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Archives / Special Collections

in the archives
Winter 2021

Missions and disasters

Here’s a look at two collections at Washington State University Libraries. Housed at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), they are just a couple of the many treasures at WSU Pullman.

On a mission

Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker established a mission in 1839 at present-day Ford, Washington, closing it a decade later following the Whitman killings in Walla Walla. When she died in 1897, Mary was the last of the 13 original members of the Old Oregon Mission. One of the books in the collection still has a portion of her homemade deerskin book cover attached. Two books in the collection are … » More …

Red cross volunteers joined in Pullman's celebration of Armistice Day in 1918, wearing masks.
Winter 2020

Stories from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

It’s just a small part of the transcript. But it’s stuck with Washington State University archivist Mark O’English.

He’s listened to dozens of hours of the tapes. And Helen McGreevy’s short discussion of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and her beloved George at Washington State College always gives him pause.

“There’s just something in her voice when she talks about him,” he says.

McGreevy was 77 in 1978 when she was interviewed for the Whitman County Historical Society’s oral history project.

She talks about her beau George like this: “One young man that I had gone with quite a bit, the young (Wieber) boy, had the flu and died … » More …

Spring 2015

A Nagasaki letter

Minutes before the B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the crew of the accompanying B-29 released a canister holding testing equipment. A letter was Scotch-taped inside. The canister fell on the outskirts of the city and its contents withstood the second and, to date, last nuclear attack in a war.

The letter, addressed to “R. Sagane, Imperial University, Tokyo,” was an appeal from three Manhattan Project physicists to fellow physicist and former colleague Ryokichi Sagane. They asked Sagane to confirm the power and devastation of the nuclear attack to the Imperial Japanese government, and to urge Japan’s surrender.

» More …