It’s American Archives Month!

By Jenny Gehringer, Stephanie Milne-Lane, and Rosie Yanosko
Willamette University Archives and Special Collections

October is American Archives Month! The Willamette University (WU) Archives and Special Collections is celebrating by sharing what our archivists are currently working on through our blog and the Mark O. Hatfield Library Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. We invite you to learn more about our collections and how we provide equitable access to historical documents and materials!

stuffed bearcat sitting at desk The WU Archives and Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available WU records of enduring value and primary source materials focusing on the Pacific Northwest. We have four main collections categories: University Archives and Records, Political Papers, Personal Papers, and the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA). We currently have three archivists on staff who are processing collections and providing reference services for our campus and public communities.

Stephanie Milne-Lane is the Processing Archivist and Records Manager for our Archives. She provides reference services for all collections in our repository, assists University departments concerning records management, provides educational opportunities to students, and processes University, political, and personal records. In addition to her varied responsibilities, she is currently processing the Rex Amos papers, which is part of the PNAA.

Jenny Gehringer is the Processing Archivist for the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA). The PNAA is a collaborative project of the WU Archives and Special Collections and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and includes materials related to the careers of artists who are or were active in Oregon and Washington for most of their careers. Jenny is tasked with processing 16 PNAA collections during her 18-month tenure and is currently assessing and processing the Rick Bartow papers. Her most recently completed collection is the Betty LaDuke papers.

desk with papers on it Rosie Yanosko is the Processing Archivist for the Chuck Williams Collections. Williams was an environmental activist and professional photographer who was of Cascade Chinook descent and a member of the Grand Ronde Tribe. His activist papers are housed here in the WU Archives, while his photographs are housed at the Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center. During her 12-month tenure, which is funded through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant Willamette University received, Rosie is appraising, processing, and developing finding aids for these collections. She is also planning a panel discussion which will highlight Williams’ legacy as an environmental activist.

Please check out our blog and the Mark O. Hatfield Library’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages throughout October for more information, photographs, and fun facts!

Changes, Current and Coming

Guest post written by Craig Milberg, University Librarian

Now that we are well into the current semester we hope you have noticed some positive changes to the first floor of the Mark O. Hatfield Library. These changes include:

1. A wall dividing the main table “farm” on the first floor has been installed. On the front side of the wall, we now have bookshelves and bulletin boards that let us create book displays that highlight our collections. On the backside of the wall, we have placed a series of whiteboards. The intent is to create a spot where students can leave comments, share their thoughts, draw pictures, and in general express themselves. We have dubbed this area “Mill Stream Musings.” Remember, it is a public space so please be respectful and don’t write or draw anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see in the New York Times.


2. The sidewall next to the librarians’ offices is now dedicated to displaying creative works by Willamette students. Partnering with the Studio Art Department, we hope to have a rotating series of displays of student art over the course of the year.

student display wall

3. Installation of electric outlets on tables in many spots on the first floor. This should alleviate the dangerous need to stretch extension cords across the floor.

electrical outlets on table

Moving from the present to the future, we continue plans to integrate significant portions of the Claremont School of Theology’s print collections into the MOHL’s collections. With their hybrid educational model, it isn’t surprising that CST relies heavily on electronic collections but they also have wonderful print collections. Working with the CST library, we currently anticipate bringing approximately 50,000 volumes of books and periodicals. In order to accommodate these items, our plan is to find off-site storage for all of the bound periodicals (theirs and ours) and move their books, mostly representing religion and philosophy, into the shelves on the first floor where the periodicals are. We will then move our current collection of philosophy and religion monographs from the second floor, intermingling them with the books that come from CST on the first floor.

No need to worry about access to the bound periodicals. You will be able to request articles from these periodicals and twice a day library staff will plan on scanning articles and sending them to you. All of this should happen this coming summer so further news will follow as details become clearer.

Faculty Colloquium: George Gu

Please join us on Friday, October 11th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: George Gu, Assistant Professor of Finance George Gu

Title: “Local Religious Belief and Workplace Safety”

Abstract: We study the impact of local religiosity on establishment-level workplace safety. Consistent with the view that religious people are more risk averse, we document a significant negative effect of religiosity in a county on worker injury rates in establishments located in the county. We also find that the effect of local religiosity on worker safety is primarily driven by Protestant religion. Lastly, we identify two channels by which local religiosity affects worker safety. Religious managers are more risk averse so they increase investment conducive to safety (the managerial safety investment channel). Religious rank-and-file workers are more risk averse so they comply with safety protocol more diligently and assert greater caution at work (the worker safety compliance channel). Interestingly we find that religiosity local to a firm’s headquarter has no significant effect on worker safety outcomes, safety investments, or overall safety ratings, suggesting the importance of middle level managers and rank-and-file workers (rather than top management) in shaping worker safety policy. Our results imply that local religious beliefs have a subtle yet important impact on employee welfare.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Abigail Susik

Please join us on Friday, October 4th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 301 for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Abigail Susik, Associate Professor of Art History Abigail Susik
Title: “Curating Between Mexico and England: Notes on the Exhibition ‘Alan Glass, Surrealism’s Secret’ at Leeds Arts University, 2020”

Abstract: Alan Glass (b. 1932) is a French-Canadian artist who has resided in Mexico City since 1963. When Glass moved to Paris from Montreal in the 1950s, his intricate pencil drawings were discovered and promoted by surrealism’s founder André Breton. The catalogue for his first exhibition featured an essay by his friend Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean artist who later became a renowned cult filmmaker. In Mexico City, Glass became a collaborator with expatriate British surrealist Leonora Carrington. Much like Carrington and Jodorowsky, Glass’s works evince an esoteric poetics in which reality is transmuted through the work of the creative imagination. In addition, he quickly became a notable contributor to Mexico City’s flourishing contemporary art scene in the 60s and 70s. Continuing to draw and paint, Glass turned increasingly to assemblage, a medium much favored by surrealism. Precisely executed with found material gleaned from Mexico City’s maze-like markets, Glass’s sumptuous arrangements facilitate mysterious correspondences between disparate objects.Glass Art Work

Although Glass is one of Mexico’s most revered artists, as is evidenced by the prestigious award he received in 2017, the coveted Medalla Bellas Artes, Mexico’s highest recognition for production in the fine arts, he must also be considered surrealism’s best-kept secret. Including his first solo show in Paris in 1958, there have been only three exhibitions devoted to his work in Europe, the most recent of which took place in Spain more than a decade ago. The art of Alan Glass, then, is ripe for exploration and discovery, and the Leeds Arts University exhibition of 40 drawings, paintings, and assemblages in autumn of 2020 will be the artist’s first show in the United Kingdom. Situating Glass’s art in the context of an internationally dispersed surrealism with longevity far beyond what is often assumed, the exhibition will bring Glass’s production into conversation with the Mexican influences and networks which have come to define it.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Looking ahead: Next week’s Colloquium will be delivered by Atkinson professor George Gu presenting on “Local Religious Belief and Workplace Safety”.

Faculty Colloquium: Saghar Sadeghian

Please join us on Friday, September 27th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Saghar Sadeghian, Assistant Professor of History Saghar Sadeghian
Title: Conversion as Boundary Crossing: Non-Muslim Conversions in Mid 19th and Early 20th Century Iran

Abstract: Iranian non-Muslim communities are instances of Fredrik Barth’s ethnic groups (10-11). They live in separate geographic communities, have their own languages, were forced to follow specific dress codes, and created a community of ‘us’ in comparison to the Muslim ‘them’. At the same time, the boundaries between these groups were blurred and negotiable. Group boundaries could be crossed by interfaith marriages, economic interactions, or notably religious conversions.

Apart from religious spiritual motivations, some individuals converted to other religions, voluntarily or by force, for economic, cultural, or political reasons. However, this was not a simple transition from one religious community to another. The converts normally kept their previous rituals, family ties, and languages; but were banned from their former community’s institutions. On the other hand, in the new group, they were welcomed and awarded with certain privileges; but could not completely integrate. For example, titles such as ‘Jewish-Baha’is’—for those Jews converting to the Baha’i Faith—indicated the Jewish community could not totally let their former members leave. At the same time, this could also indicate that the Baha’i community might not have let them totally integrate. They might change their religion but were still Jews by blood. Labels like ‘Jadid al-Islam’, or ‘New Muslim’ for converts to Islam differentiated them from the ‘old’ or ‘original’ Muslims.

This paper studies Iranian non-Muslim conversions to Islam or other faiths, during the mid 19th and early 20th centuries, as a means of social mobilization. It addresses the topic in two main ways: discussing the reasons one might convert voluntarily or by force; and the ways each community treated its dissidents or new members. Employing “social identity theory” (Tajfel and Turner 7-20), the article argues that converts did not lose their old religious affiliation by gaining a new one; instead, they lived with fluid multiple identities in Iranian society.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the first TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Ortwin Knorr

Please join us on Friday, September 20th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics Ortwin Knorr

Title: “Suppressed Desire: The Latin Poetess Sulpicia and her Poetry of Love” ([Tib]. 3.13-18)

Abstract: The six slender elegies of Sulpicia, a mere 40 lines, are justly famous as the only surviving Latin poems written by a female poet. In the past, critics have tended to dismiss her work as the clumsy products of a woman amateur (Smith 1913, Tränkle 1980). More recently, this has begun to change as scholars such as Santirocco 1979, Hinds 1987, and Keith 1997 have pointed out Sulpicia’s artistry and her clever play with the conventions of male Love Elegy. Nevertheless, aspects of Sulpicia’s art remain only partially understood. Most importantly, the very way in which Sulpicia has arranged her poems means that, on the one hand, we get to see tantalizing glimpses of her scandalous love affair but, on the other hand, she also communicates how she successfully manages to suppress her desire, just as Roman society would expect a young woman of the upper classes to do.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Maegan Parker Brooks

Please join us on Friday, September 13th, at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Maegan Parker Brooks, Assistant Professor of Civic Communication and Media

Title: The Making of Find Your Voice: The Online Resource for Fannie Lou Hamer Studies (*

Abstract: On August 22, 2019, the 55th Anniversary of Fannie Lou Hamer’s historic testimony before the credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention, Civic Communication and Media professors Maegan Parker Brooks and Pablo Correa launched Find Your Voice: The Online Resource for Fannie Lou Hamer Studies. The Find Your Voice website is the culmination of nearly 15 years of research that Brooks conducted in partnership with the Hamer family, activists, scholars, artists, and public school teachers in the Mississippi Delta. Find Your Voice Image

The Find Your Voice website provides free access to: (1) an original BrainPOP cartoon about Fannie Lou Hamer, (2) a K-12 civil rights curriculum, featuring 32 lesson plans spanning 18 curricular units, (3) an original children’s book, Planting Seeds: The Life and Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, written by Brooks and illustrated by Shelby McConville, a local kindergarten teacher, (4) an annotated driving tour of Hamer-related sites in the Mississippi Delta, created by Correa and Davis W. Houck of Florida State University, (5) access to the award-winning short film, “Find Your Voice,” written, produced, and directed by high school students in the Delta, who enrolled in the inaugural Sunflower County Film Academy workshop taught by Correa and Joy Davenport, and (6) a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the forthcoming feature film, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America, which will debut during Willamette’s 2020 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

During her colloquium presentation, Brooks will feature several of these resources, share more about the process of creating the project, and preview a Senior Experience course she is designing wherein Willamette students will contribute to future phases of the Find Your Voice website.

*The website was made possible by support from Brian Hoyt and Willamette’s Web Development team.

**The larger Find Your Voice project was made possible by the support of generous private donors and public grants, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Partnerships, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and more.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Changes in the Archives

The University Archives, located in the Mark O. Hatfield Library, has had an eventful summer. First, we have a number of personnel updates to share. Mary McRobinson is leaving Willamette after 13 years as University Archivist to pursue an exciting new opportunity at Oregon’s State Archives. In a very real sense, Mary built the Archives program from scratch. Her contributions include maintaining Willamette’s history, building notable collections centered around political and artists’ papers, and ensuring that these collections have a significant impact on teaching and learning at Willamette. The library staff and Willamette will miss Mary terribly, but we have no doubt she will have great success in her new job. Mary is leaving at the end of the summer and we anticipate a national search for a new University Archivist in the fall.

We are pleased to announce some additions to the Archives team.

Stephanie Milne-Lane Image

Stephanie Milne-Lane

Stephanie Milne-Lane joined us this summer in our Processing Archivist and Records Manager position. Stephanie has deep educational and family ties to the Northwest and most recently worked as Archivist for the City of Boise. She is off to a great start and we look forward to her many great contributions to the program in the future. We also welcomed Rosie Yanosko to Willamette.

Rosie Yanosko Image

Rosie Yanosko

Rosie, who joins us most recently from the Oregon Health and Science University Library, is working on a grant-funded (joint LSTA grant with OSU) project to process the papers and slides of Native American artist and activist Chuck Williams.

Jenny Gehringer Image

Jenny Gehringer

Jenny Gehringer, who joined us during the 18-19 academic year, remains with us courtesy of an NHPRC grant; Jenny is processing the collections of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.

You can catch up on her progress by accessing the Archives blog.

Finally, while still dedicated to the memory of former Governor and Senator Mark O. Hatfield, the Hatfield Room has been repurposed as the Archives’ reading room. With new furnishings, space will allow the archives to accommodate researchers and hold sessions for Willamette classes in comfort while ensuring the security of our collections.

Hatfield Room Image

Updated Hatfield Room

This shift has allowed the University Archives to dedicate the former reading room space to a much more efficient area for processing our physical collections. These changes will ultimately lead to enhanced access for our users.

When you have a chance, stop by and meet our new archives staff and check out the new reading room!


Additions to the Stella Douglas Papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Researchers can now access additional materials from the Stella Douglas papers. New materials related to Douglas’s career as an art therapist, her work as a social activist, correspondence with artist Helen Blumenstiel, and Douglas family records are processed and integrated with the Stella Douglas papers on Moral Re-Armament. The integrated collection documents Douglas’s personal life and career from 1927 to 1993.

Estella Jean Douglas was born in Salem, Oregon on January 21, 1927. At age eleven, Douglas was inspired by what she described as “a flood of creative energy” to begin her lifelong calling to be an artist. In 1944 Douglas planned to enter a five-year degree program offered by Reed College with the Portland Art Museum School, but instead joined the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) program. Douglas participated as a full time volunteer in MRA from 1945 to 1957, during which she lived at MRA’s two main headquarters in Los Angeles and Mackinac Island, Michigan. She also lived in London, England and Paris and Caux, France while in the program. Douglas described her experience with MRA as a “multi-cultural learning experience” in which her “global view of life in the world and the nature of humanness took form.” Both during and after her time with MRA, Douglas wrote many personal reflections and letters pertaining to her experience as a participant in MRA and her subsequent reflections on morality, religion, and human nature.

In the 1960s Douglas returned to the United States. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1969. At the same time, Douglas also earned a degree in Educational Psychology from San Francisco State College. Douglas then pursued a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated in 1971. During her time in school in San Francisco, Douglas participated in the anti-war movement, black rights activism, psychedelia, and the neo-feminist movement. After graduation, Douglas was offered a position in the art department of a midwest university, but chose to return to her family home in Portland, Oregon.

From 1971 through 1984, Douglas dedicated her time to the care of sick family members, including her father, mother Ruth, and sister Barbara. During this time Douglas worked various jobs including as a freelance writer and photographer. Articles and photographs by Douglas were published in several magazines and newspapers including the Oregonian. Douglas was also actively engaged in areas of the arts, community volunteerism, and political, social, and environmental activism. Much of her freelance writing focused on topics related to her social activism including protecting the Oregon coastal environment, feminist and aging issues, the nuclear weapons freeze movement, and LGBTQ issues. In 1986 and 1987 Douglas applied to the Master’s in Art Therapy program at Marylhurst College and was admitted in 1987. After graduating she worked for Mental Health Services West in Portland, Oregon. Douglas died in a car accident in 1993 and is buried in Clackamas County, Oregon.

For more information about the Stella Douglas papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.

PNAA Digitization Project

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Collections of artists’ papers from the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) are currently being processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to this amazing and unique archive. Part of this processing grant includes an initiative to digitize a selection of materials from each collection that represents the artist’s papers and his or her works. This summer, the Willamette University Archives has a fantastic student assistant, Madolyn Kelm, who is digitizing materials selected by Jenny Gehringer, the PNAA processing archivist, and the PNAA Advisory Group, which consists of academic and community members.

Madolyn is currently digitizing material from the Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers. The Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers include financial and personal records, sketchbooks, journals, family ephemera, and documentation related to Nelson Sandgren’s careers as an artist and professor, from 1936 to 2016. His wife, Olive, is responsible for the creation of a large portion of the items in this collection including most of the documentation regarding sabbatical trips and vacations. The materials selected for digitization include 35mm slides from Sandgren’s sabbatical trips and one of Olive’s daily diaries which details the events of Sandgren’s 1959-1960 sabbatical. Digitization of these materials helps to preserve inherently unstable media, such as photographic slides, and to increase access to the PNAA collections by making them available online.

The Willamette University Archives is excited to share the PNAA digitization efforts with all library patrons and researchers. We will post more information about this project as additional materials from the PNAA collections are digitized and made available.