulus’s campaigns and legislative work.
Rounding our holdings are the Personal Papers, which include manuscript collections, diaries, and the correspondence with a focus on individuals involved in regional missionary work, settling Salem, and developing Willamette University. The digitized Suffrage Era Scrapbook is worth exploring, as it contains poetry, comedic articles and satire, cartoons, articles about women’s suffrage — which celebrates its 100th anniversary in August — and news bulletins about the 1918 Influenza pandemic.
Although our door hasn’t opened and closed as frequently over the past four months, the Archives is anything but quiet. Susan Irwin joined the Hatfield Library team and is spearheading the processing of Senator Mark O. Hatfield’s papers. Staff also completed processing associated with the NHPRC and LSTA grants. We can’t wait to see you, but in the meantime, we hope that our digital collections might come in useful. We are always here to assist with any and all questions you might have. We look forward to having you walk through our door again in the future!