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Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rally for the Oregon Historical Society Research Library FRIDAY

Thanks to David Abel for passing on this important announcement from Michael Munk: Rally in support of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, a state historical and cultural treasure threatened with closure Friday, March 134:00 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; or Kathy Tucker, board president, Northwest History Network, 503-347-5706, 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,

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