Alvin Josephy papers at U of Oregon Library

The Josephy Library, here at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon, has a good share of the books from Alvin and Betty Josephy’s home libraries in Greenwich, CT and Joseph, OR.  This includes personal copies of most of the books and journal articles he wrote over his long career as a journalist and historian. We even have a smattering of WW II audio recordings, and a few clippings and “ephemera” related to history, and especially to the Nez Perce.  
The books are cataloged on the SAGE library network–https://sagelib.org — and we are working to annotate the books Alvin wrote and edited, and those he has forwards or chapters in,  and to relate them to the journal articles, the book reviews, articles about Alvin, etc. into a system so that you can easily retrieve information on  “Alvin, Nez Perce, and Salmon,” or “Marine Corps, WW II, and Alvin,” or on “Nez Perce and fish,” etc.
Meanwhile, Alvin sent boxes
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The Josephy Library

I had the privilege of writing a piece on the Josephy Library for the latest edition of the Oregon Library Association Quarterly. Here’s a bit of info and the link to the journal. Mine’s the last article. You can click on a link to a pdf of it–or the whole thing. Here it is from the OLA President:

The latest issue of the OLA Quarterly is now available!

The theme for this issue is Small Libraries, BIG Ideas, and the Guest Editor is OLA President Buzzy Nielsen. From Buzzy’s introduction:

“The Oregon library community consistently amazes me with its innovative, enterprising, and patron-focused activities. Indeed, we hear about these many activities through Libs-Or, OLA conferences, and this journal. While certainly not by design, many of the voices we hear come from libraries along the I-5 corridor. Cool things happen in those libraries, of course, but this issue of the OLA Quarterly amplifies voices we hear less frequently: the rural institutions that constitute
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The Josephy Library at the Josephy Center

Many of you in this blog-land get other information about the Josephy Center and our programs through newsletters, press releases and letters—including fundraising letters. Thanks to those of you who have made donations, attended exhibits and workshops, and brought children to Josephy Center classes. Thanks to all of you who read the blog posts—and sometimes even comment on them.

What follows is a brief account of what the Josephy Library does beyond the blog—and a specific appeal for Library support.

First and most importantly, we live the legacy of Alvin Josephy. Every day we tell people that American Indians are still with us; that Indians have always been agents and actors, and not wooden standbys in American History; that the history re Indians we’ve been fed in school texts is incomplete at best and often wrong; that Indian treaty rights are real and legal; and that Indians continue to contribute to the common good with activism and hard work, especially Read The Article

Giving Tuesday

Dear Friends,

I wrote this and sent it out to people on my “blog list,” a couple of days ago, but forgot to put it up on the blog itself, so that those of you who find these musings by other means can know a little more about current doings and future plans. If you would like email notification of new blog posts, send me an email at rich.wandschneider@gmail.com. In any case, thanks for reading, and best of holiday seasons to you…….

So I understand it is “Giving Tuesday” and the tugs on your giving budget are many. And I know that many of you on my blog list also get emails and/or mailings from the Josephy Center—the big house that holds the Josephy Library and hosts music, exhibits, lectures, art classes and workshops. If so, you got a recent fundraising letter, and this Tuesday missive will just be more specific with a library pitch. If you have already donated Read The Article

Guest blogger–Summer Intern Erik Anderson


Guest blogger today is Erik Anderson, our Josephy Library Summer Intern from Whitman College in nearby Walla Walla, Washington. For those of you out of the area–not in the “Inland Northwest,” Walla Walla was the place where Marcus and Narcissa Whitman established their mission in 1836, the site of the Whitman Massacre in 1847, and of Governor Isaac Stevens’ treaty making in 1855. Walla Walla, Washington is about a two hour drive over the Blue Mountains from Joseph, Oregon, and Whitman College is a fine institution with its own great archival treasures relating to the history of the West–Indian, non-Indian, and the more inclusive histories of the region. 

Take it away, Erik!
“Interpretations of the phrase ‘usual and accustomed place,’” I told Rich during my initial interview, “was normal dinner conversation growing up.”  My father used the language of treaties every day during his work, advocating and managing the treaty fisheries
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Notes on Library holdings



Our volunteer cataloger, Shannon Maslach, is getting some help. Whitman college student Erik Anderson is our summer intern—and he is flying! We are concentrating on cataloging books from the Josephys, but sneaking in books from other sources that are important to Indian and Pacific Northwest history. There are hundreds  books still in boxes, but Erik is moving fast. And we are part of the SAGE network of libraries in Eastern Oregon, administered out of Eastern Oregon University, so you can go to http://catalog.sage.eou.edu/eg/opac/home?locg=1  to mark his progress and check our holdings.
Alvin Josephy subscribed to and collected many journals having to do with Western and Indian history and affairs. We are—slowly—processing them, putting each journal and our holdings on its own Excel spread sheet. But I thought people might like to have a general idea of what we are putting on the shelves.  You might also have recommendations as
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A Day in the Josephy Library


Tuesday Brown Bag lunches at the Library are gaining traction—bigger and more diverse audiences each week—and one never knows who will show up or what the conversation will be. 
This week the theme was the “Nez Perce Homeland Project” in Wallowa. New staffer Mary Hawkins came with brochures and powwow raffle tickets, and Homeland board members Joe McCormack, Ralph Swinehart, and I chipped in with some history of the project.
The project is a 320 acre site just east of the city of Wallowa. We started forming a non-profit about 1990, bought the first 160 acre chunk in 1995 with monies from the Oregon Trail license plates issued on the 150th anniversary celebration of that event and an additional 160 a few years later. Joe and Ralph and I pieced together bits of the story as we went: A powwow and friendship feast at Chief Joseph Days that began in the late
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Browsing and Black Robes


Father Pierre-Jean De Smet
One of the great pleasures of being in a library (or a bookstore, where I spent a dozen wonderful years) is browsing. Your eyes scan shelves not with anything particular in mind, but with a lifetime of general interests and a number of current curiosities. A book—or journal or magazine—jumps at you with its shape, color, title, or the image on its cover. You pick it up and, almost unconsciously, look at front and back and open or don’t open and put it back or stick to it a bit longer—sometimes you keep reading. Interests and curiosities are strengthened and changed as you browse, and off you go again, maybe this time searching specifically for a title or subject matter. 
Add continuous reading of Josephy texts and you have my current life at the Josephy Library! This week it was the cover of the Spring 1996 Oregon Historical
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The Josephy Library, January 30, 2013



Rich and Josephy Center Director Lyn Craig at the shelves
The Josephy Library of Western History and Culture is part of the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon. It is based on over 2000 books, journals, artifacts, manuscripts, and miscellaneous pieces from Josephy home libraries in Greenwich, Connecticut and Joseph, Oregon. It honors Alvin’s work as a historian of and advocate for American Indians, and Alvin and Betty’s commitment to literature, history, the arts, the West, and to the men, women, and children of all colors and backgrounds who have lived in and loved the West.
Alvin M. Josephy Jr. was the author of The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest, The Indian Heritage of America, 500 Nations, and several other books and scores of magazine and journal articles on Indian and Western history. He was the founding board chair of the Smithsonian’s National Museum
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On libraries and generosity



Lyn Craig and Rich at the Josephy Library shelves
On Friday I picked up two boxes from the Post Office for the Josephy Library—bookends sent me by a Portland law firm library that is remodeling and no longer needs them. The bookends were advertised on a listserv sponsored by the Oregon State Library—I now get regular notices of meetings, grants, and questions and answers about libraries and librarianship.  And occasionally something like this—notice of 70 metal bookends (worth $300-$400) for donation to another library in need. When I replied, librarian Julie said she’d pack them up and send immediately—and consider the shipping costs a donation.
As I have said before, this learning to be a librarian is an engaging business, with lessons in history, the social sciences, research practices, and new technologies coming at me daily.  I’d like to add another lesson—or theory: libraries, librarians, library patrons, and even the
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Happy Thanksgiving

I watched a film on PBS last night, “The Thick Dark Fog.” It is the story of a Lakota man named Walter Littlemoon and his struggle to reclaim his humanity, stolen from him at a boarding school as a five year old on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The man’s a poet—a simple and eloquent speaker, and I will now order his book, They Called Me Uncivilized
And while I wait for the book, I will puzzle over two things. First, as we recovered from the horror of the Holocaust in Europe and watched another again with a sideways glance at Cambodia, cultural genocide was going on under our noses in our own country. Oh, by the mid-sixties, as I came of age, we were probably no longer kidnapping Indian children, cutting their hair, and beating the Indian out of them so that we could make them men and women, but the
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Josephy blog in 2012

First off, thanks to all who have followed and responded to postings on the Josephy Library blog this year.

The deeper into Josephy I dig, the more I learn, and the more prescient his early writings in Western and Indian history become. I guess if I had to distill a year’s reading and digging to a sentence, it would be that Josephy learned and declared in the 1950s that Indians have, against all attempts to kill them and/or to assimilate them, survived; that Indians have history that has been ignored and maligned; and that Indian history and culture have things to teach us still.

Alvin gathered Indian writers and scholars and produced America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s landing. My favorite read this year was Charles Mann’s recently published 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, which picks up the argument.

Alvin’s writings on Indians Read The Article