Special Collections and Archives blog

March 25, 2020
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Special Collections and Archives and COVID-19: Changes to Access – UPDATED

In response to the continuing COVID-19 situation, Special Collections and Archives is now providing online consultations and support. Virtual appointments can be scheduled via email at special.collections@nau.edu. Staff will respond within 24 hours.

During this time, our online resources are still available for use. Please visit our digital archives and the Arizona Archives Online to discover content and collections that can support your research, teaching, and intellectual endeavors. We are still fulfilling reproduction and permission to use requests, with some limitations.

If you have a reference inquiry or need to speak with an archivist, please email special.collections@nau.edu. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. To learn more about changes to the Cline Library and the broader NAU campus, click on the linked text.

January 31, 2020
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Comments Off on Green Book Era Motel on NAU’s Campus?

Green Book Era Motel on NAU’s Campus?

It is sometimes funny how a process that sets you off in one direction winds up sending you down a completely unanticipated path.

Here in Special Collections and Archives, Cline Library at Northern Arizona University, we are currently reappraising J. Lawrence Walkup’s Presidential Papers (circa 1957-1979). The collection is huge–over 100 boxes’ worth of textual material–and we’re plodding though it box by box to make better access points for researchers, as it is a heavily used record group within University Archives. As we progress in our project, we are learning new details about Walkup’s tenure as president! Below is a case in point.

There I was, in Series 4 (Files, 1959-1960), Box 5. I came across two fat folders titled “Stroud Hall.” I have been around NAU a day or two, and yet I really couldn’t place a building with that name anywhere on campus. A veritable yawning rabbit hole opened at my feet.

Park Plaza Motel
Post card image of the Park Plaza Motel on Route 66. ASC’s Forestry building (now Geology) is visible behind the motel, the Gammage building is to the left.

In these folders was correspondence between Dr. Walkup and one L.L. Stroud, the owner of Flagstaff’s Park Plaza Motel in 1959. The correspondence revealed an evolving plan for short-term housing of NAU students at a point when the Arizona State College (ASC) Flagstaff was growing like crazy. The college’s enrollment broke 1,000(!) for the first time in 1956. Dorm space was in critically short supply. What Stroud and Walkup discussed was a plan to use Stroud’s motel as a dormitory for female students. (Some male students were already bunking across the street in the Flamingo Motel for $1 per man per night.)

Stroud proposed a sort of a joint venture, wherein Stroud would build a dual-purpose dormitory and motel expansion for the motel that ASC could lease during the semesters and that could serve the motel’s business at other times. There were to be 50 rooms for 200 women, plus a space for a “House Mother,” or a more senior woman who would act as a sort of RA for the younger female students.  Amongst the correspondence, I found building plans, negotiations about rental agreements (38 weeks for two years with future options), and more.

Looking at the architects’ rendering, the building looks familiar, although not quite exactly like the actual structure you see on campus today.

"Stroud" Dormitory
“Stroud” Dormitory, later known as Roseberry Hall, 1959. J. Lawrence Walkup Presidential Papers, Series 4: Files, 1959-1960, Stroud Hall file, Box 5, Folder 157.
Roseberry Hall (Stroud Hall) as it appears today

The Park Plaza Motel lay on the east side of Route 66, north of the intersection of West Route 66 and S. Milton Road (Highway 89). The motel was visible from the Gammage Building where Walkup maintained his office. The restaurant adjacent to the motel was the Golden Drumstick, the forerunner to the Gables, which in turn was the forerunner to the now-defunct Mandarin Buffet.

Golden Drumstick.
Golden Drumstick West Route 66 and S. Milton Rd. Behind and to the left is the ASC Forestry building (now Geology), and the Gammage building is to the left. The Park Plaza Motel is to the left of the restaurant. The Golden Drumstick became the Gables, then the Mandarin Buffet.

Fast forward to the 1960s, and the Park Plaza Motel was sold to a new owner. Ultimately, most of it was torn down to become parking for the expanding restaurant. But the dormitory/motel addition remained. We know it today as Roseberry Hall, named for former ASC faculty member Minnie Roseberry. The Park Plaza Motel further gains a little notoriety as it was listed in Victor H. Green’s Travelers’ Green Book: 1963-1964 International Edition, a serial publication formerly known as the Negro Traveler’s Green Book

From Victor H. Green’s Traveler’s Green Book, 1963-1964 International Edition.

This means that the Roseberry dormitory is a part of one of three known surviving “Green Book” locations in Flagstaff on different alignments of Route 66 that served Black travelers in Flagstaff (the other two remaining are the DuBeau, and the Downtowner Hostel.) Other now-defunct “Green Book” and other Black traveler directory motels in Flagstaff include the Flamingo Motel, the El Rancho Motel, the Vandevier Motel, and a former rooming house on South San Francisco Street.

Future boxes of the Walkup Presidential Papers may reveal more about how ASC dealt with its growing student body, the fate of the Park Plaza Motel, and the evolution of the Roseberry dorm. Watch this space…


December 6, 2019
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Comments Off on Kin Teel and Pine Springs: A Look into 20th Century Trading Posts

Kin Teel and Pine Springs: A Look into 20th Century Trading Posts

Kin Teel (Wide Ruins) Trading Post Entrance, circa 1945.

In the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries, trading posts were common on reservations in the southwest. Traders formed close relationships with the indigenous groups they lived and worked with, often providing more services than just as a trader. One such group of traders were Bill Lippincott, Sallie Wagner, and Bill and Jean Cousins at Kin Teel (Wide Ruins) and Pine Springs Trading Posts on the Navajo Nation. Bill Lippincott and Sallie Wagner owned Kin Teel and Pine Springs from 1938 to 1942 and again from 1945 to 1949. 

Kin Teel (Wide Ruins) Trading Post Exterior, circa 1940.

During their time there, Lippincott and Wagner photographed the landscape and people in the Colorado Plateau. These photographs were curated into photo albums by Sallie Wagner and are available to view on the Digital Archives and in person at Special Collections and Archives. Also included in the Kin Teel (Wide Ruins) and Pine Springs Trading Post Records are business ledgers that document daily transactions at the trading posts, allowing a window into the operations of trading posts in the 1930s and 1940s. The manuscript portion also contains Bill Lippincott’s advocacy documents concerning Hopi and Navajo education and life ways. 

This collection provides a unique look at life on the Navajo Nation and interactions between traders and the communities they lived in. 

Here are links to the Kin Teel/Wide Ruins Trading Post finding aid on Arizona Archives Online and photos from our digital archives.

November 10, 2019
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Veterans Day 2019

Arizona State Teachers College, Navy V-12 Program Drill Exercises, 1944. Photo courtesy Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives, University Archives.

On behalf of all of us at the Cline Library and Special Collections and Archives, we would like to thank the veterans at NAU as well as all the brave men and women who served our country.

NAU appreciates and honors those who served and sacrificed so that we can live in a free country. Here at the Cline Library, we partnered with the NAU Veteran Success Center to conduct an oral history project that captures, preserves, and makes available the stories and experiences of NAU veterans. The NAU Student Veteran Oral History project recognizes veterans’ service to our nation as well as the contributions veterans make in the classroom and beyond.

Zachary Hamilton, Veteran, NAU Alumni, and Coordinator at NAU Student Veteran Services. Zach was the first NAU student veteran to participate in the oral history project. Image courtesy of NAU Student Veteran Services.

We have a diverse group of 11 veterans who have participated by sharing their experiences thus far.  Many of these oral histories are available online at the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives digital archives at this link. We have additional interviews currently being processed and available soon.  Complementing the oral history interviews, we have a preliminary finding aid that provides context and an overview of all the interviews.

As we honor our nation’s veterans on Monday November 11th, it’s a good time to learn about the struggles, sacrifices, and rewards that veterans experience while serving our country.  We thank those who have shared their stories with us and thank all veterans for their service.

October 23, 2019
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Comments Off on Happy 100th Birthday, Ms. Katie!

Happy 100th Birthday, Ms. Katie!

Katie Lee in her beloved Glen Canyon

Today, October 23, 2019, would have been Katie Lee’s 100th birthday. For those of you fortunate enough to have known Katie while she was alive, you know she could celebrate her birthday in very creative ways. Each year, a couple of us from the department would travel down to Jerome on or near Katie’s birthday and take her out to lunch in Jerome, frequently at the Asylum.

Although we can’t celebrate her 100th birthday with her, we would like to recognize her birthday by sharing a photograph of Katie in her beloved Glen Canyon. This photograph was one of her favorites and it was found in a slide carousel labeled “Glen Canyon Slide Show.”

Katie like to celebrate her birthday (actually everyday) with a vodka and tonic. Katie, we lift our glasses to toast your life and “we drink to thee, oh Colorado/ Mighty river full of wonder.” Happy birthday, Katie!

October 21, 2019
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Comments Off on Full Circle: The Life and Legacies of Katie Lee Exhibit

Full Circle: The Life and Legacies of Katie Lee Exhibit

Katie Lee!

The Cline Library and Special Collections and Archives would like to announce the opening of the Full Circle: The Life and Legacies of Katie Lee exhibit. The exhibit opened this Friday, October 18 and was well attended. Full Circle is now open for public viewing through the fall of 2021.

Guests at the exhibit opening included friends of Katie Lee from Jerome and around Arizona. Several of Katie’s extended Jerome family joined us including Candace and Michael Gallagher, Jay Kincella, James Tomlinson, and Tracy and Nancy Weisel. Tracy also brought in a framed image of an 86 year old Katie, naked of course! The opening allowed friends to reconnect, remember Katie, and teach those who didn’t know her a little about who she was and her achievements.

Entrance of the exhibit Full Circle. Photo: Shane Butterworth

Full Circle documents the life of Katie Lee, a singer, songwriter, author, actress, activist and river runner. The exhibit features photographs, manuscripts, a guitar, and other 3D objects connected to her many talents and life. The physical exhibit will be up for two years and can be visited on weekdays.

Britney Bibeault, 2019 Elizabeth M and PT Reilly Intern. Photo: Shane Butterworth

The exhibit was developed by the 2019 Elizabeth M and PT Reilly intern, Britney Bibeault, under the careful mentoring of archivists Sean Evans and Kelly Phillips. Britney is an NAU senior Honors College student studying anthropology. She’s also a student assistant at Special Collections and Archives since the fall of 2015. Britney did an amazing job with exhibit and enraptured all of us with her personal story of determination, strength, and commitment during the remarks portion of the opening…all qualities Katie would appreciate and admire!

Britney Bibeault and Sean Evans. Photo: Peter Runge

 The online version of this exhibit can be found at https://library.nau.edu/speccoll/exhibits/katielee/ and features additional information, photographs, manuscripts, and videos.

July 5, 2019
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Comments Off on Early Katie Lee Influences

Early Katie Lee Influences

            Katie grew up in Tucson, Arizona where she lived in houses her parents designed and built. Her childhood was spent learning music and art from her mother and spending time outdoors with her father and younger brother. In high school, Katie and two close friends explored Sabino Canyon and the Catalina Mountains when they weren’t in school or socializing with friends in town. Through high school and her time as a student at the University of Arizona, Katie acted and sang, furthering her entertainment skills. The experiences Katie had in Tucson set her on the path to become a professional entertainer and to explore nature. Her diverse upbringing allowed Katie to have the confidence to move to Hollywood to pursue an acting and singing career and her connection to the desert environment around her cultivated a deep appreciation for nature and water.



[Sabino Canyon, Arizona] NAU.PH.99.4.4.19 1937 ca.

June 28, 2019
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Comments Off on Katie Lee in Other Collections

Katie Lee in Other Collections

The Katie Lee Exhibit will be constructed primarily from materials digitized from The Katie Lee collection now housed here at NAU.

However, there are other collections, both at Special Collections and Archives at NAU and elsewhere, in which Katie Lee has been mentioned or photographed. At NAU, these collections include the Tad Nichols Collection and the Richard (Dick) Sprang Collection. The Tad Nichols Collection has been especially helpful for understanding who Katie Lee was and her deep connection to Glen Canyon.


NAU.PH.99.3.1.8.32
Nichols, Tad, 1911-
Katie Lee at California Bar caves. ‘We Three’ Trip – September/October 1955. [constructed title]

For more information about collections with Katie Lee at other institutions in Arizona, please refer to Arizona Archives Online (http://azarchivesonline.org/xtf/search?keyword=katie+lee).

June 26, 2019
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Comments Off on Exhibit Website and Music

Exhibit Website and Music

It’s week 5 of the Elizabeth M and P.T. Reilly Internship and the Katie Lee exhibit is starting to take shape. The physical exhibit is almost completely planned and the accompanying online exhibit is coming together. Of course, there is still much to be done; from finalizing physical exhibit selections and printing them to adding pictures to the online exhibit, these next five weeks are sure to be a flurry of activity. The physical exhibit will be installed in mid-October and the online exhibit will be available before then (check back here for updates on the virtual exhibit). Included in the online exhibit is a section on who Katie has inspired. One such person in Jessica Larabee of the band She Keeps Bees. Jessica contacted Special Collections and Archives for use of pictures and films for a music video she created. The video and original song by Jessica are about Katie Lee. To see the video, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TIlg4CC10Q

NAU.PH.2014.22.8.1.21.69.10

June 24, 2019
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Comments Off on Songs of Couch and Consultation…An Alternate Album Cover

Songs of Couch and Consultation…An Alternate Album Cover

Katie Lee, Publicity Photo for the Album, Songs of Couch and Consultation. Photo courtesy of Monroe Edelston.

Between 1956 and 1961, Katie Lee recorded three albums about psychoanalysis that were later combined into one album and sold under the title of the original second album Songs of Couch and Consultation. This picture is from the photo shoot for the album cover. The final cover is a picture of Kate laying on a couch with her guitar and a man sitting near her head taking notes. The albums were satires about the popular psychoanalysis movement that was sweeping through Hollywood at the time.

Songs of Couch and Consultation is available to listen to online including on Youtube and Spotify.