[Libs-Or] Oregon 150: Rare book available to all!

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 17:21:05 PDT 2008

Is this a document that the State Library might be scanning and cataloging
so that we have a good, stable record to add to our catalogs?  Or maybe you
have already done it.  I must admit that I didn't look.

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 5:18 PM, Diedre Conkling <diedrec at charter.net>wrote:

> ---- Katie Anderson <anderson_katie at oslmac.osl.state.or.us> wrote:
> =============
> Last Sunday's Oregonian had the attached article by Matt Love  (cut and
> paste below) regarding the OREGON CENTENNIAL ANTHOLOGY. Matt's reflections
> about how Oregon has changed since 1959 are worth reading.
> Because Hood River County Library is one of the few libraries in the
> Northwest that still owns this anthology, we are getting inquiries. But
> everyone can have access since Matt Love has put this work on the web for
> all to find--- another indicator of how much has changed in just 50 years.
> In 2009 as Oregon commemorates its 150th anniversary, the Oregon Library
> Association is celebrating by inviting all Oregonians to read  and discuss
> the same books. 'Stubborn Twig' by Lauren Kessler is the selection for adult
> readers.
> Visit www.oregonreads2009.org to learn more.
> June
> June Knudson, Director
> Hood River County Library
> 541.387.7062
> Co-chair, Oregon Reads 2009 Committee
> www.oregonreads2009.org
> >>>>>>>>
> Lost Northwest Book: "Oregon Centennial Anthology"
> Posted by Matt Love, special to The Oregonian October 17, 2008 10:55AM
> Categories: Books Subject Stories, Books Top Stories, O! Reviews
> Not too long ago, as Oregon's sesquicentennial drew closer, I wondered: Was
> an anthology published for the state's centennial? Surely, I thought, such a
> book exists, even though I'd never encountered one in all my years of
> literary sleuthing across the state.
> With the help of a friend, I began an investigation, and soon received a
> letter in response to a phone message I'd left. I excerpt part of the letter
> here:
> Dear Matt:
> Thanks for the telephone call. The centennial anthology was Governor
> Hatfield's idea. He came to me, knowing something, I suppose, of my
> reputation. Why we turned the project into a contest, I don't recall. I have
> no idea how many copies the state printed. I put it together and sent it to
> Salem. And that was about it. How did you ever find it?
> Arthur Kreisman
> In 1959 the State of Oregon published the "Oregon Centennial Anthology: A
> Collection of Prize-winning Short Stories and Poems." The 64-page pamphlet
> was edited by Kreisman, an English professor at Southern Oregon College. The
> anthology contains six short stories and six poems and was the product of a
> contest open to college students and the general public. William Stafford,
> who later became Oregon's Poet Laureate, won both the open poetry and short
> story competitions. Winners received $250, second prize earned $200 and
> third place netted $150.
> I also learned that exactly 18 copies of the "Oregon Centennial Anthology"
> reside in libraries across the Pacific Northwest (although many of the
> copies cannot be checked out for general circulation), and there isn't one
> copy for sale, at least the last time I checked online. I may have obtained
> the last one, which is great for me, but terrible for Oregon literary and
> history junkies.
> In his excellent introduction to the anthology, Kreisman wrote, "One
> hundred years is not a very long time, as human history goes, and it is
> considerably less than that since Oregon was largely frontier country, a new
> land, opening its arms to new people who had come to build lives for
> themselves, and in the process built a state. The next hundred years will
> see such growth in Oregon as is undreamt of by most of us today."
> The message of the first Oregon Trail to America was: "Nature is here. A
> rich landscape. Go. Take it. It will last forever. Start your life over."
> When the state celebrated its centennial in 1959, the message was exactly
> the same and manifest, at least to me, in the "Oregon Centennial Anthology."
> What intrigued me after reading it (and watching the View-Master reels of
> Oregon's Centennial Exposition) was realizing that the modern Oregon we all
> know and love today did not exist in 1959. It was all trees and fish and
> farms and white men that dominated the narrative. Virtually all other
> stories were either marginalized or unimagined. Oregon changed for the
> better in the 1970s, but Oregon in 1959 was much closer to 1900 than it was
> to 2000, and that's fascinating to consider when reading the poems of
> stories in the "Oregon Centennial Anthology" -- if you have an opportunity
> to read them.
> We're all so busy and rushed these days that I wanted to make it as easy as
> possible for everyone to read the "Oregon Centennial Anthology." I have
> scanned the pamphlet, which was printed at taxpayer expense and rests in the
> public domain, and created a PDF file of it that can be easily downloaded
> for free from my Web site (www.nestuccaspitpress.com). It's not quite the
> same as a handsome reprint, but this Oregon literary artifact has been lost
> long enough

Diedre Conkling
diedre08 at gmail.com
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