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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The Nez Perce Story—again

Alvin Josephy found the story in 1952 or 53—and things changed. Over the next dozen years he would become engulfed in the Nez Perce story and the American Indian story. He would find old drawings tucked away in museums, chase fur trade records to London, sweat with veterans of the Nez Perce War, and put the big of it and the detail of it into a huge American epic called The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest.

His was not the first attempt, and certainly not the last. The Nez Perce story is told and retold in poems and novels and histories again and again. There are new books every year that explore aspects of the story in detail, and/or shout their author’s own astonishment at finding the story and desire to get the rest of us to know it. Almost always they pay tribute to the Josephy text and to the Nez Perce people and specific
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