[Local events] FWD: Friday 3/13, rally in support of OHS Library

David Abel passages at rdrop.com
Wed Mar 11 02:58:52 PDT 2009

from Michael Munk:

Rally in support of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, a 
state historical and cultural treasure threatened with closure

Friday, March 13
4:00 pm

South Park Blocks
(1200 SW Park Ave.)

On Friday, March 13, 2009, the last day of work for the staff of the 
Oregon Historical Society Research Library, the Northwest History 
Network, invites the public to join them in showing their support for 
the staff and holdings of this superb Oregon institution. From 4:00-5:30 
in the park block opposite the Library (1200 S.W. Park Ave. in Portland, 
Ore.), historians, archivists, librarians, library lovers, and other 
supporters of the Oregon Historical Society's research library will 
stand on a soapbox and give powerful, personal testimonials about the 
materials that they have produced using the unique and amazing materials 
of the OHS library. And, as the library's staff leaves work for the last 
time, they will be personally thanked and given a small token of 
appreciation for their amazing work over the years in preserving 
Oregon's history and making it accessible.

Some of Oregon's most well-known authors and historians are scheduled to 
speak on behalf of the library and its staff. Presenters include 
Portland writer Martha Gies, author of Up all Night, Michael Munk, 
historian and author of The Portland Red Guide, Harry Stein, author of 
Gus J Solomon: Liberal Politics, Jews, and the Federal Courts and 
co-author of Merchants, Money, and Power, and Sandy Polishuk, historian 
and author of Sticking to the Union: An Oral History of the Life and 
Times of Julia Ruuttila, and Good Work, Sister! Women Shipyard Workers 
of World War II (DVD).

On February 26, 2009, the board of the Oregon Historical Society 
announced the closure of the library citing severe financial 
circumstances due to the current economic crisis. This unfortunate 
decision, coming in the year Oregon celebrates its sesquicentennial, 
cuts Oregonians off from the most important repository of their history 
and culture.

Researchers, writers, filmmakers, and a wide range of professionals from 
all over the world use the holdings of the library.  Its unique and 
soon-to-be-inaccessible materials include over 2.5 million historical 
photographs, more than 32,000 books, 25,000 maps, 12,000 linear feet of 
manuscripts, 3,000 serials titles, 16,000 reels of newspaper microfilm, 
8.5 million feet of film and videotape, and 10,000 oral history tapes. 
Without access to these materials, not just the history of Oregon, but 
also the history of the United States cannot be properly told or analyzed.

"On the 150th anniversary of our state, we cannot quietly sit by while 
the Oregon Historical Society closes its research library," says Kathy 
Tucker, the president of the Northwest History Network. "The library is 
the core of the Oregon Historical Society. For more than a hundred 
years, Oregonians have donated their diaries, letters, photographs, and 
other archival materials to the Society for preservation and sharing."

The closing of the library has also struck a nerve with the public. More 
than 700 people have have joined a Facebook page in support of the 
library, and an online petition has garnered over 200 signatures. Many 
of those who added their names have written powerful statements of 
support for the library.

The Northwest History Network is a non-profit consortium of regional 
professionals that seeks to provide professional support, foster 
collaboration, and expand the public environment for historical education.

Contacts: Janice Dilg, associate, Northwest History Network, 
503-735-5911; dilg at teleport.com or Kathy Tucker, board president, 
Northwest History Network, 503-347-5706, kathydtucker at gmail.com

To learn more about the Northwest History Network, visit:

To view the petition in support of the library, go to:

To see the Facebook page in support of the library, go to:

For more information on the event, contact:
Janice Dilg, 503.735.5911, dilg at teleport.com
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