Special Collections and Archives blog

March 3, 2015
by special collections & archives

Get Your Kicks on the New Route 66 Archives and Research Website

NAU.PH.2010.21.14 Neon sign from the “Route 66 in Arizona: Don’t Forget Winona!” Exhibit (Charley Seavey) 2009












The Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives at Northern Arizona University, in collaboration with the U.S. National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, announces the launch of the national Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration (ARC) website at www.ncptt.nps.gov/rt66/archives.

The website is an online portal to historical collections and information relating to Route 66. It is designed to help students, educators, film makers, business owners, community members, agencies, and others find information they need for research, education, corridor revitalization efforts, and more. Finding aides and information for each state are provided to help people connect to local, regional, and national sources of Route 66-related information.


NAU.PH.2004.11.2.561 The Delgadillo empire (Angel & Vilma Delgadillo’s Route 66 Gift Shop & Visitor’s Center). 2006

The Route 66 ARC was established in 2008 through the impetus of the National Park Service, Route 66 Preservation Program to encourage cross-state collaboration to collect, archive, and make accessible research materials that promote education, preservation, and management of the historic Route 66 corridor.


NAU.PH.2004.11.2.12 The Jackrabbit Trading Post, between Winslow (10 mi. west) and Joseph City (8 mi. east) on Route 66. 1992

The Cline Library is one of ten founding partners of the Route 66 ARC. Other founding partners include Illinois State Museum, Missouri State University, University of Missouri, Baxter Springs Historical Society (KS), Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma State University, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum (TX), University of New Mexico and the Autry National Center (CA).


NAU.PH.2004.11.4.176 Ann Massmann at the restored “Meadow Gold Ice Cream” Sign, Route 66, Tulsa, OK. 2011

The new web site is also dedicated in the memory of our good friend, one of our founding members, and colleague, Ann Massmann of the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at the University of New Mexico Albuquerque. Ann was one of the driving forces for the ARC and this web site. She will be missed.

For more information contact the Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives at: special.collections@nau.edu

February 16, 2015
by special collections & archives

Euler Internship Announced!

Take a look at the library’s Jobs and Internships page and you’ll notice a new internship opportunity has recently appeared. While the previously-posted Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Internship is available to students from across the country/world, this most recent opportunity is specifically geared towards NAU students only. A for-credit internship experience, the Euler internship deftly integrates the academic disciplines of anthropology, history, archives, and museum studies. Robert C. Euler was an active archaeologist/anthropologist who worked extensively throughout northern Arizona for several decades (1950s-1990s) with myriad cultural organizations and museums. After his passing in 2002, a large group of materials was donated to Special Collections and Archives. Analysis of these materials has yielded many concerns related to original ownership/copyright, land status management, curation agreements, and tribal sovereignty over the dissemination of their culture. The returning of materials to agencies of ownership or tribally-affiliated communities will be the end result of comprehensive research and analysis of the collection. Successful interns will learn primary-resource research skills; become familiar with archaeological field practices and tools; demonstrate cultural sensitivity in the management of historical resources; and serve an important role in the comprehensive and ethical disposition of a grouping of primary source materials. SCA feels that there is a solid foundation with this opportunity for scholarly output, such as a thesis/dissertation or another peer-review article in the fields of archaeology and/or archival science. Click here to learn more information, including how to apply! Applications are due March 20, 2015.


Lily Wilder, Walapai [Hualapai], 1955. Courtesy of Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives

February 11, 2015
by special collections & archives

Kayla Jean Mueller

The Cline Library and NAU join the rest of the world in mourning the death of Kayla Mueller, ’09. Kayla studied international politics at NAU, earning a degree in Political Science; Kayla was also a reporter for the Lumberjack – the student newspaper.  As a reporter, she covered a wide range of topics. Her articles and stories reflect some of the roles she had on campus that transcend mere academics, and illuminate her grasp of humanity. In honor of her memory, Special Collections and Archives would like to share the articles  written by and about Kayla during her time at NAU. Our thoughts and hearts go out to Kayla’s family and friends.

February 11, 2015
by special collections & archives

Northern Arizona Normal School History

Unlike the University of Arizona and the Normal School at Tempe, (both of which were legally established by the Territorial Legislatures of 1885 and 1887 respectively), Northern Arizona Normal School traveled a more circuitous path to establishment.

Beginning in 1893, on April 13th, the 13th Territorial Legislature passed Act 81 “To Establish a Territorial Reform School for Juvenile Offenders and to provide Funds Therefor.” The bill established a Board of Trustees, whose duty it would be to locate appropriate space in Coconino County for the Reform School and to come up with appropriate plans for the buildings and grounds. The board chose a site 1/2 mile south of Flagstaff in Township and Range Section 21. The land would have to be purchased from the railroad, and locally $400 was raised to accomplish that. While there was not high enthusiasm for a Reform School, it was acknowledged that it was “a means to do good” for Flagstaff and the Territory. The Sheriff however, backed the need for such an institution in Coconino County.

In March 1895, the Legislature passed Act 19 “To create a Territorial Board of Control for the Charitable, Penal and Reformatory institutions, and for making an appropriation therefor.” The act essentially removed the former legislative foundation for the Reform School laid in 1893, and presented it to the new agency and board. The act did provide for a means of funding for the Reform School in a tax based upon assessed value within the county. It was however insufficient to complete the building, now well over cost.

In 1895 the University of Arizona formally opened, and in 1896, so did the Normal School at Tempe.


Vacant building that will become Old Main (1989). NAU.ARC.1898-1-2

Through 1896, the Reform School remained uncompleted. Gov. Louis Cameron Hughes (and others including the Chancellor of the University of Arizona, and a host of Flagstaff leaders) had the idea that with the arrival of Percival Lowell in Flagstaff, and the wealth of geological wonders (including the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater and Petrified Forest), that Flagstaff, and perhaps the nascent Reform School could be utilized as the site of a Summer Science School. The idea was popular locally, but there was insufficient time to properly plan, organize and run such a school for the summer of 1896.

In 1897, the 19th Territorial Legislature passed Act 25, “To Establish a Home for the Insane, Near Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona“-a branch of the Territorial Insane Asylum in Phoenix in Flagstaff at the unfinished Reform School. The Insane Asylum as an actual institution or concept in Flagstaff was fairly short-lived however, for two reasons. First, there was not the support for it that the Reform School, or the Summer Science School had generated locally, and second; the Insane Asylum Board pointed out that there was a surplus of bed and patient space in the Phoenix asylum already, and that the costs in professional staff to run a second facility in Flagstaff would double their costs of operation.

Old Main at Northern Arizona Normal School, ca. 1900

Old Main at Northern Arizona Normal School, ca. 1900. AHS.0032.02108

In 1899 Territorial Governor Nathan Oakes Murphy put it to the 20th Legislature that as the building in Flagstaff remained unfinished and unused as either a Reform School or an Insane Asylum, it was time to either sell the building, or use it to create another Normal School for the territory. As the Legislature had passed a compulsory education bill that session that mandated a high school be established in each county, the Governor’s call was timely. In early 1899, local lawyer E.E. Ellingsworth wrote the bill that would be introduced into the legislature by Representative Henry F. Ashurst as bill 41 “To Establish the Northern Arizona Normal School and Provide for its Maintenance” on February 6, 1899. The bill, modified slightly, was passed on March 4, 1899, and signed into law by Murphy on the 11th. The Normal School Board formally inspected the property and accepted it on March 28th. With the $10,000 funded by the Legislature, the building’s 2nd and 3rd floors were completed, and furnishings acquired. Northern Arizona Normal School was opened September 11th, 1899.

NANS Group Portrait in front of Old Main

NANS Group Portrait in front of Old Main. NAU.ARC.1900.11.1

To read more about the founding of Northern Arizona Normal School, see:

Hutchison, Melvin T.  The Making of Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff : Northern Arizona University, 1972.

Cline, Platt. Mountain Campus, the Story of Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff : Northland Press, c1983.

Northern Arizona University: Portrait of a Century

February 6, 2015
by special collections & archives

Rimmy Jim’s and Route 66

Somebody posted on Facebook a day or two back asking about where Rimmy Jim’s was on Route 66. In digging through our digital archives, we found that we have some images of places owned and operated by “Rimmy” Jim Giddings that helped to at least put some dates and places to that question.

Our first image is from 1925:


This image depicts a gas station/café tourist shop on the west end of Two Guns (then called a much more tranquil “Canyon Lodge”). The image itself  is from the Arizona Historical Society (Flagstaff) and is image # AHS.0727.00005 . The building is still sort of there, at Two Guns, AZ. Here is a  more modern image (from a different angle):


In the background you can see Harry “Indian” Miller’s zoo right on the rim of Diablo Canyon. This is from the Cline Library Digital Archives, photo # NAU.PH.2013.29.13 .

Next up an image from the 1930s, possibly at Meteor Crater Road and Route 66:


Mr. Giddings was notoriously cranky with salesmen who plied their trade on Route 66, as the image shows. This one is image # NAU.PH.252.15 .

Finally, we have the last Rimmy Jim’s, taken in 1969- probably just weeks or months before the place burned spectacularly. Note the very cool Ford Ranchero (is it a GT model?) sitting out front. This Rimmy Jim’s was back at Two Guns, but right along the 1947 alignment of Route 66. By this time, Mr. Giddings was long gone having died in 1943 and buried in Flagstaff, but someone elected to keep the name- and perhaps the reputation.


This image # NAU.PH. , and is from the Fronske Studios Collection- used to document businesses that were going to be impacted by the bypassing of Route 66 by the I-40.

For a little more information on Mr. Giddings and life along this stretch of Route 66, please go to the Digital Archives and watch (or read) our two-part oral History with Helen Maben from back in 2012. Part 1 is here and Part 2, here.


Happy travels, everyone!


January 26, 2015
by special collections & archives

2015 Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Internship Announcement

Northern Arizona University

Cline Library

Archival Internship Announcement


Summer 2015 Elizabeth M and PT Reilly Internship

The Cline Library at Northern Arizona University invites applications for The Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Internship.

The 2015 Reilly intern will work closely with Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives staff to develop physical and virtual exhibits focused on the Fred Harvey Company and its operations in northern Arizona and the greater Southwest. The Fred Harvey Company chain of restaurants and hotels was closely associated with railroad’s westward expansion in America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Fred Harvey Company influenced the Southwest region economically through the development of tourism; the promotion of Native American arts; and of course, through its restaurants, hotels, food service, and the famous “Harvey Girls.”

The Cline Library’s Fred Harvey Collection (MS 280) covers the period from the1930s to the 1990s. It’s comprised of 24 linear feet of manuscript material; 24 framed posters, drawings and related material; 2,000 images; 32 blueprints and building drawings; and 3 moving images. The collection contains rich historical gems, including Mary Jane Colter blueprints, images of the Fred Harvey operations, business records, and menus from Santa Fe Railway passenger trains and many Harvey House restaurants. View the finding aid for the collection or selections from the Fred Harvey Collection in the Colorado Plateau Archives.

The exhibit will examine the variety of tourism experiences made available by the Fred Harvey Company and the company’s influence on the region yesterday and today. It will also highlight the artistry of the Fred Harvey Company that is demonstrated in its buildings, architecture, and food service.

Duties and Opportunities: The 2015 Reilly intern will assume primary responsibility for the development and fabrication of both virtual (web-based) and physical exhibits.

The internship offers the opportunity to gain practical experience in:

  • Research
    • Synthesis of primary and published sources
  • Exhibit Planning (team-based)
    • Storyline development and content interpretation
    • Web page design, creation, and digital storytelling
  • Public speaking (presentation to library staff upon completion of the internship)

The Reilly intern will work 40 hours per week for ten consecutive weeks. The successful candidate will work the ten-week block between June 1 – August 7, 2015. The workweek schedule offers some flexibility.

Stipend and Housing: $4,500 (no benefits included) total. The Reilly intern will be paid in bi-weekly installments to reach the total of $4,500. On-campus housing is subject to availability. For more information, please consult http://nau.edu/Residence-Life/Housing-Options/Summer-Housing/ (.) Renting a room in the community is also a possibility. The successful candidate must be willing to relocate to Flagstaff for ten weeks and underwrite his or her own food, lodging, transportation to work, and parking.

 Qualifications: The preferred candidate will be a graduate student in information science or museum studies working toward a career in a library, museum, or archives setting. Graduate students should be currently part of a program with an anticipated completion date of August/September 2015 or later. Undergraduate (junior or senior) applied indigenous studies, geography, history, hotel and restaurant management, and anthropology students are also encouraged to apply.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Required:

  • Strong ability to write creatively while employing advanced research skills
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Familiarity with archival practice
  • Basic experience with Microsoft Office products
  • Basic understanding of web design
  • Familiarity with video and audio software tools, HTML editing, Bootstrap, and the Adobe Design Premium software suite

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Preferred:

  • Knowledge of Colorado Plateau and Southwest history
  • Demonstrated experience success creating exhibits
  • Project management experience

Application Deadline: March 06, 2015. To apply, submit the following documents to: Peter Runge, NAU Cline Library, Box 6022, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6022 or peter.runge@nau.edu:

  • Letter of application addressing your qualifications
  • Résumé or vita
  • Copy of current transcript
  • A writing sample in the form of a 250-word historical sketch of a personal life event
  • Names and contact information for three references

For more information, contact Peter Runge at peter.runge@nau.edu or (928) 523-6502.

The mission of Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives Department is to collect, preserve, and make available archival materials that document the history and development of the Colorado Plateau. Interdisciplinary in nature, the collections include 7 million manuscripts, 1 million photographs, 55,000 books, 2,000 maps, and 1,300 oral histories. Learn more at http://nau.edu/library/archives .

Flagstaff is a city of 67,000 at the base of the San Francisco Peaks surrounded by the Coconino National Forest. Approximately 80 miles from Grand Canyon and 140 miles from Phoenix, Flagstaff enjoys a four-season climate at an elevation of 7,000 feet. NAU has a growing diverse student population and is committed to Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.


January 15, 2015
by special collections & archives

Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) Internship Begins!

There’s a new face in the department – Special Collections and Archives (SCA) is happy to announce that the Dorothy T. and James J. Hanks Endowment’s “Cline Library Hanks Scholar” has begun work on this year’s repeat photography project for the department. This year’s scholar–aka “intern”–is Ms. Sarah Ciarrachi. A junior pursuing a Biology degree at NAU, Sarah has a breadth of experience that makes her a great fit for this year’s project.

Sarah posing in the John Running exhibit. #JohnRunningCline

Sarah posing in the John Running exhibit/Platt Cline chair

Some background…

The Dorothy T. and James J. Hanks Cline Library Endowment supports Northern Arizona University students for research in repeat photography. A primary goal is to locate and document camera stations of photographs held by Special Collections and Archives, with emphasis on images from the Colorado Plateau. Cline Library Hanks Scholars enhance the library’s photographic collections by increasing knowledge and discovery in the natural or social sciences. Hanks Scholars are given a unique opportunity to develop an appreciation of the value of historic photographs and repeat photography. Relatedly, SCA is the official repository for the James J. Hanks Collection.

Previous Hanks Endowment funding supported the development of the 2013-14 SCA exhibit, Time… and Time Again: A Repeat Photography Exhibit of Northern Arizona Towns and Trails. Click here to visit the virtual component of that exhibit.

Campus collaboration

In the spring of 2014, SCA approached NAU’s Dr. Tom Whitham–Principal Investigator for the Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) project–and Paul Heinrich, Data Manager and Field Engineer for SEGA, to discuss a potential partnership around a historic photomatching for their climate change project. SEGA is a new genetics-based climate change research platform that allows scientists to quantify the ecological and evolutionary responses of species exposed to changing climate conditions. SEGA has begun to create a system of 10 gardens along a steep elevation gradient in northern Arizona that includes conditions ranging from desert to alpine forest. By planting the same plant species and genotypes in different environments, scientists can identify which ones perform best and are most likely to survive changing conditions. More information about the project can be found here.

In addition to studying vegetation at different elevations, Dr. Whitham and Heinrich felt that contextualizing their work with historic images from (or as close to) these ten garden sites would reveal much about subtle changes in the flora of these elevations over time. An intern would survey existing historic holdings in SCA that would result in a selection of images in close proximity to the SEGA sites, from which more contemporary, present-day photographs could be taken from those precise historic locations. Additional images from other repositories in Arizona would be sought in the absence of images from SCA’s collections. Following the principles of repeat photography, the intern would coordinate with SEGA project personnel and supply the team with both historic images and their respective repeat photographs using the latest in DSLR camera and GPS technology. All images taken would be maintained in SCA and preserved as part of a larger set of data for the entire project.

SCA was happy to help facilitate this part of the project and saw a direct link to its Hanks Endowment opportunity. Shortly thereafter SCA began the process to find its intern/Hanks Scholar. In January of this year, this person was in place and their work began.

About Sarah

Ms. Ciarrachi has extensive experience as a trip leader and outdoor guide in northern Arizona and has been to some very remote locations across the state, including many of the SEGA sites. She has previously worked with NAU Assistant Research Professor Russell Benford to collect quantitative and qualitative ecological data at six of the ten SEGA sites. She has guided photography workshops for Arizona Highways and National Geographic Adventures and has become skilled as a photographer in her own right.

SCA looks forward to sharing more about this exciting project as it ramps up!







January 14, 2015
by special collections & archives

The Fred Harvey exhibit (for 2015-16) begins to take form


The library will be posting the 2015-16 Elizabeth and P.T. Reilly Internship announcement shortly (and it will be posted here when that happens) as an official kick-off to the beginning of the planning and construction of the Fred Harvey Exhibit. Internally, our discussions have focused on using the Fred Harvey Collection housed here as the foundation for a southwest-based exploration of the business, and its impacts on the region. For us in northern Arizona, the Harvey company placed some of its most impressive facilities along the Santa Fe mainline- in close proximity to Route 66. La Posada in Winslow; the Harvey facilities at Petrified Forest/Painted Desert;  the Escalante in Ash Fork; the Havasu House in Seligman; all of the Grand Canyon facilities including El Tovar, Hermits’ Rest, Desert Tower and even at in the canyon at Phantom Ranch; the La Fonda in Santa Fe; and the facilities in Albuquerque on the railroad and at the airport all helped define for rail or road travelers what the “southwest” was all about. There were “Harvey Car” “Indian Detour” trips to various reservations to be taken, layovers at quality Harvey hotels. These Harvey facilities, while perhaps aimed at the rail traveler initially, came to be part of Route 66 as well providing accommodations overnight and quality food for those traveling by car.


Our exhibit will probably focus on the relationship between the Harvey Company and Native cultures; architecture (especially of Mary Jane Colter); the Harvey Girls (and the motion picture by the same title); the food (we have menus, recipes and more from all across the Harvey empire); but perhaps most of all, that sense of travel, adventure and tourism so well defined and shaped by the Harvey Company.


Watch this space as we report on our progress, our intern and fun stuff we find to display along the way!

December 23, 2014
by special collections & archives

What it was…Our Changing Local History

Crew in Front of a Pile of Lumber, Southwest Forest Industries, 1948. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio

Crew in Front of a Pile of Lumber, Southwest Forest Industries, 1948. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio

My family has lived and worked in Flagstaff for over 110 years, and several of which worked in the lumber industry that once fueled Flagstaff’s economy. My grandfather worked at the early days of the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company off of Milton (Mill Town) Road and my father worked at Stone Industries off of Butler Avenue. As I drive home from work each night, I frequently get nostalgic when I pass by the new Aspen Place at the Sawmill on Butler Avenue. I remember the sawmill that resided there. The mill was owned and operated by several companies during its existence, but what I recall most fondly is the smell of pine wood being milled; the stacks of smoke billowing into the air; the neat stacks of milled wood; the pile of sawdust that seemed as big as a mountain and how my neighbor, who worked at the mills, lost his life in that mountain; the horn that sounded the changing of shifts and my father getting ready for his shift; the holding pond keeping trees wet, and the to the aroma of the sawmill; and the locomotive that moved the raw trees in and milled wood out.

Arial View of Southwest Lumber Industries, 1948. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio

Arial View of Southwest Lumber Industries, 1948. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio

Lumber and Holding Pond, Southwest Forest Industries, 1946. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio.

Lumber and Holding Pond, Southwest Forest Industries, 1946. Photo courtesy of Fronske Studio.

Locomotive, Southwest Forest Industries, 1985-1986. Photo courtesy of John Parsons Collection

Locomotive, Southwest Forest Industries, 1985-1986. Photo courtesy of John Parsons Collection

Flagstaff has a rich history and this is one that we pass by everyday as we go about our lives. The history of Flagstaff is steeped in the lumber and railroad industries, and fading into memory as the city grows in new directions.

I would like to share a few images and brief history of the land that was once part of the bustling lumber industry in Flagstaff. These items and others related to the lumber industry can be found on the Colorado Plateau Archives. Special Collections and Archives contains a number of collections documenting the history of the lumber industry. We have the Arizona Lumber and Timber collection, the Saginaw and Manistee Lumber/Stone Forest collection, and the Greenlaw Lumber in Clark Valley collection, the JM Dennis Lumber collection.

December 10, 2014
by special collections & archives

Digital Exhibits Past and Present

Eighteen online exhibits reveal the richness and complexity of the Colorado plateau and related subjects through images, documents, oral histories, videos, and more.

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