CARL HALL: Painting the Northwest

by Jess Kimmel

“Works of art are doorways to some unentered room. The artist is constantly knocking, demanding entry.”
~Carl Hall

            Where does an artist’s story begin? Is it when, at the age of seven, they win $5 in their first newspaper art contest? Is it when they get caught sneaking into school after hours to make use of the art classroom? Perhaps when they send home pencil drawings from war, drawings of medical tents and dead soldiers? Any of these could be the defining moment of the first chapter in the life of Carl Hall, one of the most expressive and influential painters of the Pacific Northwest. 
            Yet buried deep in the research files of Roger Hull, who so diligently constructed a catalog of Hall’s life, lie a few unassuming photocopies of letters and statements bound together with a rusty paper clip. Dating from the 1940s, they detail the creation of Hall’s first painting of any note: Interlochen, Michigan. Having been assigned to process the Carl Hall series, these papers were a source of mild dismay to me. I only noticed them towards the end of the arrangement process, and they didn’t seem to fit neatly into the new categories that I had constructed. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to them, and why they are as good a place as any to begin the story of Hall’s career as an artist, which spanned over five decades.
            Though he would eventually call the Willamette Valley his home, Carl Hall was born in 1921 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Detroit. At sixteen, he received a scholarship to the Meinzinger Art School, where he studied under Carlos Lopez, a Cuban-American painting known for his New Deal murals.

Interlochen, Michigan, as shown in a magazine clipping found in the Carl Hall papers (Box 4, Folder 19)

Interlochen, Michigan was created by an eighteen year-old Hall in the summer of 1940, when he attended the National Music Camp in the painting’s namesake town. As the artist tells it, he was fishing in a stream one day when a log happened to float past him, teeming with a “small world of plant life.” It occurred to him that such a thing would make an interesting subject for a painting. While Interlochen’s Midwestern locale might seem a far cry from the Oregon landscapes that would later take front and center on Hall’s canvas, it bore many of the stylistic hallmarks that would remain with him: vivid dark colors, a visible interplay of wind and weather, and just enough pattern distortion to create an eerily romantic display of magic realism. Interlochen, Michigan, was first consigned to the Detroit Artists’ Market before being sold to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1941.
         In 1942, Hall underwent his military training at Camp Adair near Corvallis where he both met his wife Phyllis and fell in love with Oregon’s natural beauty. He described the state as “Eden Again,” and swore that he would settle there permanently if he survived World War II. He spent eighteen months on active duty in the Philippines and Japan before returning. Only a few months later, Carl and Phyllis Hall moved to Salem, where they would spend the rest of their lives. Not long after, Hall accepted a position as a professor of art at Willamette University. John Olbrantz, the first director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, later said that the history of Willamette’s art department would forever be tied to Hall, who taught here for thirty-eight years and made an impact on the lives of generations of artists.
          Hall garnered national renown over his long career for his haunting and beautifully detailed panoramic views of Oregon’s countryside. Views that Roger Hull describes as “quilts of greens and yellows” and “mist, floating as ribbons in the branches of trees.” Despite this, Hall later began to shift his stylistic focus from realistic to abstract. Like other such abstractionists, he believed that art came closer to capturing the true essence of its subject with simplicity.

Last Shadow (1971), an example of Hall’s abstract work. Photo from the Carl Hall papers (Box 4, Folder 39)

Over time, clearly outlined features would become fleeting forms and patterns that revealed their inner nature, in an almost spiritual progression of imagery. Referring to Hall, gallery director Julie Larson wrote that “one of the hallmarks of a great artist is that their work evolves over time.” Carl Hall is nothing if not evolutionary.
        In the years leading up to and following Hall’s death in 1996, his colleague and longtime friend Roger Hull began conducting research for a monograph and retrospective exhibition on his life, titled Eden Again after Carl’s words for the muse that he found in Oregon. Eden Again was completed in 2001, a fitting tribute to the life of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most important creative figures, whose story began, in some part, with a log floating down a stream in Interlochen, Michigan.



Eden Again: The Art of Carl Hall by Roger Hull. Photo from the Roger Hull research files (Box 2, Folder 32)

Roger Hull’s research files on Carl Hall and other Pacific Northwest artists can now be found in the Willamette University Archives, where they were compiled in 2014. Hall’s series includes biographical information, research notes, reproductions of both his written and painted works, and many other items related to Hall’s life and family dating from 1941-2008. Nearly forty years of correspondence between the Hulls and the Halls is recorded, from the Christmas cards that Carl Hall sent to Roger and Bonnie Hull in the 1970s to letters detailing Willamette University’s continued acquisition of the artist’s inventoried works sold and donated by Phyllis Hall well into the 2000s. 




Carl Hall, 1941-2008, Series II. Roger Hull Research Files on Pacific Northwest Artists, WUA065. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.
        Biographies and Resumes, Box: 2, Folder: 1. 

        Completed Monograph, 2000, Box: 2, Folder: 32.

        General Correspondence, 1941-2007, Box: 2, Folder: 5.

Carl Hall papers, WUA124. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

         “Interlochen”, 1940-1980, Subseries C, Box: 4, Folder: 19. 

         “Last Shadow”, 1971, Subseries C, Box: 4, Folder: 39. 

Ruth Dennis Grover: Encaustic Paintings

By Jess Kimmel ’25

Ruth Dennis Grover on a beach in Road’s End, Oregon, from Notable Women of
Portland, by Tracy Prince and Zadie Schaffer. Photographer unknown.

In the 1st Century BCE, Julius Caesar purchased a pair of encaustic paintings from a Greek artist for the extraordinary sum of 80 talents apiece (over $4 million in today’s money!)1. These early paintings, originating in Egypt prior to the 5th Century BCE, were highly valued in Greek and Roman civilization, and are believed to be one of the earliest painting techniques in recorded history. Due to the extreme difficulty of producing encaustics, the form had fallen out of style by the Renaissance with the advent of oil painting, and only a select few artists continued to work with it. Many centuries later, an Oregonian painter named Ruth Dennis Grover would be influential in introducing the encaustic style to the Pacific Northwest.

Ruth Dennis Grover was born in Portland in 1912 and raised in Detroit. After graduating with honors from the University of Michigan, she returned to Oregon, where she spent the rest of her life living in what is now Lincoln City. She had a lifelong interest in rocks and minerals, particularly agates, and was a self-proclaimed “rockhound” (rock collector). In 1952, she founded Cascade Artists, a small society of Oregon watercolor artists that held many exhibitions throughout the state. Grover herself was also a part of the Oregon Society of Artists. Though initially known for her work with watercolor, she discovered encaustics in 1956 and began to research and experiment with the technique. According to Grover, encaustics became a “consuming interest”, as well as a “technical [and] artistic challenge”.

The Fayyum mummy portraits, some of the earliest and most well-known examples of encaustics. Photos taken by Ruth Maude at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York.

As for the form itself, encaustic paintings are made by combining paint pigment with refined beeswax and resin, and using heat (at highly precise temperatures) to seal the paint in layers, resulting in “exceptional luminosity” and a permanency unmatched by any other style of painting. “It is impervious to the chemical changes that cause other media to yellow, crack, or fade with time,” Grover writes in an introductory paper on encaustics. Even sunlight does not have the same fading effect on encaustics that it does with many other mediums. The Fayyum portraits, which are among the most famous surviving examples of the encaustic medium, were painted around two thousand years, yet their colors are still just as vibrant now as at the time of their creation. The name is derived from the Greek word “enkaustos”, which means “burnt in”. Modern technology makes this form much more accessible and feasible to create, though it is still dangerous and requires painstaking precision.

The cover of the Joseph Torch pamphlet, found in Box 3, Folder 7, of the Ruth Dennis Grover papers in the Willamette University Archives.

According to a pamphlet published by Joseph Torch, an art materials store in New York, encaustic painting was nearly unheard of in the Americas before the 1950s, and it was only at the urging of a European painter that Joseph Torch began to do research into the medium and stock materials for encaustics. It was here that Ruth Dennis Grover first purchased the materials for her early encaustic paintings.

Grover’s work is described as “semi-abstract”, with a focus on naturally occurring patterns and the exploration of “spatial, textural, and color relationships”. Much of her inspiration was drawn from the Oregon Coast, and a significant amount of her work consists of seascapes, lighthouses, and shipwrecks. Grover believed that encaustics were well-suited for marine paintings, due to their flexibility and diverse expressibility. “Natural forces,” she notes, “express their existence not in themselves, but in the things they move and shape.

“The Second Sea”, one of Grover’s encaustic marine paintings, held in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Dated 1967.

“Tooth of Time and Razure of Oblivion”, another encaustic painting by Grover, depicting a piece of a shipwreck. Held in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Dated 1968.












Though Ruth Dennis Grover passed away in 2003, her legacy lives on in the communities of PNW artists that she had a hand in creating, as well as the paintings she forged with fire; paintings that will never fade, forever serving as a memory of the artist, and the ancient medium that she mastered. Many of her works are held by the Oregon Historical Society, the Coos Art Museum, and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Furthermore, the Willamette University Archives contain a vast collection of records from her life and work, including photographs, correspondence, exhibitions, and artistic journals, as a part of the Pacific Northwest Artist’s Archive.


1. Adjusted for inflation: Grover’s notes from the 1950s mention a figure of $350,000


Interviews, notes, 1931-1966, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 2. Ruth Dennis Grover papers,
WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Paint supplies, ordering notes and receipts, 1958-1996, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 7. Ruth
Dennis Grover papers, WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special

Maude, Ruth. “The History of Encaustic Painting from Fayum Funeral Portraits to
Today.” All Things Encaustic,
Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.

Online Collections | Hallie Ford Museum of Art – Willamette University. Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.

Vitae Statements, Introductions, undated, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 3. Ruth Dennis
Grover papers, WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Myra Albert Wiggins: A Life in Studios

By Lilly Thies ’26

          When you think of the modern artist’s studio, an image may come to mind. Walls filled with art, probably a few different seating options– some chairs, some poufs, maybe even a swing. A drawing desk. Maybe some tools for mixed-media or textile art. Instruments. Paint splatters. As it turns out, the artists’ studio in the Progressive era wasn’t too different– a personalized treasure trove filled with items that inspire creativity. And, same as now, artists back in the day would carve out their own little corners where they could be creative, no matter how inconvenient the physical space. The desire for a personal space to create art was very much alive, and especially for female artists– bringing to mind Virginia Woolf’s idea of a “room of her own”.

          Myra Albert Wiggins (1869-1956) was an artist who spent her life between the Pacific Northwest, where she was born and where she raised her family, and New York City, where she went to school at the Art Students League of New York. Her parents encouraged her artistic capabilities both because they recognized her natural talent and because a cultural prowess in the arts was expected of upper-class progressive women at the time. Many of her personal belongings and art are stored in the Pacific Northwest Artists’ Archive in the Willamette University Archives. Although she is mostly known for her oil paintings, which won her a series of awards, her photographs display the quieter, more intimate moments of her life and offer a glimpse into the studio of a Progressive-era artist.

Wiggins’ Salem Studio. Pictured are the piano, center, and spinning wheel, to the left. (Box 9, Folder 4)

Some of Wiggins’ earliest photographs stored in the Archives show her studio in Salem, which she used from the 1890s through the 1920s. The studio was said to be a barn on the backside of the Wiggins family property on Winter street, near where Salem Hospital is now. The barn looks a bit ramshackle from the outside, but the inside is truly remarkable. The space is light and airy, with sun-faded rugs on the floor that brighten up the space. There is an incredible amount of art everywhere– recreations of Greek nude statues, ceramic pots tucked in among the rafters, paintings and photographs and spindly wooden furniture. One gets the sense just looking at the photographs that this place was used constantly and was well-loved by Wiggins, a safe place for her to separate her life as a mother and homemaker from her life as an artist. Not only does she have an impressive collection of visual art, but one corner of the studio features a piano and a spinning wheel. Though Wiggins was primarily a painter and a photographer, perhaps inspiration would have sometimes come to her in the form of a short melody or a textured fabric. Or perhaps these items were heirlooms, furniture meant to inspire creativity in the same way as the paintings and artifacts that covered the walls. Either way, it is clear that Wiggins decorated her space with her art in mind. She had sources of inspiration everywhere she looked, and she gave herself freedom to experiment with whatever medium her creativity demanded.

Wiggins’ improvised studio in Toppenish. Her daughter Mildred is pictured, left. (Box 9, Folder 5)

          The next studio Wiggins inhabited was behind her second family home in Toppenish, Washington, where she moved with her family after her husband Frederick began a new business venture. The photograph is entitled “My Improvised Photo Studio in our Alley, Toppenish, 1929”. Improvised is a good word for it; the structure is nearly falling apart, open to the elements, naught but a few pieces of fabric draped across a few pieces of wood. But Wiggins clearly was determined to have her creative space– her “room of her own”– and we can see in the photograph a stool that was present in pictures of her Salem studio, as well as a copper pitcher and a striped rug. Her daughter Mildred appears in the picture, wearing a Dutch headscarf, which Wiggins asserts to be a family heirloom. Even though this photo may just have been intended to document the changes in her life, Wiggins’ creative eye seems to be omnipresent. Her studio space was a crucial part of her process, and even the most run-down structures could harbor her creativity and give her the space she needed to thrive.

The exterior of Wiggins’ Seattle studio space at Lovelace. (Box 9, Folder 6)

The final glimpse into Myra’s studio space in her later life is a photo taken in Seattle, Washington, where she and her husband moved in 1932 and lived out the rest of their lives. The image shows the Lovelace studio building in downtown Seattle. It is, by far, the most lavish studio space we have seen in Wiggins’ photographs so far, with well-maintained topiary and even a fountain. The image also features Wiggins standing in front of the building, looking very pleased. At this point in her life, she had received a good amount of notoriety for her paintings and photographs, and must have been very proud that she could afford a studio of such high quality without the help of her family or husband. There are no photographs in the collection of the interior Wiggins’ studio space, but past evidence of her decoration indicates that there would have likely been the same bohemian inspirations and heirloom furniture as there had been in the past.

          Throughout Wiggins’ photographs, we can see somewhat of an evolution as she faces both life and career changes. From a barn behind her house in Salem, to a shack in Toppenish, to a lavish private studio space in Seattle, Wiggins maintained her creative spirit and sources of inspiration, allowing the art of others and different mediums to help her create her own art. Although she may have not always had the ideal studio environment, she was able to create a space in which she could surround herself with art and nurture her creativity. 100 years ago seems like forever, but the lives of artists back then were more similar to our modern reality than some would think, where creating art was a priority which overcame all the transition periods of life, and where, for women like Myra Wiggins, the studio could be a space that was really, truly theirs.

The Myra Albert Wiggins Papers collection is housed within the Willamette University Archives & Special Collections, providing an invaluable research resource. A portion of this collection has been digitized, offering convenient online access to diaries and notes related to Wiggins’ Color Talks. For more information, please contact the Archives at

Coronation Feasts in the Archives

St. Edward’s Crown Worn
by James II & Elizabeth II

By Susan Irwin
University Archivist,

Doreen Simonsen
Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian,

Kings and Queens of England have celebrated their coronations with grand feasts, some only for the nobility and some held for the public at large.  In the Archives, we have evidence of two such feasts, separated by 268 years.  The oldest is from the coronation of King James II in 1685 and our most recent is from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. 

James II was the younger brother of King Charles II, the Merry Monarch, famous for restoring the theatre and other pleasures of life after many years of Puritan rule by Oliver Cromwell; Cromwell was the man who lead the movement to behead King Charles I, the father of Charles II and James II.  When Charles II died without a legitimate child to inherit the crown, his brother James II became his heir.

Following the coronation of King James II and his second wife, Queen Mary of Modena, in Westminster Abbey on Thursday, April 23, 1685 there was a glorious Royal Feast in the adjacent Westminster Hall.   The King and Queen sat at the south table facing the long hall, lined with six long tables.  At the western tables sat Peers and Peeresses, namely seven Dukes, seven Duchesses, one Marchioness, forty-three Earls, twenty-nine Countesses, five Viscounts, three Viscountesses, thirty-eight Barons, and twenty-two Baronesses.  At the eastern tables sat Archbishops, Bishops, Judges, etc.  

Click on this link to see the full page chart of seating and of the positions of these dishes on the different tables.

These tables groaned with a total of 1,455 dishes, served both hot and cold, including:  pistachio cream, anchovies, stags tongues, partridges, marinated sole, puddings, and much, much more.

Here is a link to the first of several pages that list all of the dishes served at their Majesties and the other tables.

You can see images and read about this feast in our copy of The History of the Coronation of the Most High Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch James IIby Francis Sandford and Gregory King, printed in 1687, which is part of our Special Collections.  In this book, you will find large, beautiful lithographic images of the coronation ceremony, feast, and fireworks.

There is a wonderful high resolution image of this feast where you can see this entire feast in progress. (Click on the + sign to see all of the details)

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth took place on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Food and recipes played a part beyond the coronation feast.  The oil used to anoint the new monarchs contains oils of roses, cinnamon, orange, musk and ambergris (produced by sperm whales). Queen Elizabeth II revealed in a documentary interview that some crafty guests hid “strong drink and sandwiches” in their coronets to sustain them through the three-hour long ceremony.  New recipes were created as in the case of Coronation Chicken.  Created by Constance Spry, the recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs was one of the dishes served to foreign guests after the coronation.

Following the coronation ceremony, the Queen and Prince Philip traveled a 7.2 kilometer route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.  Designed so that the procession could be seen by as many of the people lining the streets as possible, the procession took two hours to complete.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was the first to be televised, with an estimated twenty-seven million people in the U.K. turning in to watch.  That did not stop thousands from lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the new Queen, some camping out the night before.  Correspondence in the Stella Douglas archival collection (part of Willamette’s Archives) contains information on the availability of packed lunches, not for guests, but for people seated in the stands along the procession route. 

Stella, a Salem born artist, lived in London at the time of the coronation and was one of the lucky few to receive a seat voucher from The British Travel and Holidays Association.  The letter from the association explained how to exchange the voucher for a “seat ticket,” and included a brochure and order form for packed lunches.  Due to the length of the ceremony and procession, refreshments were an important consideration as “…it will be necessary for you to be in your seat by 6.0 a.m. on Coronation Day, and it is unlikely that you be able to leave the special area until around 4.0 p.m.” 

Buszards’ Limited supplied the packed lunches, offering three options.

It is not clear if Stella exchanged her voucher for a seat ticket, but she noted the historic event in a letter to her family, “And how the new Queen is loved! Her people love her and have faith in her– How young she is to inherit an empire- my age- and so untroubled by the world, yet so mature in character and devotion to her country.” 

On May 6, 2023, King Charles III of England will have his coronation ceremony.  On the following day, he and Queen Consort Camilla, have invited their subjects throughout the Commonwealth to celebrate by joining in the Coronation Big Lunch, which “aims to brings neighbours and communities together to celebrate the Coronation and share friendship, food and fun.”  The King and Queen have shared a recipe that everyone can make to share at their own Coronation Lunch, namely The Coronation Quiche

Bon Appetit!


50 Facts About The Queen’s Coronation, Accessed 3 May 2023.

Coke, Hope. Peers told they are allowed to wear crimson robes and coronets for King Charles’ Coronation. Tatler. Accessed 3 May 2023.

“Francis Sandford (1630-94) – The History of the Coronation of the Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, James II … and of His Royal Consort Queen Mary, Solemnized in the Collegiate Church of St Peter … on 23rd April, … 1685 / By…” Accessed May 3, 2023.

Sandford Francis and Gregory King. The History of the Coronation of the Most High Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch James II : By the Grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. and of His Royal Consort Queen Mary : Solemnized in the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in the City of Westminster on Thursday the 23 of April Being the Festival of St. George in the Year of Our Lord 1685 : With an Exact Account of the Several Preparations in Order Thereunto Their Majesties Most Splendid Processions and Their Royal and Magnificent Feast in Westminster-Hall : The Whole Work Illustrated with Sculptures : By His Majesties Especial Command. Printed by T. Newcomb 1687.

Stella Douglas papers, WUA111, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University.

“The Coronation Quiche.” Accessed 3 May 2023.

 Wight, Colin. “Renaissance Festival Books: View 274 Historical Renaissance Books Online.” Text. The British Library. Accessed May 3, 2023.

Unacknowledged Legislation: Mark O. Hatfield’s Favorite Poem

by Mike Chasar, Professor of English

Mark Hatfield and Antoinette Marie Kuzmanich Hatfield

Judging from the contents of his personal library, former Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (1922-2011) doesn’t appear to have had much time for poetry. Now displayed in sixteen locked cases in the “Hatfield Room” of the university library named in his honor, his personal library contains only fifteen or so books of poetry—not even a quarter of a shelf’s worth—most of which bear no evidence of having been read. They are no well-thumbed, well-worn volumes. Their spines are uncracked. Their margins are bare. They almost sigh with relief when you open them.

When Hatfield’s Senatorial papers were opened to the public on July 12, 2022, there was no reason to expect anything different. Correspondence and speeches? For sure. Floor statements, bill drafts, press clippings, and newspapers from his time on the Hill? Absolutely. Scrapbooks, sound recordings, and memorabilia? You betcha. When archivists discovered the poem “A Treasure” in and among these items, therefore, it came as something of a surprise. More surprising, though, was that archivists didn’t discover just one copy of “A Treasure” but a ream of three or four hundred copies of the poem reproduced on cardstock deliberately yellowed to look like an old document or perhaps a piece of parchment. It may not turn out to be the only poem in Hatfield’s papers—the process of cataloging them all is still ongoing—but it’s quite possibly the most important poem in his life.

“A Treasure” was written by Hatfield’s spouse Antoinette Marie Kuzmanich (her initials “AMK” follow the text in the manner of a byline), and a short preface ostensibly by Hatfield and set off from the poem by a common font that contrasts with the calligraphic font of the poem’s text explains, “Some years ago Antoinette shared this message with me and now I would like to share it with you” (figure 1 below). Here is the poem in full:

Friendships, like a chain of gold,

     have many links

Each dependant on the other

Each necessary to the whole man

Some links are weak

     Yet none the less desirable

Some links are small

     They must not be overlooked

Those that are broken

     May need repair

Thank God for those strong links,

     Though not perfect, endure,

Because they are pure

     And weather acid tests

These must be cherished

Their value is not determined

     By size, or shape, or state

They are priceless when they are old.

(Figure 1)

For the typical English professor (me, for example), this does not look like a very good poem—or, at very least, it’s a confusing poem. The possible spelling error in the third line (“dependant” is the British not American way of spelling “dependent”) and … er … let’s call them the “inconsistencies” in the text’s punctuation are just the start of it. More confusingly, the poem frequently signals in one direction but goes in another. For example, the indented lines indicate that this will be a type of conventionally formatted ballad with a consistent meter and rhyme, but the poem doesn’t follow through with those promises: the indentations come in irregular intervals, the meter (if there was an attempt at meter) is irregular at best, and there are some instances of rhymes but no discernable rhyme scheme. Led by words like “gold” and “friendship,” as well as the overarching metaphor that compares friends to links in a gold chain, the poem situates itself in the language of well-meant sentimentality and cliché common to Hallmark greeting cards (listen to how “pure,” “perfect,” and “priceless” alliterate with each other and reinforce the verse’s greeting-card orientation). In contrast, the phrase “acid test” feels remarkably jarring and out of context, both conceptually and acoustically. From the perspective of the creative writing classroom, the resulting mix feels like something of a hot mess and not at all something one would advise reproducing by the ream to share with hundreds of people as the preface and copies suggest was the case.

I want to argue with that English professor, however. What if all of the text’s potentially objectionable features are in fact part of the poem’s point? If the poem’s metaphor focuses on the weak links, broken links, and imperfect links in friendship, then don’t the poem’s various imperfections back that up or put that message on display at the level of the text? In fact, if the “value” of a friendship, as the poem explains, “is not determined by size, or shape, or state” but by age, then perhaps the poem’s value shouldn’t be assessed in terms of size, shape, or state, either—including the inconsistencies, errors, and imperfections to which I’ve called attention. Indeed, if we approach “A Treasure” from this point of view, then its imperfections and weak links represent and express the imperfections of human friendship in a way that brings the poem’s “form” and “content” closer into alignment than a more “perfect” poem could do. Moreover, the document’s physical emphasis on age—the look of distressed paper, the font that looks a little like yesteryear’s handwriting, and the very fact that Antoinette gave Hatfield the poem “some years ago” and yet it finds itself in Hatfield’s hands again and again—feeds right into the value system that the poem does promote: poems, like friendships, “are priceless when they are old” no matter their imperfections.

That Hatfield would latch onto a poem for its ability to create social connections—here it not only “links” Mark to Antoinette, but promises that every reader who receives it might also be linked to that “chain of gold”—makes total sense when we look at the poetry in his personal library, where a fair number of Hatfield’s poetry books have been autographed or inscribed in ways that make the book’s exchange an act of social rather than literary relations. Ronald H. Bayes inscribes Dust and Desire to the Hatfields as a couple, “with best regards from an old friend.” (I, for one, can’t help hearing in “old friend” the “old” at the end of Antoinette’s poem.) This Precious Earth comes “compliments of Mrs. F.J. Landers,” and Aleutian Interval gets delivered “with the best wishes of his friend Harry J. Larsen” (again, back to the subject of friendship). When Maine’s Senator William S. Cohen sent along a copy Of Sons and Seasons, he did so for “an outstanding leader and legislator whose only standard has been the pursuit of excellence.” Even Hatfield’s tiny, 1920s-era, 3×4-inch copy of Walt Whitman’s Memories of President Lincoln, published by the Little Leather Library Corporation, ends with this spirt of connection:

Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law;

Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Doesn’t “Song of the Open Road” (first published in 1856) sound like Whitman is extending his hand of friendship across time to become one more link in the gold chain of “A Treasure” that is measured by age (“as long as we live”) and made increasingly valuable by virtue of its aging (“more precious than money”)? Improbably, perhaps, even the slight imperfection of the uncapitalized letter “w” at the beginning of the second question (“will you come travel?”) is part of how Whitman’s friendship “links” to Antoinette, which is part of how she links to Mark, which is how Mark links to every reader who takes the poem when extended.

There’s something charming about this act of giving out imperfect poems and using them to broker friendships, isn’t there? When I imagine how people communicate in Washington D.C., it’s certainly not via poetry. By legal brief, yes. Expert testimony, too. Maybe even dead drops in a public park or clandestine meetings at night in a parking garage. For that reason and more, the very idea of Hatfield going around pressing copies of “A Treasure” into the hands of senators, congressmen, lobbyists, aides, and perhaps even presidents is all the more appealing. In 1821, British poet Percy Shelley famously called poets “the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Hatfield—and Antoinette—could have told us a thing or two about it.

Mike Chasar is on the English faculty at WU and is the author of Poetry Unbound: Poems and New Media from the Magic Lantern to Instagram (2020) and Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (2012), both from Columbia University Press.

Jane Austen, Royalty, and Works by Women Authors in our Vault

By Doreen Simonsen
Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian,

Thanks to Shonda Rhimes’ hit Netflix series, Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of King Georges III of England (1738 – 1820), and her court have been given new life in the public imagination.  In the library’s vault, we have three works by women authors who served in and wrote about this world, and inspired other authors and composers.

Fanny Burney (1784)
by Edward Francis Burney

Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was born in Steventon, England in 1775 during the reign of King George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte.  It was in the court of Queen Charlotte that one of Jane’s favorite authors, Fanny Burney (1752 – 1840), served from 1786 to 1790 as “Keeper of the Robes” for the queen.  After leaving Queen Charlotte’s court, Burney decided to publish her third novel, Camilla, by subscription in 1796, and it is in this book that Jane Austen’s name appears in print for the first time.  In our library’s copy of Camilla you can see “Miss J. Austen, Steventon” in the list of subscribers.  Austen also mentions Camilla as one of the romantic novels, which the heroine of Austen’s first novel, Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, reads for thrills and escapism.

Subscriber List in Hatfield Library’s copy of Fanny Burney’s Camilla (1796)
First ever appearance of Jane Austin’s name in print.
Sophie Cottin, Lithograph
by Pierre Langlumé

Fanny Burney’s stepsister, Elizabeth Meeke, (1761 – 1826), was also an author, — and a translator. (MacDonald. Mandel.)  One of her translations that is in our collection is Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia, by the French author, Sophie Cottin. (1770 – 1807) Cottin’s family were supporters of the French monarchy, which forced them to flee to England during the French Revolution.  Sophie returned to Paris in 1798, published six novels, of which Elizabeth (1806) was her last before she died of cancer in 1807.  Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia was widely translated and published throughout the 19th century. (Cutt)  Our copy was published in New York in 1812.  This book was so popular that Gaetano Donizetti based an opera in three acts upon it in 1820 and titled it Otto mesi in due ore ossia Gli esiliati in Siberia (Eight Months in Two Hours or the Exiles in Siberia).

Image from the New York Public Library
Prince Regent George, son of
King George III, & future King George IV

Both Camilla and Elizabeth: or, the Exiles of Siberia were published during the reign of King George III, who suffered increasingly from mental illness.  Eventually his reprobate son, Prince George, took on the role of Regent, which gave rise to the Regency Era that lasted from 1811 until the death of his father in 1820, when he became King George IV.  Jane Austen was no fan of George IV, but he was a great fan of her novels.  Recently a bill of sale from 1811 was found in the Royal Archives, which was “from a London bookseller, charging the Prince Regent 15 shillings for a copy of Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s first novel.” (Schuessler) To understand Austen’s distaste for the Prince Regent, one should look at a third book in our collection.

Lady Ann Hamilton, (1815)
by James Lonsdale

The Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George the Third until the Death of George the Fourth (1832), was allegedly written by Lady Anne Hamilton (1766 – 1846), who was a loyal Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Caroline of Brunswick, the unhappy wife of George IV. According to the Dictionary of National Biography: “A person who had gained the confidence of Lady Anne and obtained from her a variety of private information, published, without her knowledge and much to her regret and indignation, a volume purporting to be written by her, entitled Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George III to the Death of George IV.”  The book created such a scandal that the publisher was forced to flee England. 

In a letter from 1813, Jane Austen wrote of Queen Caroline: “Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband.” (Robins, p. 42).  Two years later, Austen was invited to the Prince Regent’s library, where his “librarian, James Stanier Clarke, conveyed that the Prince Regent (who was not present) would not object if she dedicated her next book to him.” (Schuessler).  Austen worked with the publisher to create this tepid dedication in her novel Emma: “To his Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, this work is, by His Royal Highness’s Permission, most Respectfully Dedicated by his Royal Highness’s Dutiful and Obedient Humble Servant, the Author.”

Just as the world is currently reading Spare, the memoir by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to discover the secrets of the most recent royal family, disclosing royal secrets is nothing new. Having worked for the Royal families, both Fanny Burney and Lady Ann Hamilton, could have shared similar tales of scandal. Similarly Fanny Burney and Sophie Cottin created tales depicting the emotional ups and downs of Romanticism, that were wildly popular in the 19th century, but did not reflect life in the royal courts. You can read these books online by following the links in this article, but you are welcome to come see our copies of all of these works in the Hatfield Library. If you would like to look at them in person, please contact Doreen Simonsen, to make an appointment.


Austen, Jane, 1775-1817. Emma: A Novel : In Three Volumes. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.

Burney, Fanny, and Thomas Payne. Camilla, or, A Picture of Youth. [First edition]. London: Printed for T. Payne, at the Mews Gate, and T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies successors to Mr. Cadell in the Strand, 1796.

Cottin, (Sophie), Evert Duyckinck, and James Oram. Elizabeth, or, The Exiles of Siberia. A Tale, Founded Upon Facts. New-York: Published by Evert Duyckinck, 1812.

Cutt, M Nancy.  “Who Remembers ‘Elizabeth’?”  Signal: Approaches to Children’s Books Vol. 39,  (Sep 1, 1982): 153-162.

Hamilton, Anne. Secret History of the Court of England  from the Accession of George the Third to the Death of George the Fourth. London: Reynold’s Newspaper Office, 1832.

“Hamilton, Lady Ann.” The Dictionary of National Biography : from the Earliest Times to 1900. London: Oxford University Press, 1921.  Vol. 8, p. 1019.

Harry. Spare. First US edition., Random House, 2023.

MacDonald, Simon. “Identifying Mrs Meeke: Another Burney Family Novelist.” The Review of English Studies (2013): 367-385.

Mandal, Anthony. “Mrs. Meeke and Minerva: The Mystery of the Marketplace.” Eighteenth-Century Life 42.2 (2018): 131-151.

Robins, Jane. Rebel Queen: How the Trial of Caroline Brought England to the Brink of Revolution. London: Pocket, 2007.

Schuessler, Jennifer. “Jane Austen Detested Her First Buyer, the Prince: [the Arts/Cultural Desk].” New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) ed., Jul 25 2018, ProQuest. Web. 15 Dec. 2022.

By the Numbers: Limited Edition Fine Press Gems in the Vault

Limited Edition books are a melding of fine literature and the art of fine printing.  Four books in our vault are lovely examples of an author’s and a publisher’s joint enthusiasm for a unique presentation of a text.

“A limited edition book is one where the number of copies in the print run has been strictly defined prior to its issue, and that number is substantially less than a standard print run, and then no further print runs are issued after the first printing has sold out… [These] books may also contain additional features such as better quality paper, extra illustrations, author signatures, different cover art, etc.” (“Limited Edition Books”).

“Gwilan’s Harp” is a story by Ursula Le Guin that was published by the Lord John Press in Northridge, California in 1981.  In the back of this book, you will find a page with a limitation statement, which in this case states that this book is number 298 of 300 copies printed.

Details about the paper used for printing this book, what type font was used, who designed the book, who printed the book, and who published the book may be listed.  In addition, the author’s autograph may be found on this page, too.
Herb Jellen of Boston, an avid collector of autographs and first editions, started the Lord John Press, which published Le Guin’s story.  From 1976-2006 Jellen published limited editions in printing runs of 150 or 300 copies, that were signed by the authors.  The name “Lord John Press” came from Jellen’s “love of [the] authors: John Barth, John Cheever, John Fowles, John Gardner, John Hawkes and John Updike. “Lord” is said to have come from his desire “to marry” Great Britain and America.”

Sometimes these texts travel widely before being published as a limited edition book, such as Place in Fiction, an essay by Eudora Welty.  Originally, it was a lecture she presented at Cambridge University in 1954, and was then published in The Archive (Duke University) in April 1955, the South Atlantic Quarterly in January 1956, and elsewhere.

Mrs. Marguerite Cohn heard Miss Welty read the essay on the Poetry Series of the Young Man’s Hebrew Association in New York and asked the author for permission to publish her essay as a limited edition book by her company, the House of Books, in 1957.  This is the edition that we have in our collection, which is number 63 of 300 copies printed.

In Dallas, Texas, Hank Coleman founded Pressworks, a small literary fine press publishing company. When Anne Dickson purchased Pressworks in 1981, she inherited short works and poetry by such famous authors as Robert Penn Warren, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Barthelme.

We own a copy of Barthelme’s work, Presents, (1980).  Its text consists of numerous brief sketches, most of which involve two naked women, and has four plates of collages done by the author. Our copy is number 150 out of 350 copies printed for sale.

Finally, we have a book of poetry by Oregon’s former Poet Laureate, William Stafford.  His book, You and Some Other Characters (1989) was illustrated by his daughter Barbara Stafford and published by Donnell Hunter of the Honeybrook Press.  Hunter was a prolific and significant Mormon poet, who ran the Honeybrook Press in Rexburg, Idaho.  Our copy of Stafford’s You and Some Other Characters, is one of 328 copies, but it is not numbered nor autographed by the author.  What makes this book special is that it was “designed & printed letterpress on Lana Laid paper by Donnell Hunter with hand-set Deepdene type & hand-sewn in Fabriano covers.” 
The loving workmanship of hand-set type on fine paper makes Hunter’s physical copy of Stafford’s poetry a tactile pleasure that complements Stafford’s words.

Limited Edition fine press books are works of art created jointly by the author and the publisher / printer.  Although these four books are recent publications, their scarcity and / or artistic nature classifies them as rare books, worthy of being shelved next to Shakespeare’s Second Folio, Medieval Books of Hours, and other treasures in the vault at the Mark O. Hatfield Library.  If you would like to see them for yourself, please contact Doreen Simonsen,




Barthelme, Donald. Presents. Pressworks, 1980.

Berryhill, Michael. “Booking Dallas.” D Magazine, January 1, 1982,

Book of the Week — Turkeys and Trees | J. Willard Marriott Library Blog. 19 Nov. 2018,

Davis, Mary Margaret. “Ex-El Pasoan Binds ‘Fine’ Books.” El Paso Times, 29 Aug. 1982, p. 71.

Dickson, Anne. “Letters.” D Magazine, March 1, 1982,

Donnell Hunter | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL.

It Came from Beyond Pulp. Ursula K. Le Guin Reads “Gwilan’s Harp.” 2021. YouTube,

Le Guin, Ursula K. Gwilan’s Harp. Lord John Press, 1981.

“Limited Edition Books.” AbeBooks, 3 June 2021,

“Lord John Press.” Worlds Without End, .

Newman, Lisa. “Collector Established Lord John Press.” The Clarion-Ledger, 20 Jun. 2015.

Polk, Noel. “A Eudora Welty Checklist.” The Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 4, 1973, pp. 663–93.

Stafford, William. You and Some Other Characters: Poems. Honeybrook Press, 1987.

“The House-of-Books Edition of ‘Place in Fiction.’” Eudora Welty Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 1, 1977, pp. 5–5.

Welty, Eudora. Place in Fiction. House of Books, 1957.

The Brain Behind Japanese Mail Art

Ryosuke Cohen and his involvement in the global mail art movement

By Emily Zuber ‘23

Sometimes when conducting research, it is unknown what will be found or which items will pique interest the most. As I dug through the Claudia Cave papers within the Mark O. Hatfield Library Archives learning about the wide world of mail art, I found a variety of artists’ pieces; specifically, a collage of colorful stamps from a Japanese mail artist. After reading the papers about him, I wondered: who is Ryosuke Cohen, and how did he become one of the leading figures in the history of the mail art movement in Japan? How did Claudia Cave, an artist from the Pacific Northwest, obtain his art? What is this artist up to now, and how has other mail art influenced his current work? In further research, I discovered some answers to these questions along with a better understanding of how mail art is adapting within the age of the Internet.

Ryosuke Cohen was born in 1948 and became an art teacher in Osaka, Japan. His early work consisted of traditional Japanese imagery mixed with contemporary styles until he was introduced to Western mail art in 1980 by his friend Byron Black. This art intrigued Cohen, because, according to him at that time, “Japan is known only for the classics, like Kabuki, Noh plays, bonsai plants, Zen…People misunderstand that the exhibitions in the authorized gallery are the best works.” The mail art movement consists of materials like stamps, collages, paintings, postcards, intricately decorated envelopes, newspapers, etc. that can be sent to a plethora of other artists who may choose to keep it, send it to another, or add onto the piece and return it. In the archives, I found that Claudia Cave even had multiple eggs with a stamp on it, so it is assumed that this ‘art’ can be interpreted freely by all; this freedom is what enticed Cohen to create and continue creating a variety of mail artwork. 

To participate in international mail art, Cohen began Brain Cell in 1985, which he continues with today. He explains that the reason why he titled this project Brain Cell is because “the structure of a brain seen through the microscope, with thousands of neurons grouped together and stratified, really resembles a diagram of the mail art network.” Using Gocco, a unique printing process for Japanese greeting cards, he creates a collage of logos, stamps, stickers, drawings, etc. on A3 paper. Then, he mails the result along with a list of addresses and a typed article to around 60 artists and keeps additional copies that are put into books. Cohen is said to have made 3 issues every month, now totaling over 1,000 Brain Cell papers. Unique materials are sent to him to be used for each issue so no two pieces are alike; all are different and made due to the wide array of images provided by other artists. This is perhaps how Cave was able to have 2 of the Brain Cell collages in her international mail collection. The cells I located inside the archives contain a wide array of images, including an insect, ocean landscape, bigfoot, ocean sunfish, Big Ben, the statue of liberty, random Hirigana letters and so on. The multiple ‘C’s found on some cells are Cohen’s signature stamp. These Brain Cell mail art papers are a unique assortment of art created by many artists from around the world and it is amazing just how many pieces Cohen has been able to create with his community.

Ryosuke Cohen had found widespread success in gaining participation from international artists, but it seems that the wonders of mail art in Japan had yet to be widely recognized. There had been a few Japanese postal artists who published works in Gutai magazine, though the publication died out in 1972. Ryosuke Cohen joined the Artists’ Union or Artists Unidentified (AU) in the ‘80s. This organization had a couple of Japanese postal artists at the time, like On Kawara, who is known for his postcard and contemporary art. Eventually, Cohen was able to collect work for exhibits at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, the Osaka Contemporary Art Center and the Kyoto City Museum. Though, it seems it would not be until later that he himself would travel outside of Japan.

Ryosuke Cohen ArtIn 2001, Cohen began his next art collection, The Fractal Portrait Project. With these works, he would travel to meet those who contributed to Brain Cell, including artists in the U.S., Italy, Korea, Holland, Belgium, England, and more. He would meet his correspondents and have them lay down on the Brain Cell papers where he would trace their silhouette in ink. Afterward, he draws a side-view portrait of their faces on smaller Brain Cell paper. Once finished, both pieces would be given to the artist. Cohen had to pause in 2010 due to cancer, but he continued the project until 2019. I found that since the pandemic began, he has been sending Brain Cell mail art. The latest piece is shown on his Facebook page as people tag him in posts thanking him for sending it to them. Unfortunately, he is unable to send any art to Ukraine at this time in 2022 due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.

It astonished me to learn about the vast amount of art Ryosuke Cohen has produced within the last 40 years in collaboration with tons of artists all over the world. From fellow artists in Osaka to Claudia Cave, these collages of art in Brain Cell and The Fractal Portrait Project continue to be created and seen by many. Even today, the Japanese mail artist states on his website that “Mail Art is far from finishing,” and that the multiple methods of correspondence in the digital age gives way to a diversity of participation within the mail art movement. This is especially true in a world currently facing a global pandemic where people seek connections with loved ones online. I am intrigued to see what Cohen & fellow mail artists will be creating in the future. It seems that we will see a larger increase in younger postal artists via the era of the Internet where reaching out to numerous contributors is extremely easy and I look forward to how it will evolve further.


Baroni, Vittore. The Neural Collages of Ryosuke Cohen. Artpool,

Cohen, Ryosuke. Mail Art – Brain Cell – fractal (1997). Artpool,

Cohen, Ryosuke. Mail Art – Brain Cell – fractal (1999). Artpool,

Cohen, Ryosuke. Ryosuke Cohen Official Site.

Held, John, Jr. Interview with Ryosuke Cohen from the National Art Center In Tokyo, Japan. SFAQ / NYAQ / LXAQ. 19 October 2012.

Held, John, Jr. Japanese Mail Art, 1956-2014. SFAQ / NYAQ / LXAQ. 8 September 2014.,Association%2C%20continued%20with%20participation%20in.

International mail art, 1983-2016, Subseries A, Box: 3, Folder: 1. Claudia Cave papers, WUA118. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

The Girl and Her Goat: Dale Whitney’s Photojournalism in Korea

By Tess Manjarrez ‘24

South Korea, 1963. Kim In Soon, dressed in a polka-dot dress and recently diagnosed with Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, hugs a young goat. In an era of harsh isolation tactics, Hansen’s was a cruel and lonely disease to catch. While Hansen’s is not a cause of death, it often causes permanent disfigurement and disabilities, which were treated globally as a cause for ostracism. Korean sufferers of the disease were moved from their communities and isolated on Sorok Island, a ‘leper colony’ for those whom society wished to forget. However, children in the early stages of Hansen’s were allowed to stay home on the condition that they were being treated and also not in contact with other children. Six-year-old Kim In Soon was one of these children, as photographed by Lois Dale Whitney.

Whitney, a self-taught photographer and Salem resident, was born in Chicago in 1923 and spent much of her life working in Europe, immortalizing events such as the aftermath of Hungary’s revolution, or the World Health Organization’s outreach in Italy. Whitney’s work in Europe even reached the UN, through the lenses of photo series from Turkey and Germany. In 1963, she took her photojournalism to Wedong Nyun, a village in Southern Korea being visited by a WHO-sponsored mobile leprosy team, and there met the young Kim In Soon, who had just started her first year of school. In a series of photos which capture the playfulness of the young girl as well as the isolation brought on by Hansen’s disease, Whitney’s work deeply humanizes a population made invisible by policy and social stigma.

Isolated as she was from other children, many pieces of Whitney’s photographs from this series feature In Soon engaging alone in otherwise communal activities –– we see her sitting, eating, and playing alone, even as the discolored spots characteristic of Hansen’s begin to appear on her legs and ankles. Whitney was even able to capture the moment in which Dr. Youn Keun Cha informed In Soon’s parents of her diagnosis.

child and goat

Kim In Soon, isolated after her leprosy diagnosis, hugs a young goat.

A successful photographer with achievements in both media photography and international photojournalism, Whitney moved to Oregon in 1979, where she remained until her death from cancer in 2003. Her legacy is one rich with stories and kept alive by occasional displays in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, The Portland Art Museum, Salem Public Library, and Salem Hospital, as well as on the World Health Organization’s own website. Many of her original photographs and associated typed or handwritten context are housed in Willamette University through the Pacific Northwest Artists Archives (PNAA).

While Whitney’s Korean series shows events such as WHO-backed doctors visiting villages or conducting treatments, the truly standout piece in this series is that of Kim In Soon with her goat. By Whitney’s own admittance, the black-and-white photograph is underexposed –– “A great shot”, she writes in her brief notes on the piece, found in the WU archives. “Photo was made inside a barn where we had taken shelter because of rain.” Perhaps the effect was mere happenstance, but its significance remains. The result of the underexposure is a totally black background, a stark contrast to In Soon’s bright dress and white goat. The goat itself seems to be smiling at the camera as In Soon cradles its head, a point of joy in an otherwise lonely future. Truly, with the dark background intent on swallowing them up, it seems in this photograph that Kim In Soon and her goat are alone in the world.

Such images beg the question: what, then, happened to Kim In Soon? Was she, like many victims of Hansen’s, sent to live on Sorok Island? Did she become permanently scarred, and ostracized as a result? Well, no. While Whitney did not add these details in her photograph description, the World Health Organization did indeed check in. Hansen’s disease is treatable, after all, as long as it is caught early. Kim In Soon needed only to continue taking her sulfone tablets regularly for more than a year. She recovered well and was able to continue her education, with the “arrested”, or inactive, lesions on her legs the only reminder of her illness.

child eating alone

Kim In Soon, eating alone.

The practice of sending those with Hansen’s disease to Sorok Island was officially abolished in 1963, the year Whitney met Kim In Soon, but of course, unofficial abandonment or isolation of ‘lepers’ continued. Indeed, it was not until 2007 that a bridge opened from Sorok Island to the mainland, finally connecting the historically isolated island and its residents to the rest of the country. Decades later, Lois Dale Whitney’s adventures, her notes, and the lives she captured on her 35mm negatives, remain immortalized and frozen in time — much like six-year-old Kim In Soon’s soft smile and the moment she shared with her young goat companion.


*Photograph 07 W.U., 1963, Subseries A, Box: 3, Folder: 7. Dale Whitney papers, WUA017. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Cranberries, Voter Registration, Tsunamis and Ronald Reagan: Congressional Collections

By Susan Irwin, University Archivist

What connects cranberries, voter registration, tsunamis, and Ronald Reagan?  The Mark O. Hatfield congressional collection. Contained within the collection are legal, economic, social and scientific data on such wide ranging topics as health care, the environment, social security, immigration, agriculture, national defense, technology, and transportation. The labeling of cranberry juice products, proposed voter registration legislation, appropriations requests for a tsunami warning system, and the inauguration of Reagan as President of the United States (Hatfield served as chairman of the inaugurations committee) are a few examples of the disparate documentary evidence found in the Hatfield collection.

Mark Hatfield’s political career spanned five decades.  Growing up in Salem, Oregon he graduated from Willamette University in 1943.  After serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II, he completed a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Stanford University. Returning to Salem, he worked as an assistant professor and Dean of Students at Willamette.

congress seal

Seal of the United States Congress.

Hatfield launched his political career in 1950, at the age of twenty-eight, by winning a seat in the state legislature, serving first in the Oregon House of Representatives and then the Oregon Senate.

Mark Hatfield

Mark Hatfield, Governor of Oregon

He went on to serve as Secretary of State for two years, followed by two terms as Governor. In 1966, Hatfield successfully ran for the U. S. Senate, where he remained until 1997.

Hatfield donated his political papers to Willamette University.  The collection spans his entire career, but the majority of records relate to his time in Congress. Hatfield’s collection, similar to other twentieth century congressional collections, is roughly twelve hundred cubic feet in size. In 2020, Willamette University archivists began processing the congressional records portion of the collection, arranging, describing and housing the records for preservation and access. Processing started with the Legislative materials, which touch upon nearly every legislative issue that came before the Senate from 1967-1996.  Work is currently focused on the Media and Constituent Service sections, which document communications and interactions between Hatfield and his constituents through newspaper columns, speeches, press releases, photographs and correspondence.  Once completed, processing will proceed on the campaign, office administration and memorabilia sections.

archives boxes

Hatfield records to be processed.

Processing will result in the creation of a guide describing the scope and content of the collection along with a folder-level inventory.

The collections of individual senators and representatives, such as the Hatfield collection, are an important source of information on the nation’s and the region’s economic, social, and legal issues, and are rich in white papers, technical reports, and scientific data not easily found elsewhere. The collection, along with the guide, opens to researchers on July 12, 2022.

In the meantime, check out the exhibit of Hatfield memorabilia, located on the second floor of the Hatfield Library.

Processing of the collection funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services Library Services and Technology Act grant, administered through the State Library of Oregon and by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission’s (NHPRC) Access to Historical Records grant.

For more information on the collection contact