Collecting Areas

Northwest Literary Archives

Literary manuscripts held at Lewis & Clark include all the literary manuscripts of William Stafford, and major holdings of manuscripts by Karl Marlantes, Katherine Dunn, Edwin Markham, CES and Erskine Wood, John Callahan, and Vern Rutsala. The book collections include extensive holdings of fiction and poetry with particular strength in literature associated with the Northwest of the last 100 years. This also includes recordings made as part of Oregon Poetic Voices, a collection of recordings of spoken poetry produced by the Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark.

Far East Asian Collections

Lewis & Clark has particularly strong collections documenting the art and politics of the far east, including China, Japan, and Vietnam. Parts of this collection correspond with our collecting focus on pacifism, discussed below, but others are of use to the Art, History, and Language departments. The collection includes visual arts, photographs, newspapers, pamphlets and books and encompases materials that are both reproductions and original. These materials are of interest to scholars focusing on everything from medieval Chinese art to propaganda produced under the regime of Ho Chi Minh. The collection also includes publications collected by Hugh Deane, journalist and scholar, including several hundred books and pamphlets on a wide range of topics relating to East Asia.

Social Activism and Pacifism

Lewis & Clark maintains one of the strongest collections in the United States focused on pacifism, conscientious objection, and other forms of social and environmental activism. This takes the form of papers circulated and published from within the Civilian Public Service camps, materials relating to the early suffrage movement in Oregon, and YWCA/YMCA and other groups interested in social service. Suffragette papers include the manuscript diary of Mary Thompson describing her journey to the Washington Convention of the Women’s Suffrage Association. YWCA records for Portland span the years 1901-1990 and include business records, board minutes, scrapbooks, and photographs. Pacifism collections include the papers of Kermit Sheets (printer of the journal Illiterati at Waldport Civilian Public Service Camp), rare publications and correspondence relating to Waldport Untide Press, the wartime letters of H. Vail Deale, a large selection of CPS camp newsletters, the Henry Blocher photograph collection, artwork by Kemper Nomland, oral history interviews, and a collection of books and pamphlets relating to pacifism including several unique edition of William Stafford’s Down in My Heart.

Medieval and Early Modern Collections

The Archives & Special Collections houses the general rare book holdings of the College, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present. These include heavily illuminated medieval manuscripts, including two Books of Hours, the first folio of Ben Jonson, and a range of material relating to the Reformation. Changes in printing and publishing practices, methods of bookbinding, and illustration technologies are thoroughly documented in this collection.

Western Literature and the Expedition of Lewis and Clark

Lewis & Clark College has the largest known collection of printed material relating to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The collection includes an 1814 Biddle/Allen edition of Lewis and Clark’s account in the original boards; 19th century foreign language accounts of the expedition; copies of the works associated with the American enlightenment that accompanied the journey; a manuscript copy of the original journal commissioned by Elliott Coues; children’s literature; and an extensive collection of ephemera. This collection also includes extensive accounts of North American exploration, including a first edition of Alexander Mackenzie’s Voyage from Montreal in original boards (1801); a first edition of Exploration du Territoire de l’Oregon (1844) by Eugene Duflot de Mofras; a first edition of the Pacific exploration of John Meares in original boards (1790); a first French edition (1799) and second English edition (1801) of the voyages of George Vancouver; and an English edition of A.J. Von Krusentern’s Voyage Round the World (1813).

Exploration, Discovery, Colonialism, and Piracy

Lewis & Clark College maintains an extensive collection of work related to exploration, discovery, colonialism, and piracy. This includes natural histories as well as ships’ logs, accounts of prisoners of the Napoleonic wars, pamphlets, and maritime litigation. Ranging from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, items document European expansionism, innovations in the scientific method, and the hardships of maritime life.

Modernist Private Presses

Lewis & Clark has a growing collection of material produced on private presses after the First World War. Designed to flout censorship, these presses shaped modern social mores as they pressed the boundaries of depictions of women, sexuality, and class. Beginning during the arts and crafts movement of the late nineteenth century, Lewis & Clark’s collection includes material from the Kelmscott, Hogarth, Golden Cockerel, and Cuala Presses. This collection can be used to explore image and text and woodblock printing as well as the rise of modernist aesthetics.

18th Century British Politics

Lewis & Clark maintains a growing collection of works relating to the politics of Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The college holds the complete works of Daniel Isaac Eaton who published many radical treatises in the early 18th century. He was frequently prosecuted for sedition, whereupon he published the record of his trials. This is paired with material relating to Charles Lamb and his correspondence with Tory politicians at the end of the 18th century, found in the Penrose Brooke Collection donated to the college by Paul Merchant.