Happy New Year! As promised here are our top three collections of this year...
Ainu Komonjo -- Ohnuki Collection
This collection of books represents the earliest depictions of the Ainu by the Japanese. They are primarily about the Sakhalin Ainu, since the books were acquired by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney at the time she was studying them. The Ainu, who lived on Sakhalin, Hokkaido and the Kuriles are earliest known occupants of these islands. The collection of books, all on rice paper, are either hand-written, with illustrations hand-drawn, or are wood block prints. Many of these early documents were authored by explorers and scholars at the order of the Bakufu or the Matsumae clan. Since these authors were sent by the Japanese government which for the first time began to be concerned with territorial expansions and boundaries, these documents often include a number of detailed maps, including the topography and Ainu place names.
Of all the books in the collection, Ezo-shi by Arai Hakuseki must be singled out for its importance. Although he wrote this book on the basis of massive documents collected by others who traveled to the Ainu lands, it is considered to be the first and the most reliable description of the Hokkaido, Sakahlin, and the Kurile Ainu and their lands. This particular edition is accompanied by illustrations, drawn by an anonymous artist, who produced them based on the actual observation of the Ainu and their way of life. Given the details and vivid colors, which were extremely well-preserved, this copy of Ezo-shi may be the best available today.
World War II Veterans of Mt. Horeb
The digital collection, World War II Veterans of Mount Horeb, is an effort to honor the sacrifices and achievements of Mount Horeb veterans and to ensure their place in local history. The collection brings together several types of materials: books, photographs, audio interviews, slides, and personal scrapbooks and memorabilia. The Mount Horeb Public Library began this project by personally interviewing willing WWII veterans. Each of these men and one woman has compelling stories to tell about serving their country during WWII. Many had the opportunity to take pictures of a 1940s war-ravaged Europe, which are also included in the collection.
World War II Veterans of Mount Horeb is a collaborative project completed by the UWDCC and the Mount Horeb Public Library. World War II Veterans of Mount Horeb was funded, in part, through a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in 2009.
The Aldo Leopold Archives
Aldo Leopold is considered by many to have been the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century. Leopold's legacy spans the disciplines of forestry, wildlife management, conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, restoration ecology, private land management, environmental history, literature, education, esthetics, and ethics. He is most widely known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, one of the most beloved and respected books about the environment ever published. The Leopold Collection houses the raw materials that document not only Leopold's rise to prominence but the history of conservation and the emergence of the field of ecology from the early 1900s until his death in 1948.
This project and grant was finished this year. It is a great collection and we hope that you will take the time to enjoy it.