Amy J. Thompson

348 Posts

Stay Warm Out There

Campus is always beautiful covered in a fresh blanket of snow. Despite the current frigid temperatures, if you’re planning on strolling through the fluffy frozen stuff in the Arboretum or on Admin Lawn, be sure to stay warm out there! [Read More]

Unpublished No More

Index for Wildflowers Volume 1 slides
For many collections processed before the days of the internet, there may have been a finding aid available as a paper copy accessible only by visiting the archive. Many collection inventories were retroactively added to online repositories or in other various locations and formats online throughout the years, or just... [Read More]

Majestic Idaho

Idaho, gem of the mountains
Summer is officially underway here at the University of Idaho. If you need inspiration to visit the great state of Idaho, here are some historical guides highlighting fun facts and notable destinations throughout the state. One common theme throughout the early guides is how beneficial the climate is to the... [Read More]
Tags: travel guide

Honoring Our Veterans

Radio shop, radio material laboratory, Naval Radio Training School, University of Idaho.
This year, Special Collections is working with the Department of Military and Veterans Services to put together an exhibit in support of the Veterans Day Appreciation Dinner held in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center. This post highlights some of the materials on display. [Read More]

Mountain Pine Beetle

What's Bugging You

Close up of Mountain Pine Beetle
One of the most destructive forest insects in western North America, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus Ponderosae) will attack any pine species rather than a select few. In Idaho, timber production is a valuable commodity with sales of lumber alone well over $1 billion in 2018. In the late 1960s, it... [Read More]

Lodgepole Pine Moth

Preview image for Lodgepole Pine Moth
Cone and seed insects such as the lodgepole cone moth (Eucosma rescissoriana Hein) cause significant damage to forests and seed orchards by feeding on the seeds in lodgepole pine trees as well as other valuable tree crops such as western white pines. They can be found in forests throughout northwestern... [Read More]

Opening the Door to a New Year

Morrill Hall, University of Idaho. From Administration entryway #2. [66-12]
Who’s ready to close the door on 2020? We are, that’s for sure! We hope these images of doors and entranceways on the University of Idaho campus help you to symbolically prepare for the exciting new potential of welcoming in a new year as we prepare to walk out into... [Read More]

Creatures Great and Small

Cattle grazing
For this holiday edition of What’s Bugging You, we’re focusing on some of the larger critters and creatures sharing space in our forests. Some of the damage porcupines, bears and cows cause to trees can be found on this page of a Forest Research Photo Album found in our Potlatch... [Read More]

Moscow, Idaho

Then and Now

Looking east at Second Street from Main Street in Moscow
2nd Street, looking East from Main Street, Moscow, Idaho, 1896 and today. The prominent building on the corner is part of what was originally known as the Browne Block. Built by Robert S. Browne, this was comprised of two buildings on the Southern half of the block on Main Street... [Read More]
Tags: Main Street

What's Bugging You

Archives buggin' out

Defoliation in a mixed conifer stand by the Douglas Fir Tussock Moth
Welcome to our new series, What’s Bugging You, where we highlight the vast research held in our collections on the pests and diseases plaguing Idaho forests. Some of the topics we will include are Tussock Moths, Pine Beetles, Blister Rust, and some of the chemicals and techniques used to combat... [Read More]

Welcome back to Funny Friday!

Letter from boy to grandpa
Welcome back to Funny Friday! This letter written by a young boy, George, to his Grandpa, with the help of his Mother, Inga, caught our attention when George asks “Did you have a nice trip to Moscow? We are hoping you won’t do anything really bad so you’ll have to... [Read More]
Tags: humor

Castle Peak

On this Mountainous Monday, we are dreaming of Castle Peak near Stanley, Idaho. The woman in the foreground is surely planning her trek. Castle Peak is the highest peak of the White Cloud Mountains which are the eastern range of the Rocky Mountains. [Read More]

need holiday gift ideas?

Preview image for need holiday gift ideas?
Need holiday gift ideas? Try #ArchivesGIFgiving at the #ArchivesHashtagParty for ideas like this painting of the U.S.S. Idaho by Robert E. Serrano (left) given to University of Idaho President Ernest Hartung (middle) and Jack Voorhees (right), U of I Professor of Naval Science and Department Head emeritus. (PG 1_400-43, 1973)... [Read More]
Tags: boats Navy

Spooky Random Find

Perfect timing for this random find! I just happened to come across some spooky daguerreotypes in the collection from University of Idaho Music Professor Agnes Crawford Schuldt. (Undated and unlabeled image in frame, MG 391_3-133, video by U of I Special Collections staff) [Read More]

Homecoming Week

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Welcome to #WeirdlyWednesday of Homecoming Week! Mark your calendars for this year’s Latah Credit Union Firework Extravaganza at 9:15 pm in the Kibbie Dome parking lot this Friday, 10/19, followed by the TowerLights LED light show at the Theophilus Tower presented by the Association of Computing Machinery. We’re celebrating today... [Read More]

Radioactive Trees

University of Idaho Bulletin
For our next #weirdlywednesday post, we’re showing evidence of the Atomic Age research of introducing radioisotopes to trees in the hope of studying how individual trees behave physiologically and how their absorption, translocation, and similar metabolic processes work. Field studies were conducted to study pole blight, a disease of western... [Read More]

The Tiger Hotel

Mine to Mine

Tiger Hotel [01]
The Tiger Hotel, located in Burke, Idaho, seven miles from Wallace, was a three story frame hotel with 150 rooms. It was built over the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, and the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks ran through the lobby. The hotel’s only purpose was to provide food... [Read More]

Sunset Mercantile Company

Mine to Mine

Sunset Brewery in Wallace, Idaho
One of the many side businesses Henry L. Day was involved in was the Sunset Mercantile Company, a reorganization of the Sunset Brewery in Wallace, ID. Sunset Mercantile existed from 1934 to 1946, although their first beer, named ”Gem State,” was introduced in 1938. [Read More]

goodbye to our intrepid leader, Erin Stoddart

Preview image for goodbye to our intrepid leader, Erin Stoddart
Today we say goodbye to our intrepid leader of Special Collections, Erin Stoddart as she embarks on a new journey at the University of Oregon. We will miss you Erin! We hope you will look back on your time at the University of Idaho Library with fondness and remember us... [Read More]
Tags: librarians

College of Mines students

College of Mines. University of Idaho. Students at mine exhibit. [223-15]
Today’s Archives Outdoors shows a group of University of Idaho College of Mines students, presumably on a field trip. Incidentally, one of our metadata listings for this image states they are at an exhibit, while another states they are at an adit, which according to Wikipedia is “(from Latin aditus,... [Read More]

Ray-Jefferson Mining Company

Mine to Mine

Ray-Jefferson Mill
Organized August 14, 1909, the Ray-Jefferson Mining Company included the ”Ray” Lode, ”Jefferson” Lode and ”Lincoln” Lode claims. Little work was done until 1915, when the ”Carlisle,” “Hill Group” and ”Carbon Creek” claims were purchased and parts of the Ray-Jefferson were leased to other mining companies. In 1916, the Day family attempted to purchase the... [Read More]

Option Mining Company

Mine to Mine

Option Mining Company materials
Equal opportunity isn’t always the first thought to come to mind when looking at historic mining collections, however with the Option Mining Company, typical gender occupations of 1925 seem to be reversed when Mrs. Lorena K. Stratton was elected chairman/president and Mr. William J. Stratton secretary. Presumably they make up... [Read More]

genuine Idaho potatoes

Potato nutrition
Did you know that Genuine IDAHO Potatoes offer your family… *Iron to Build Blood’ *Vitamin C for Healthy Teeth and Gums; * Potassium for Muscle Power; *Low Sodium; *Fewer Calories than Rice or Pasta and Twice as much Fiber! [Read More]

Farewell Dean Baird!

Lynn Baird [1]
Today we congratulate U of I Library Dean Dr. Lynn Baird on her retirement after 4 decades of service! Lynn joined the Library in 1974, quickly making her way up to Head of Serials in 1976, one of the few women in university leadership roles at that time. Lynn became... [Read More]

Musselshell Mining Company

Mine to Mine

Musselshell Meadows
The Musselshell Mine was a hydraulic placer mine on Musselshell Creek in what is now Clearwater County, Idaho. Charles McClintock of Detroit, Michigan and John McClintock of Lexington, Kentucky established the mine in 1900 with Louis C. Roberts as manager and director of mining operations. One year later, the mine... [Read More]
Tags: gold mining


CCC Road Crew
Happy First Day of Summer from the University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives! Throughout our region and state, the start of summer signals the beginning of annual road maintenance and construction. In the mid to late 1930′s, workers for the Idaho Civilian Conservation Corps performed similar duties as... [Read More]

Cryptic Mining

Mine to Mine

Henry L. Day correspondence
In the days before the privacy of email, any sensitive correspondence that had to be sent quickly as in this telegram between mining administrator Henry L. Day and his attorney John H. Wourms, was sent in code. The translated letter reads: “Apparently there is deed to Liberty Mine in escrow... [Read More]

calling from afar

Bob Tondevold
In today’s Archives Outdoors, Bob Tondevold surveys the land and air and reports back using a ‘Littlefone’ from atop Bald Mountain in south-central Idaho, near Sun Valley. From the caption on back: “This is terrain which offers ‘radar shows’ and potential invasion path to enemy. Tondevold uses hand-carried battery-operated transmitter... [Read More]

Brotherly Potatoes

Idaho Potato Commission
This scene was used for a 1984 ad campaign for the Idaho Potato Commission, producing a television commercial and full-color illustration for a consumer magazine. [Read More]
Tags: potatoes

Introducing Mr. Idaho Potato

Mr. Idaho Potato
Sporting a 20 gallon cowboy hat and standing just over 7 feet tall, Mr. Idaho Potato made his debut appearance in February of 1983 at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Convention held in Anaheim, CA. Print versions of a potato caricature had existed since 1952. Mr. Idaho Potato, standing... [Read More]
Tags: potatoes

Pi Day Celebration

Computer programming
Whether you are celebrating with circular baked goods or by solving mathematical puzzles, happy National Pi Day! Here, math students are learning about computer programming in 1965. [Read More]

Archive Frights

Preview image for Archive Frights
What’s scarier than a haunted archive? Running out of room! AAAGH!!! Are your shelves full? PG 1_122-105e, Library, University of Idaho, sub-basement compact shelving, December 1988, photographer: Monte Steiger. Now photo taken and gif created by Special Collections staff. 

UI Library newspaper section

Then and Now

U of I Library newspaper section
UI Library newspaper section, then and now, from shortly after the building opened 60 years ago this month, to the newspaper storage area today. All historical Idaho newspapers have now been transferred to microfilm, rather than what looks like bound up in neat packages, while the current and previous months’... [Read More]


Sheep. University of Idaho. [204c-24]
#sheepaweek is back! Weekly posts of photos of sheep or sheep-related materials from our collections brought to you by the University of Idaho Library Special Collections. [Read More]
Tags: sheep animals

Victoria (Vicki) E. Mitchell Science Fiction Collection

Preview image for Victoria (Vicki) E. Mitchell Science Fiction Collection
#scifidaho Introducing our newest large collection! This summer, Special Collections received a large personal collection of science fiction materials owned by University of Idaho alumna and long-time Moscow, ID resident Victoria (Vicki) E. Mitchell. Mitchell (along with her soon-to-be husband Jon Gustafson) was a member of the Palouse Empire Science... [Read More]

Moscow, ID

Then and Now

Main Street [1]
Welcome back to Moscow, Vandals! As the semester settles in, our #MainStreetMonday series will take a break, but stay tuned for all the exciting new projects and collections we are working on! [Read More]
Tags: Main Street

Kendrick, ID

Main Street of Kendrick [1]
From caption: Looking east at Main Street of Kendrick in the early 1900′s. Before pavement and only one car visible on the south side of the street. The Long residence at top of hill east end. [Read More]
Tags: Main Street

Mom's Weekend Traditions

Mother's Day Weekend
Welcome Vandal Moms to University of Idaho to a fun-filled weekend of events! While some traditions endure the test of time such as the Turtle Derby, others come and go making way for new opportunities for memories. [Read More]
Tags: campus events

Life Sciences South

Life Sciences Building, University of Idaho. [132-2]
Dedicated in 1924 as Science Hall, the Life Sciences South building holds Bacteriology, Biochemistry, and Biology teaching and research labs and faculty and grad student offices. [Read More]

Vandal Giving Day

Library, University of Idaho. [201-2]
We are still using old tables from when the Library used to be in the Administration Building. Here they are being used by our peer tutors, a service that offers our students drop-in homework help. We need to update our furniture to provide a learning environment that fully prepares students... [Read More]

Football and Potatoes

Vandal football team with Idaho potatoes
To kick off the University of Idaho football season, here is a photo of the 1940 team lined up to advertise New Sweden Idaho Potatoes. Our first game is at home against Montana State University on September 1st. Go Vandals! [Read More]

Getting Settled In

Charles Webbert (left) and Ed Breidenback (right) moving negatives
As the semester begins, I hope all the new and returning students are adjusting to college life. Special Collections’ staff have also been adjusting to our new Reading Room, moving in new technology and old favorites of ready reference materials. Special Collections has gone through a few moves throughout the... [Read More]
Tags: libraries

Welcome back!

"Welcome to idaho" [1]
On the last day of summer break, welcome and welcome back to returning University of Idaho students! Here is a look at the approach to Moscow from the West, on the border of Washington and Idaho, as the highway changes from WA 270 to ID 8. [Read More]

Spuds for Dinner

Lindley Hall, University of Idaho. Kitchen. Leonard Arrington peeling potatoes. [62-12]
Leonard Arrington, class of 1939, peeling potatoes in the Lindley Hall kitchen. Lindley Hall existed as a men’s dormitory on campus from 1920 until 1971. [Read More]
Tags: potatoes

Famous Potatoes

U of I President Jesse Buchanan
Left to right: UI President Jesse Buchanan, Restaurateur Dario L. Toffenetti, and Idaho Governor Charles A. Robins.  Mr. Toffenetti helped put Idaho potatoes on the national restaurant scene by extensively yet poetically advertising Idaho-grown baked potatoes that were served in his restaurants in Chicago and New York. [Read More]
Tags: potatoes

Happy Birthday Latah County!

Latah County Courthouse (1889-1958). Moscow, Idaho.
Originally a part of Nez Perce County, Latah (pronounced Lay-tah) County became official on May 14, 1888. According to the county government website, Latah County has the distinction of being the only county in the United States created by an Act of Congress. In 1887, Idaho’s delegate in Congress introduced... [Read More]

Pass me that potato, Carl

Carl Kiilsgaard
Vandal Football legend Carl Kiilsgaard passes a potato for a publicity stunt sometime during his student tenure from 1946 to 1949.  After graduation, Carl was drafted and briefly played for NFL’s Chicago Cardinals in 1950 before being called back into active duty during the Korean War.  A life-long University of... [Read More]

King Spud

University of Idaho 1967-68 basketball team
A 1960s basketball rivalry between the University of Idaho and Idaho State University sees the winning team of the annual series sporting a smiling, silver spud trophy, the “King Spud.” [Read More]

Orchesis at Christmastime

Historical Student Clubs

Orchesis Christmas program
This week’s student club is Orchesis, a dance honorary created at the University of Idaho around 1948 with the first performance being May 7, 1948.  The club was organized for the advanced modern dance students, starting a tradition of dance recitals at every Christmastime and for the May Fete or... [Read More]

Hello Out There

Preview image for Hello Out There
uispecialcollections: In 1923, 92 years ago, University of Idaho sent out its first radio broadcast of students singing Christmas Carols, heard as far away as Chicago, a distance of almost 1500 miles.  That Spring semester, the station became designated as KFAN, broadcasting programs, lectures, recitals, concerts, band and orchestra music,... [Read More]

Student Special

Moscow-Boise Armistice Day football game
In honor of the end of the day on the last day before Fall break, I am posting images of the “Student Special,” a lower fare train route designed to deliver students from all over the state of Idaho safely back in Moscow for the start of the semester, or... [Read More]
Tags: students

Happy 50th Anniversary, KUID!

Preview image for Happy 50th Anniversary, KUID!
"With the closed-circuit system and the addition of a low power FM radio station from which application is being made to the FCC, the Department of Communications will be one of the most thoroughly equipped in the Northwest" Dr. William W. Snyder, Head, Department of Communications, Argonaut, Oct. 20, 1961A... [Read More]
Tags: television

Random find of the day

Preview image for Random find of the day
Self-deprecating humor found in the midst of a folder of administrative correspondence from one of our university presidents’ collections.  Happy Friday!
Tags: humor

See that you cultivate 'sticktoitiveness'

The Students' Hand-Book of the University of Idaho
Now that the first week of the Fall semester is coming to a close, I am posting a few wise words of wisdom and some important ‘don’ts’ for students to follow, found in the 1899/1900 University of Idaho student handbook. [Read More]
Tags: students

As the Semester Begins ...

Preview image for As the Semester Begins ...
So too does the University of Idaho Library’s first floor renovation project.  From my view in our temporary Special Collections reading room in the basement, the chaos has been kept fairly to a minimum (although I’m sure some would disagree).  All of the services that were on the first floor... [Read More]

Sunshine Superman

To honor my last post for the summer jazz series, (Fall semester starts on Monday!) I am including this digitized recording that was made from a reel-to-reel tape of Lionel Hampton & His Jazz Inner Circle’s rendition of a song titled Sunshine Superman.  The International Jazz Collections (IJC) was formally... [Read More]

Logging Day April 21, 2015

Preview image for Logging Day April 21, 2015
In anticipation of Logging Day at the University of Idaho Library tomorrow, April 21, 2015, UI Special Collections is celebrating all things wood.  We have selections of plates from Hough’s American Woods showing samples of the types of lumber commonly forested in North Idaho:as well as cruise books and diaries... [Read More]

Happy Vandal Friday!

Campus Visitors' Guide
Today is the first of our two Vandal Fridays this year, welcoming incoming freshmen to get acquainted with University life.  It’s an exciting time for UI Library Special Collections to help family members connect with previous generations of Vandals, through our yearbook collection the Gem of the Mountains, and historical... [Read More]

A New Social Order?

Preview image for A New Social Order?
“Each individual who desires to contribute to bringing about better conditions of living, should try to interest other individuals and organizations in Relatism and its objective of creating a modernized world, so that the principles it represents can continue to grow until they become the basis of a new and... [Read More]

Hello Out There

Preview image for Hello Out There
In 1923, 92 years ago, University of Idaho sent out its first radio broadcast of students singing Christmas Carols, heard as far away as Chicago, a distance of almost 1500 miles.  That Spring semester, the station became designated as KFAN, broadcasting programs, lectures, recitals, concerts, band and orchestra music, and... [Read More]
Tags: radio students

Same Old Holiday Greetings

Preview image for Same Old Holiday Greetings
This 1933 Holiday Greeting served as card and envelope all in one.  When it is folded into quarters then sealed with a flap on one side, it was able to be sent through the mail.  The delightful depiction of campus was sent by Jesse and Leah Buchanan.  Jesse was the... [Read More]

A Delightful Law to be Broken

Budweiser label
December 5, 1933, 81 years ago today, America ratified the 21st amendment once again legalizing alcohol.  The 18th amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States, originally passed in 1919 with the best of intentions to improve society and home life, but quickly spiraled... [Read More]

Moscow, Idaho in 1886

Oregon Washington & Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory
The PDF is not rendering in your browser. Please use the link below to download the PDF. Oregon Washington & Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory [Read More]

World's Smallest Bilingual Dictionary?

Preview image for World's Smallest Bilingual Dictionary?
Well, perhaps not, but this Lilliput Swedish-English Dictionary is the smallest one I’ve ever held!  Published by Barnes and Noble, Inc. and printed in Germany, it has 640 pages and measures just 2 inches tall, 1 ½ inches wide, and ¾ of an inch thick. [Read More]

Content Warning: Immoderate Germination

Preview image for Content Warning: Immoderate Germination
"The wheat smut center of the world."  That was the dubious distinction of the Pacific Northwest thirty years ago.  It was a critical situation and one which threatened the very existence of the grain industry in this region.  Through the concerted efforts of plant scientists, farmers, and commercial interests this... [Read More]