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Primary Sources: Personal Papers and University Archives
Primary source materials in the Department of Special Collections in the University of Idaho Library include personal and organizational records and university archives. Totaling over 9,000 cubic feet of correspondence, memoranda, diaries, ledgers, financial papers, photographs and other records, these materials support research into nearly all facets of the history of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.
Among the more significant bodies of records are those of governors Bottolfsen, Clark, and Ross; U.S. senators and representatives Borah, French, Pope, Shoup, Heyburn, McClure, Pfost, Welker and White; state legislators Lough and Hosack; and University of Idaho regents and faculty C.J. Brosnan, F.C. Church, Rafe Gibbs, F.B. Laney, S.B. Rolland, and Judge J.F. Ailshie.
A large group of materials reflect Idaho's major industries: mining and lumbering. These include records of Day Mines, Inc. and its predecessor companies, including the Hercules Mining Company, S.A. Easton, G.F. Jewett, the Craig Mountain Lumber Company, Bunker Hill & Sullivan, the Washington, Idaho and Montana Railroad, Potlatch Lumber Company, and Burke's famous mining hotel, the Tiger Hotel Company.
Other records include memorabilia of the American space effort; records of members of the Idaho Water Resources Board, the Public Land Law Review Commission, and the Shoshone County Flood Control Project; and records of businesses such as the Weisgerber Brewery of Lewiston, and Nelson's Auto Electric and Waterman's Floor Covering of Moscow. There are also records of Idaho's home-grown mail-order religion, Psychiana, and its founder Frank B. Robinson.
Access to the manuscripts and archival material in the library is primarily provided by the online catalog. Descriptive entries identify the persons, places, and things of prominence in the collection. Larger bodies of material frequently have supplementary inventories and descriptive guides, whose presence is also noted in the catalog. Kept in stack areas closed to public access, and frequently measured in the hundreds of cubic feet, these primary source materials are delivered to the reading room by knowledgeable staff upon request.
Students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the public with research inquiries are welcome to consult the personal papers and university archives in the Special Collections Department of the University of Idaho Library. Special Collections materials are non-circulating. Their use is limited to the Special Collections reading room during regular hours.
Because of the often times fragile or unique character of the materials in Special Collections, great care must be taken in their use. For this reason, the collection is non-circulating. Photocopying is available but can be permitted only when it will not harm the material and is permitted by federal copyright law. Smoking, eating, drinking and the use of pens are all prohibited in the reading room. Users of the materials must register upon entering the Special Collections Department. A knowledgeable staff and a variety of finding aids are available to assist researchers and retrieve materials for study.
University records include not only those of major administrative units, such as the President's Office; but also records of faculty members, such as historians C.J. Brosnan, S. B. Rolland, and F.C. Church, animal science professor C.W. Hickman, debate coach and history professor E.M. Hulme, engineer A.S. Janssen; geologist F.B. Laney, Vandaleers director GlenLockery, and zoologist H.B. Stough. Other records include those of Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Professors, Faculty Women's Club, Phi Kappa Phi, SPURS, Center for Native American Development, Women's Caucus, and the Borah Foundation.
Additional materials relating to local history include letters 1909-1968 from Earl David, Moscow merchant; Clara Ransom Davis' scrapbooks prepared for the Latah County Pioneer Association relating to people and events in Latah County, 1883-1957; UI regent James H. Forney's letters, 1878-1889, to Mary Belknap prior to their marriage and letters from Mary's sisters to her after her marriage; also papers, 1975-1979, of Lillie Mae Aherin Herman, related to rural women and civic groups such as the League of Women Voters.
The Barnard-Stockbridge Collection consists of the immense negative file of the Barnard Studio (established by T. N. Barnard and continued by Nellie J. Stockbridge in Wallace, Idaho) which depicts many aspects of life in the Wallace-Kellogg area and the development of the Coeur d'Alene mining district of northern Idaho from 1886 through 1964. Research copies of these and other historical photographs in Special Collections may be ordered for a nominal fee. The Historical Photograph Collection provides extensive coverage of the University, Moscow, and other parts of Idaho.
The major collection relating to mining consists of records of Day Mines, Inc., of the Wallace, Idaho, vicinity, and its associated firms, including the Hercules, Tamarack & Custer, Dayrock, and other silver-lead-zinc mines and the smelters at Northport, Washington, and Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Other records available include files, 1894-1937, of Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining Company of Kellogg, Idaho; a separate group consists of the reports of Bunker's labor spies; business papers, 1917-1935, of mining engineer W. R. Crawford; records, 1900-1946, of the Empire Copper Company, Mackay, Idaho; business correspondence and financial material, 1901-1908, of the Musselshell Mining Company in the Pierce, Idaho, mining district; records of the Pontiac Mining Company, 1919-1935, regarding the Terrible Edith mine in Shoshone County, Idaho; and the records of the famous Tiger Hotel in Burke, Idaho, 1914-1944.
The diaries of timber cruiser Charles Odell Brown document his exploration of the white pine forests of northern Idaho for the Weyerhaeuser timber interests. Business records include those of the Craig Mountain Lumber Company, Winchester, Idaho, which includes material on the Craig Mountain Railway Company, the Winchester Townsite Company, and the Oxbow Ranch. The Potlatch Lumber Company, once a major Latah County enterprise, is represented in the collection by the papers of President George Frederick Jewett, which includes business records of the Edward Rutledge Timber Co.; a large quantity of records of the Potlatch Lumber Company, 1901-1979; specific records relating to Camp 6 (Bovill), 1927-1930; and records of subsidiaries and affiliates such as Potlatch Mercantile Company (the company store), Potlatch Townsite Department and the Town of Potlatch (the company town), and the Washington, Idaho and Montana Railway Company.
A.B. Curtis, a member of the Public Land Law Review Commission, 1965-1970, maintained files on the meetings and activities of the commission. As mayor of Orofino, Idaho, 1951-1970, and Chief Fire Warden, Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association, Curtis photographed and otherwise documented regional development, lumbering, recreation, and the construction of Dworshak Dam.
James C. Evenden, Director of the Forest Insect Laboratory, Coeur d'Alene,Idaho, 1919-1954, generated correspondence, reports, and publications related to the control of forest insects. The Inland Empire Section of the Society of American Foresters' records, 1938-1984, document the activities of this organization of professional foresters.
Wild horses are the subject of the papers dating from Floyd Frank's tenure as member and chairman of the National Advisory Board on Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros while the records of the American Society for Range Management, Idaho Section are concerned with conservation and management of grazing land.
Twin Falls hydraulic engineer John E. Hayes' papers, 1902-1937, include reports and other material connected with his hydrological survey of the Snake River. The J. F. Streiff papers, 1965-1977, consist of material related to the Idaho Water Resources Board, Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission, and other water resources groups.
Environmental issues may be researched in many of the collections mentioned above; for example, federal actions affecting both wildlands and developmental issues of recent decades are documented in the papers of Senator James A. McClure; and air, water, and soil pollution resulting from mining activity can be studied in the records of the Day Mines, Inc., Bunker Hill & Sullivan, and other companies. Special Collections is also home for the Wilderness Archive, which includes these and other records relating to Wilderness issues. Among them are papers of author Michael Frome and the records of the Idaho Conservation League.
Political and civic papers include the records of James F. Ailshie, a University Regent from 1893-1896 and an Idaho Supreme Court Justice; scrapbooks, 1903-1947 of Senator William Edgar Borah; papers, 1926-1964, of C. A. Bottolfsen's newspaper business in Arco, Idaho, and his political career as state representative, senator, and governor. Also included are papers of Craigmont attorney Robert C. Strom dealing with the work of the Constitutional Revision Commission, 1965-1970.
The Burton Lee French papers include family correspondence and genealogical material of this U.S. representative. Long-term Moscow resident Abe McGregor Goff's papers, 1915-1968, include his Interstate Commerce Commission, Post Office Department, and military service files. W. E. Lee, also with the Interstate Commerce Commission, has a small group of speeches and articles, plus rulings of the Motor Carrier Division and other ICC materials. U.S. senator Weldon B. Heyburn's papers include correspondence, 1896-1897, related to the Leroi Mining and Smelting Company. Another major political collection in Special Collections is the office files of U.S. Representative and Senator James A. McClure.
The papers of Robert E. Hosack include correspondence and other papers relating to the Moscow, Idaho chapter of the United World Federalists (1947-1970) and records relating to his service in the Idaho legislature (1975-1978). Other state politicians include Harold Lough, William J. McConnell, James P. Pope, C. Ben Ross, George L. Shoup, Herman Welker, and Compton I. White, Jr.
The correspondence and other papers, 1916-1944, of Nell K. Irion relate to her activities in the General Federation of Women's Clubs and the Order of the Eastern Star locally in Sandpoint and statewide. It also includes a small group of material relating to politics in Sandpoint, Idaho, during the 1930's. Also in the collection are the municipal records, 1921-1969, of the Village of Craigmont, Idaho, and dockets of the Juliaetta and Mackay, Idaho, Justices of the Peace. The Latah County Protective Association was a citizens' organization concerned with protecting crops and other property from subversive elements, especially the I.W.W, at the end of World War I.
The records, 1908-1984, of Lewiston's North Idaho Children's Home document the activities of an early facility for orphaned, abused or emotionally disturbed children. The Latah County Branch of the federal Office of Price Administration administered a war-time rationing program.
Civic activist Warren T. Shepperd served as Kootenai County Assessor, 1932-1935; and Treasurer, 1945-1948; Secretary of the Kootenai County Planning Commission, 1935-1937; and Board member, North Idaho Junior College, 1933-1960. The records of the Shoshone County Flood Control Project of 1935 were maintained by mining engineer Harry Marsh whose collection on Idaho and Northwest history includes correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, motion pictures and other materials on mining, flood control, and historical topics.
Banking records are represented by the First National Bank of Wallace, 1892-1949, the Moscow Commercial Bank, 1889-1895, and the State Bank of Commerce, Wallace, 1901-1911. The latter includes the personal correspondence of bank president Bennett F. O'Neil with Idaho governor James H. Brady and senator William E. Borah regarding Republican Party activities in Idaho.
Agricultural records include those of the Charles Hoffman Farm, Leland, 1885-1912; Mark P. Miller Milling Company, Moscow, 1940-1960; Nez Perce Farmers County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 1905-1980; Standard Dairy Company, Wallace, 1921-1938 and Soda Springs Land & Cattle Company, American Falls, 1889-1891.
Other materials include the records, 1930-1965, of the Kendrick Gazette, a newspaper and job printer; correspondence and financial material relating to Dr. James McCampbell Lyle's medical practice and drug store in Peck; Nelson Auto Electric Company's records, 1920-1961; Waterman's Floor Coverings' records, 1950-1976; Star Hardware & Implement Company's records, 1914-1931; and brewery records, 1863-1918, of Lewiston's Weisgerber Brothers.
University of Idaho librarian George Kellogg's papers hold information collected for bibliographies of H.L. Davis, Frederick Manfred, and Vardis Fisher. Also in the collection are papers, 1929-1951, of Frank Bruce Robinson, founder of Psychiana, a mail-order religion based in Moscow; papers and manuscripts of authors Carol Ryrie Brink, Jean Chalmers Donaldson, Vardis Fisher, and Talbott Jennings; and material collected by Allen and Eleanor Morrill for their Out Of The Blanket (1978) which includes Nez Perce missionary Kate McBeth's diaries and notebooks.