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Online Museum Exhibition Highlights Founding Collections of Holland, Orton

In 1935, Washington State College President Ernest O. Holland wrote to Charles Duveneck, the brother of American figure and portrait painter Frank Duveneck, who created a portrait of Charles in 1890. Holland had acquired the portrait for his personal collection. “I am fortunate to have been able to purchase the pastel portrait of yourself; and I shall be grateful to have you tell me if you know of some paintings by your brother which I might obtain…at a reasonable price,” wrote Holland.

“Pastel Portrait of Young Man,” Frank Duveneck

With such gently persuasive letters, Holland was able to acquire close to 100 artworks that eventually became a founding collection for the future university’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. In addition, 325 boxes of Holland’s correspondence found their way to WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC), archived along with Holland’s books for future researchers to find and study.

These artworks, letters and books form the foundation of an online exhibition opening this week through the museum. Titled “Follow the Sun: The Holland and Orton Collections,” the exhibition will become a physical installation at the museum when it reopens to the public.

The exhibition is the culmination of a semester-long internship for three WSU students minoring in exhibition studies and working with the museum and Ryan Hardesty, curator of exhibitions and collection. This semester, he based the curriculum of his FA 490 Museum Procedures course entirely around the exhibition’s research and development. Seniors Eleanor Albrecht, Madison Levesque and Kimberly Lick were tasked with developing exhibition themes, researching artists and artworks, and presenting potential gallery design.

They also collaborated with Trevor Bond, WSU Libraries’ associate dean of digital initiatives and special collections, to delve into Holland’s archival resources.

“This project is a wonderful partnership between the WSU Libraries and museum,” Bond said. “The libraries hold key archives that inform the interpretation and provenance of these paintings.”

“Gloucester Coast,” Frank Duveneck

“The exhibition has been an opportunity to research again and present for a new audience the museum’s founding collections assembled by President Ernest O. Holland during his 30‑year tenure at Washington State College from 1916 to 1945,” Hardesty said. “Contemporary art during Holland’s time, these works demonstrate Holland’s perseverance to acquire paintings of great quality by some of the most significant artists of his day.

“In the end, the old adage ‘we can do more together than apart’ rings true, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the students’ contributions and the experience they received,” he said.

Consummate negotiator

Levesque, who also worked on the Kimble Northwest History Project, focused most of her research on Holland’s art-collecting legacy as well as the historical background of the Great Depression and Works Progress Administration projects that allowed many of the paintings to be made. She worked closely with Bond to go through some of the hundreds of thousands of letters Holland had written, some to art dealers and some to artists themselves.

“When looking at the letters, you can see just how great of a negotiator Holland was, obtaining most paintings for only a fraction of the appraised price,” Levesque said. “Holland worked hard to obtain as many paintings for as little as possible so he was able to present the students of Washington State College with as much artist exposure as possible.”

“Snow and Stubble,” Z. Vanessa Helder

In Holland’s will, she learned, the president donated his collection of paintings to the school under the condition that one day the collection would be displayed properly in an exhibition setting.

“Starting soon, this dream of his will come true as his own collection will be displayed at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,” Levesque said. “I hope to be able to return once social distancing is over to see this amazing collection once more.”

Impressionism moves west

According to the museum website, the Holland and Orton Collections contain a fascinating array of artistic themes and approaches, from the romanticism of the Hudson River School to the social concerns of American Realism and American Scene Painting. The largest areas of focus, however, are works of American Impressionism, illustrating a dynamic evolution of influence from Europe to America to the Pacific Northwest. Throughout it all, the landscape endured as a favorite subject, representing ideal beauty as well as westward ambition and migration.

“Road to Albion,” William Thomas McDermitt

Financial support for the collections came from Regent Charles W. Orton, who contributed funds to support Holland’s ambitious collecting efforts at a time when resources were scarce.

Levesque said the American scene is extremely important within the collection, as a good amount of the paintings depict American life at the time.

“Many of the paintings were created during the Great Depression and commissioned to be created by the WPA to depict other New Deal resolutions, such as Grand Coulee Dam,” she said.

Other student contributions

Two other themes of the exhibition, researched by fellow student and former MASC temporary employee Eleanor Albrecht, were making the European landscape the American landscape, as well as Worth D. Griffin and his painting projects.

“The title of this exhibition is ‘Follow the Sun’ with the idea that the spread of impressionist and post-impressionist landscapes went from the east in Europe to the west in America,” Levesque said.

Griffin was a tenured professor in the fine arts department who was commissioned to paint on behalf of the school. He first focused on portraits of pioneers and settlers and soon transitioned to painting portraits of American Indian tribal leaders and members.

“Some of these were a part of the Holland and Orton collections, as they believed these cultures were endangered,” Levesque said. “Over 50 paintings were created of American Indians by Griffin and his students.”

The third student that worked on the exhibition, Kimberly Lick, is experienced with design, so she was put in charge of the design and placement of the paintings.

“She created several different models for us to view each week, which only got better as the semester carried on,” Levesque said. “My favorite part that she designed would be the salon-style wall that will be the highlight of the design. This will be her modern take on what a salon-style wall can be.”

Highlighting more of the museum’s permanent collection

Since the opening of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in April 2018, Hardesty has made a curatorial goal to feature the museum’s permanent collection through a series of collection-based exhibitions.

Formed in 1973, the museum’s permanent collection has grown from collections of 19th‑ and 20th‑century American Impressionism to holdings now totaling 3,800 unique objects.

“The collection is many things: a repository of carefully selected artworks and documents, preserved and made accessible; a historical record of visual culture; but most importantly, a tool toward learning and enriched experience,” he said.

—Story by Nella Letizia

WSU Libraries to Receive Emergency Temporary Access to HathiTrust Collections

To alleviate impacts following library closures in March, Washington State University Libraries will receive emergency temporary access to specific collections of the HathiTrust Digital Library, a nonprofit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving more than 17 million digitized items.

Based on WSU Libraries’ most recent print holdings, faculty, staff and students will have reading access to 1.3 million in-copyright items through HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). This is in addition to 6.7 million public-domain items that were already accessible to WSU Libraries. Of these, 554,590 match to print holdings. Altogether, 61.41 percent of WSU Libraries’ print collection is now accessible through the ETAS.

University patrons can learn more about accessing the ETAS through the HathiTrust website.

“We are pleased that HathiTrust has made this provision in this difficult time,” said WSU Libraries Dean Jay Starratt. “We will be able to provide over a million digital books safely and quickly.”

“This service will add online access to a tremendous collection for faculty and students during the time that the physical libraries are closed,” said Joel Cummings, WSU Libraries’ head of collection development.

Several WSU Libraries’ employees, including Blake Galbreath, Sue Shipman and Debra Spidal, collaborated to provide temporary access from SearchIt, the WSU library catalog, to approximately 480,000 digitized versions of WSU Libraries’ print books in the HathiTrust Digital Library collections. This electronic access provided immediate service for library patrons while the physical buildings were closed, Cummings said.

The ETAS permits special access for HathiTrust member libraries that suffer an unexpected or involuntary, temporary disruption to normal operations, such as closure for a public health emergency, requiring the library to be closed to its patrons or otherwise restrict print collection access services.

The service makes it possible for member library patrons to obtain lawful access to specific digital materials in HathiTrust that correspond to physical books held by their own library. The ETAS enables many HathiTrust member libraries to continue supporting the teaching, learning and research mission of their institutions during these disruptions in service.

For information about all WSU Libraries’ services during this time, visit the Libraries website.

CDSC Archivist Anastasia Tucker Earns Mellon Fellowship

CDSC education and outreach archivist Anastasia Tucker

Anastasia Tucker, education and outreach archivist in the Washington State University Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC), has been chosen from among more than 60 candidates for an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Heritage. Fellows will participate in a three-year program that includes an orientation, coursework through award sponsor Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, community symposia and other activities relating to multicultural collections and trainings.

Tucker provides support for several ongoing projects administered by the CDSC, a center jointly run by the WSU Libraries and WSU College of Arts and Sciences. She coordinates content on the Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN), a repository of resources with a focus on the preservation of cultural heritage items in tribal archives, libraries and museums. Tucker also plans and orchestrates the Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort Program (TDSCP), a 12-month program for tribal archivists, librarians and museum professionals across the United States to learn the skills necessary for managing and caring for cultural materials, emphasizing local tribal needs and values. Other roles Tucker fulfills within the CDSC include designing and implementing curricula for workshops focused on digital scholarship, providing classroom instruction and organizing special events.

“I am delighted that Annie Tucker received this highly competitive fellowship,” said Trevor Bond, WSU Libraries’ associate dean of digital initiatives and special collections. “She cares deeply about the communities that she works with and is always willing to tackle new challenges.”

“I have observed how deeply important and inspiring it can be to connect with professionals with similar goals and challenges while honoring that each organization and individual brings a unique perspective,” Tucker said. “I very much hope to experience something similar through interacting with fellows in this program, and I would hope to contribute to other fellows by forming reciprocal relationships.

“To me, this fellowship provides unique opportunities to cultivate long-term connections with representatives from multicultural institutions, to deepen my understanding of how they are enacting and advocating for responsible curation, and to learn how I might respectfully contribute to this dialogue throughout my professional career,” she added.

Through her work in the CDSC, Tucker said she has come to deeply value the opportunity to learn from representatives in tribal archives, libraries and museums. For one of her ongoing projects, she collaborates with speakers at the annual International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries and Museums to capture its sessions. The resulting educational resources are made freely available on the SHN.

“I feel very fortunate to partake in, and learn from, this iterative process,” she said.

According to Mellon Fellowship Program Manager Vanesa Evers, selected fellows identify with diverse racial or ethnic communities and/or work primarily with collections that document minority, immigrant and non-Western cultural traditions. They will strive to raise awareness about multicultural collections within their profession while also building bridges with local community members and the broader public.

For more information about the fellowship, visit the Rare Book School website.

—Story by Nella Letizia

Library Guide Provides Open-Access Gardening Resources

Amid a global pandemic, it’s still spring, time for new life and especially gardening to begin. WSU agricultural sciences librarian David Luftig has created a library guide of open-access gardening and horticulture resources to help people make the most of their growing efforts this year.

Harter cousins in garden near Colfax, Wash., circa 1914. Photo courtesy of the Washington Rural Heritage Collection.

“I’m actually new to the area, and I wanted to learn about gardening in the Palouse,” he said. “Also, I’ve read a few articles stating that with the current pandemic and self-isolation, there is a rise of interest in gardening.”

The resources listed on the guide range from more advanced research (such as the “Find Open-Access Journals” page) to more basic how-to guides (like the “Find Easy-to-Use Guides and Resources” page).

Why open access?

Closeup of David Luftig
David Luftig

Luftig said he wanted to focus on open access for several reasons. As the land-grant university in the state and the home of fantastic Extension programs, WSU has a responsibility to share some of these resources with everyone in the state.

“Additionally, not everyone can access our paid resources, so I wanted to allow them to find important and useful information, especially as it pertains to local gardening,” he said. “Also, the Extensions have produced so many great open resources and publications. I just wanted to offer another access point to a lot of that great information.”

Luftig created another library guide on the history of agriculture and land use on the Palouse for more resources for the curious.

“I love the local history. The Extension programs and community members have been building a knowledge network going back over 100 years, and its legacy is fascinating,” he said. “I am also amazed by the important and dedicated research being created by Washington researchers and community members.”

More interest in local gardening too

A New York Times article on the return of victory gardens and another on how community gardens are responding to the COVID-19 epidemic show that interest in gardening is growing across the nation even as people are practicing social distancing and other actions to flatten the curve of the epidemic’s spread.

Tim Paulitz, plot coordinator for Pullman Community Garden at Koppel Farm, has seen an increase in local gardening interest the last few weeks. Even so, open plots are still available for this year; to rent a plot, visit the organization’s website.

A board member of Pullman Community Garden for the last 20 years, Paulitz remembers another time when people sought to garden at Koppel Farm.

“When the 2008-2009 Great Recession hit, we had a huge spike in demand and added about 15 more plots to the garden by using some of the border areas,” he said. “For the next three or four years, we had waiting lists and were pretty full. But in the last few years, we have had about 25 percent of the plots vacant.”

In terms of a COVID-19 response, Pullman Community Garden plans on being open this season and asks gardeners to maintain social distance, use their own tools if possible, and wear gloves.

“We will set up some kind of hand-washing station once the water is turned on,” Paulitz said. “We have cancelled all our work parties, socials, and our main event, the Spring Fair, Open House and Plant Sale.”

—Story by Nella Letizia

Twenty Minute Trainings: Thursdays in April, 12:10-12:30

This series of 20-minute workshops will show you how to get the most out of your library resources. All workshops will be held online. Workshops are open to students, faculty, and staff. No need to pre-register! Just click on the Zoom link of the webinar you’d like to attend. If you miss one, you can watch the recordings later. For more information, see the Spokane Research Guide page.

Introduction to Collaborative Web Annotation

April 2nd 12:10-12:30 Web Annotation Zoom

This webinar will introduce you to collaborative web annotation (think “social remote reading” and threaded discussions attached to online newspaper articles, online scholarly articles, web pages, and more). This relatively easy-to-implement technology is a great way to have students critically engage with the source text, you, and each other in an asynchronous format. Questions? Contact Lorena O’English.

Beyond Fair Use: Teaching with Copyleft and Public Domain Content

April 16th 12:10-12:30 Fair Use Zoom

The Fair Use exception in copyright law allows limited, transformative copying of works even if they are under copyright–but some works can be used much more freely, because some or all copyright protections do not apply. This webinar will show you how to identify materials that can be copied or adapted with few or no restrictions, including materials in the public domain and Creative Commons licensed materials, which can be used in open educational resources, course materials, and more. Questions? Contact Sam Lohmann.

Using DMPTool to easily create data management plans

April 23rd 12:10-12:30 DMPTool Zoom

When applying for NSF or NIH grants the Federal Government requires that the principle investigator complete a data management plan (DMP) that provides information regarding how and where the research data will be archived and shared. Perhaps the easiest way to make a compliant DMP is by utilizing the open-source application, DMPTool. DMPTool provides an navigable system to create discipline and funding agency specific DMPs. Questions? Contact David Luftig.

Creating Accessible Learning Materials: Document Accessibility

April 30th 12:10-12:30 Accessibility Zoom

This webinar will give a brief overview of the application of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines applicable to learning materials (PDFs and slides) and their importance for Universal Design for Learning. Questions? Contact Ben Rearick.

A Coronavirus Reading List

During this season of coronavirus and isolation, Jerry Becker is rereading P.G. Wodehouse’s “A Bounty of Blandings,” an English tale of an earl, his prize-winning pig and his demanding family.

The WSU Libraries system administrator takes comfort from Wodehouse’s trusted humor and the words of fellow author Evelyn Waugh: “Wodehouse is an anodyne to annoyances. He’s a tonic for those suffering from bearable but burdensome loads of boredom, from jadedness of outlook and dinginess of soul.”

“What I like most is his use of language, comic turn of phrase, whimsical point of view and ability to find humor in the everyday life of the early 20th century,” Becker said. “When reading his stuff, I find myself applying Wodehouse quotes and ‘isms’ to circumstances in our daily life here at home with my wife. It makes us laugh!”

For many now, a reading journey can bring much-needed laughter; feed a hunger to understand; and create an allowable human connection amid the restrictions of social distancing. Here, then, is a reading list from WSU Libraries faculty and staff that can’t help but be influenced by these strange, anxious, lonely times.

We have been here before

Several of those polled about their reading pursuits found themselves delving, not surprisingly, into pandemics of the past. Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections rare books cataloger Julie King is reading “A Journal of the Plague Year” by Daniel Defoe; the novel, published in 1722, concerns the plague epidemic in London in 1665.

Other possibilities, courtesy of scholarly communication librarian Talea Anderson, are the 1947 novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus and the 1992 science fiction novel “Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis. “‘Doomsday Book’ is an especially haunting retelling of how people experienced loss on its most intimate level during the spread of the bubonic plague,” Anderson said.

Erica England, first-year experience librarian, chose “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” (2012) by Carol Rifka Brunt. The book is set in 1987 during the AIDS scare and tells the story of how a young teenage girl mourns the loss of her gay uncle to AIDS, while learning to accept who she is and who he was.

“Although I’ve read this book before, it’s been a few years, and I thought now would be the perfect time for another reading of it,” England said. “Ultimately, it’s about profound loss and the giant grief that accompanies it. But it’s also about finding yourself in that loss and finding your way through it. Above all, it shows how compassion can make us whole again. And I think during this time, we need compassion more than anything else in the world.”

Special collections librarian Greg Matthews said he read a review of “Florence Under Siege” (2019) by John Henderson about a month ago. The book details how the city of Florence handled plague for a year in the early 17th century.

The city health department, the Sanita, consulted with peers in other cities such as Milan and Venice to contain the plague by closing the city; establishing lazzarettos, or quarantine stations, in civic and church spaces; and providing daily rations of food and drink for the entire populace.

But the picture wasn’t entirely sunny, Matthews said. One of the more appalling dimensions of life during plague in Florence was the perception that poor people were too selfish and stupid to discourage the spread of disease to their betters. Also, Jews were suspected of being plague vectors, maybe malicious ones.

“So it’s not as though people were behaving at their best,” he said. “People carried on, insisted upon living their lives by dancing, gossiping and courting.

“The book uses contemporary eyewitness accounts to tremendous effect, describing the empty streets of the city and how certain citizens were taken into custody for (being accused of) endangering their neighbors by talking to passers-by through windows or staying with friends,” Matthews said. “It’s been illuminating and affirming. For a book about death and dying, it is filled with life. If the story it tells has heroes, then they are compassion and human ingenuity.”

Comforting and humorous reads

Comfort takes many forms during times like these. Trevor Bond, associate dean of digital initiatives and special collections, is reading WSU English professor Buddy Levy’s 2019 book “Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition.” Bond bought a copy at a local reading Levy gave shortly before coronavirus concerns halted campus activities.

“The vivid descriptions of men living in close quarters in subzero temperatures in months of complete darkness somehow bring me comfort in this period of social distancing and isolation,” Bond said. “Buddy is a terrific writer and a great colleague.”

For Talea Anderson, our current circumstances remind her of a similar experience of isolation when she taught for four months in Costa Rica—and the books that helped her.

“I experienced an incredibly lonely time when all I really had for comfort were books,” she said. “Two books that resonated with me were ‘Refuge’ [1991, by Terry Tempest Williams] and ‘Crossing to Safety’ [1987, by Wallace Stegner].”

Neither of them is explicitly about quarantine or isolation, but the characters in both novels are struggling to come to terms with the deaths of loved ones (and in Williams’ case, the added loss of reliable comfort in natural settings). Both books are pretty melancholy, but the writing is beautiful—comforting in itself—and I found it cathartic as well to see characters grappling with the same emotions I was feeling.”

Development director Dawn Butler suffered an initial disappointment in her reading journey. (“I can say with a high degree of confidence the 2019 sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ would likely make anyone of conscience more anxious—not the best decision I’ve made.”) But she has since downloaded “Three Men in a Boat,” a humorous account of a two-week boating holiday on the River Thames by English writer Jerome K. Jerome, published in 1889.

“I’ve also started ‘The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna’ [2019, by Juliet Grames] and like it,” Butler said. “One sentence that resonated with me is ‘… I will offer my opinion that it is the moral responsibility of the incompetent to identify their own weaknesses and not accept positions of power.’”

A few final selections

Owen Science and Engineering Library evening lead Libby McKeighen suggests any nonfiction book by Sam Kean. He is the author of such books as “The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements” (2010) and “The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of The Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness and Recovery” (2014).

“They are science/history and really informative, but they are also engaging and funny,” McKeighen said. “I myself have had them distract me during particularly hard times in my life.”

Jen Saulnier, undergraduate services librarian, recommends the 2019 book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb. “This is a great read for anyone interested in mental health, humanity and empathy—all extremely important topics at the moment,” she said.

Human resource coordinator Bonny Boyan suggests “Not Tonight Josephine” (2016) by George Mahood. “It would be an especially great read for someone who wishes they could be traveling instead of stuck at home,” she said. “It is laugh-out-loud funny. I might just need to read it again.”

A last suggestion comes from yours truly: “Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death” (2019) by funeral director Caitlin Doughty. The author of two other bestsellers, creator of the “Ask a Mortician” web series and founder of The Order of the Good Death answers questions from children about death, dead bodies and decomposition.

As Doughty writes in the book, “All death questions are good death questions, but the most direct and most provocative questions come from kids.”

—Story by Nella Letizia

Mothering a Book: Recollections of a WSU Author

In her 2019 edited book “Mothering From the Field: The Impact of Motherhood on Site-Based Research,” WSU criminal justice associate professor Melanie-Angela Neuilly collected the experiences of academic researchers and mothers conducting their fieldwork while raising children. Neuilly’s own experience of juggling site work and motherhood in Nice, France, in 2014 is also chronicled.

WSU author Melanie-Angela Neuilly with 4-month-old daughter Grace in Nice, France, in summer 2014.

Neuilly said she came to the book somewhat circuitously: In 2013, she obtained a WSU Seed Grant to conduct ethnographic field observations at a medico-legal institute in Nice. However, Neuilly was obtaining her green card then, and in the midst of a somewhat risky pregnancy. She got a no-cost extension on the grant and conducted her research in the summer of 2014, with her 3-month-old daughter and husband.

“It was a terribly difficult endeavor, probably the hardest professional experience I ever went through,” Neuilly said. “It was so hard, I felt compelled to document it in various ways. Upon my return, I wrote an essay about the experience in our professional newsletter. It caught the attention of one of my graduate school friends, who was living through similar experiences, and we got to chatting during our annual meeting. This is when we decided to write a book about it. We placed a call for contributors, and the rest is history, so to speak.”

Neuilly and other WSU authors in the past year would have normally been honored in person during the WSU Libraries’ Crimson Reads, but this and other WSU Showcase events this year were cancelled over COVID-19 concerns. For more information on all WSU authors who published in 2019, visit the Crimson Reads library guide.

‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’

For Neuilly, being a WSU author means “standing on the shoulders of giants,” she said.

“In my case, it has meant being informed and inspired by the work of late WSU author Kelly Ward, and then being lucky enough to collaborate with her on this project and having her as a book contributor,” she added.

Neuilly’s book also includes two other WSU voices: Lindsay Marco, a doctoral student in counseling psychology, and Kimberly Garland-Campbell, a geneticist in wheat breeding in the USDA-ARS Wheat Health, Genetics and Quality Research Unit.

“As such, being a WSU author also means being part of a team,” Neuilly said.

The importance of university presses

An integral part of any academic author’s team is the university press and staff that work with the author to bring his or her scholarly work to fruition.

“I see my role at the press as a catalyst, helping authors put their work into a format that makes it accessible to others,” said Linda Bathgate, WSU Press editor-in-chief.

University presses are an essential part of the academy, Bathgate said, providing a forum for the publication of peer-reviewed scholarship across a broad spectrum of subjects, topics, formats and genres.

“[University presses] facilitate the transmission of scholarship developed in the academy out to the communities that need it,” she said. “They help academic fields move forward.”

University press titles are among the most trustworthy publications in today’s media environment, Bathgate said, as they are typically reviewed by a community of academic readers, including the acquiring editor, the peer reviewers and the editorial board members.

“Integrity of content is paramount,” she said. “Developing a good reputation takes time, but it takes just one book to damage or destroy it.”

Lessons learned from ‘Mothering From the Field’

In writing “Mothering From the Field,” Neuilly discovered that writing about her experience and pushing herself to go beyond self-reflection into theoretical, methodological and policy development was cathartic.

“Beyond my own writing, reading and editing contributors’ chapters was one of the most energizing and grace-inducing process I had ever gone through in academia,” she said. “The strength, resourcefulness and determination of my fellow academic mothers in the field are awe-inspiring. Their genuineness and willingness to open up their wounds, show their vulnerability, made the process truly worth it. There is value and community in sharing our truths, and it is my hope that readers will agree.”

Most of all, Neuilly said she learned that she doesn’t have to do everything by herself because she is not alone.

“This is something that is easy to forget in academia, as we burrow down in our silos, in our offices, in our fields,” she said. “Nevertheless, let’s always remember to remind each other that others have gone through what we are going through, and when we bring our communities together, we rise stronger, and we solve problems better, so maybe the next generation does not have to do it all on their own again.”

To the WSU Pullman Community: Closure of Libraries

To the WSU Pullman Community:

The WSU Libraries on the Pullman campus will close beginning March 21, 2020 due to the evolving environment surrounding COVID-19. All other state university libraries in Washington have already closed, as have the vast majority of research libraries in the U.S. and Canada. We regret making this decision but think it is necessary for everyone’s safety. Libraries and library staff are very committed to helping people and to providing resources to support research and learning. We will continue to do our very best to serve during this trying time.

During the closure we will still be providing a large suite of remote services. Below are a few of the resources available but this link ( ) will always have the most up-to-date information on access options and services available.


Print books held in our library can be checked out and mailed to you via request. Return postage will be provided. Visit our website for access to Search It and other databases.

We are also going to increase our Purchase on Demand options for materials that cannot be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.

We have over 200,000 e-books available in many disciplines. Please work with your liaison librarian or get help online if you have questions about these resources.

You can also use our Purchase Request form if you have something for us to consider purchasing: .

Books and materials you already have checked out with the exception of reserve items will be automatically renewed until they are returned.

Journal Articles & Magazines:

Many journal articles can be accessed online via our website. For items not available in full-text online, you can request copies in Search It. For in-house materials, we will scan and email them. For items not held locally, we will process Interlibrary Loan requests.


Reference:  Online Reference is available 24/7. Pullman librarians and staff will be online Monday-Thursday from 9am – 5:30pm and Friday from 9am – 4:30pm (at a minimum). Staff at other libraries will help in other hours. See our Ask Us page for available reference methods.

Reserves: Most items are already on electronic reserve and will remain available 24/7. If you have additional requirements see our Course Reserves page.

Instruction: Librarians can meet with your class using Zoom. They can create online activities for your students and share the results with you. They can consult with students individually, or in groups, using Zoom, via email, or over the phone. To find your subject librarian see our Find Your Librarian by subject page.

Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC)

MASC faculty and staff are available to assist with remote research. Please contact by email: or call 509-335-6691.

Again, we regret having to make this decision. We will do our best to reduce the disruption this will cause.

Terrell Library display showcases strong female leads in literature and film

One of Lorena O’English’s favorite fictional female protagonists is Tara Chace, the agent at the heart of “Queen & Country,” a graphic novel written by Greg Rucka. Chace is a rarity—a female operative in the male-dominated world of espionage. Erica Nicol, on the other hand, is drawn toward the lead character Lalita Bakshi in the 2005 film “Bride and Prejudice,” a Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austin’s beloved classic “Pride and Prejudice.” While seemingly as different as they can be, Chace and Bakshi share one thing in common: they are examples of women determined to be in the driver’s seat of their own lives.

WSU librarians Lorena O’English (left) and Erica Nicol with their Terrell Library display of literature and film showcasing strong female leads.

O’English and Nicol, both WSU librarians, share their admiration of strong female leads through a display of books and films they collected at Terrell Library as part of International Women’s Day on March 8. The display, located at the table outside of the CUB entrance and the time capsule in the New Books area, runs through March 31.

“We’re trying to focus on titles that are fun but that show women with agency,” O’English said.

“Displays like this are a good way to find items that may not be easily browsed in our library collections,” Nicol said. “You need an entry point.”

The librarians also sought to showcase women writers from different cultures, including Isabel Allende, Banana Yoshimoto, Marjane Satrapi and Margaret Atwood. Foreign films are part of the display as well, such as “Water,” a 2007 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film that is set in colonial India and details the lives of widows in an ashram.

About 50 books and films are available to patrons for checkout during Terrell Library’s regular hours. International Women’s Day activities by other campus units and organizations continue throughout the month; to learn more, visit the WSU Women’s Center website to learn more.

—Story by Nella Letizia

NCBI Functional Genomics Workshop set for April 15-16

Registration is now open for the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s Functional Genomics Workshop. The workshop, which was originally scheduled for April 15-16 in Terrell Library, is moving to a completely online format.

Presenters will facilitate the workshop through GoToWebinar from their headquarters at NIH, instead of through Zoom. Time schedules and sessions will remain the same. To register and for more information, visit the workshop webpage. Those who have already registered will receive notification of the change. New registrations are welcome.

Sessions will cover the following topics:

  • An update on NCBI BLAST and other sequence analysis tools
  • NCBI resources for animal and plant genomics research
  • NCBI resources for pathogen (bacteria and virus) genomics research
  • NCBI resources for gene expression and genetic variation research

Featured speakers are:

  • Peter Cooper, NCBI Customer Experience team member and team lead for Strategic Communications (education, social media and conferences). For the past 22 years, he has provided user support for the NCBI molecular databases and tools and has directed scientific education and outreach efforts, including popular courses and workshops such as the long‐running NCBI Field Guide, Discovery Workshops and Modular Workshops and numerous short courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, the Jackson Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Cooper has research experience in biochemistry and marine biology.
  • Wayne Matten, NCBI Customer Experience team member. Since 2000, he has provided user support, including teaching courses and workshops on a wide range of NCBI resources. Matten is part of the BLAST-help group, maintains the NCBI-U.S. National Library of Medicine YouTube channel and creates tutorial videos on NCBI tools and resources. His research background is in biochemistry/molecular biology focused on signal transduction mechanisms involving oncogenes.

NCBI is part of the National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. NCBI provides access to biomedical and genomic information. In functional-genomics studies, researchers seek answers to biological questions by utilizing high-throughput methodology.

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