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

Robert Hulshof-Schmidt robert.hulshof-schmidt at state.or.us
Thu Oct 23 08:56:55 PDT 2008

Hello Libs-Or!

In response to Diedre's question, the State Library does have three copies of this anthology. We have one permanent archival copy, one circulating Oregon Documents copy, and one that circulates from the Oregon Poetry Collection that we maintain with the Oregon State Poetry Association. 

By happy coincidence, we were planning to digitize this as part of a small online exhibit of centennial materials for next year's OR150 celebration. We will put the PDF in our Oregon Documents Repository and let the list know when it is available.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Program Manager
Government Research Services
Oregon State Library

robert.hulshof-schmidt at state.or.us

From: libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Diedre Conkling
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:21 PM
To: libs-or
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Oregon 150: Rare book available to all!

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 Knudson, Director
Hood River County Library

Co-chair, Oregon Reads 2009 Committee

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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