Stewart Library Special Collections Celebrates 40th Anniversary

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University Stewart Library Special Collections is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a new exhibit, “Treasures Brought to Light.” The exhibit will feature photographs, rare books and historic artifacts from more than 200 collections.

 
 Ogden Union Station during the 82nd Golden Spike Celebration, 1951.

Founded in 1971 to house a donation of rare and unique books, Special Collections now focuses on documenting the history of Weber and Davis counties. The department has grown to more than 40,000 volumes of books, 370 manuscript collections and 160 photograph collections.

“This exhibit is an opportunity to showcase some of our best materials, and to thank the men and women who have donated them,” said Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections. She and her staff have been working for several months on the exhibit and are excited to share the department’s treasures.

“With so many materials to choose from, the hardest part of planning this exhibit has been narrowing it down to what we can feasibly display. But many items chosen have never been displayed before and offer rare glimpses into the history of this community,” said Langsdon.

Two photos that Langsdon said are particularly interesting are images of the Red Cross canteen set up in the Union Station during World War II. The photos show volunteers feeding soldiers traveling through Ogden by train.

 
 The Broom Hotel on 25th and Washington Blvd. looking north, ca. 1900.
Langsdon said she has never seen images of the canteen elsewhere, making them priceless photographs.

A hands-on element also will be included in the exhibit. Visitors will be able to flip through the pages of school registers, scrapbooks and business ledgers.

“We want people to touch history, and connect with it, not just look at it behind glass,” Langsdon said.

The exhibit will open with a special reception in the Stewart Library in conjunction with the Weber Historical Society on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. Historian and biographer Val Holley will be the guest speaker, presenting on his upcoming book “25th Street Confidential: Drama, Decadence, and Dissipation Along Ogden’s Rowdiest Road.”

The exhibit will be on display on the top floor of the library just outside of Special Collections until Nov. 30. It can be viewed during regular library hours, which are posted at library.weber.edu.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Stewart Education Foundation and is part of Utah Archives Month.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:
Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections
801-626-6337 • slangsdon@weber.edu
Author:
Melissa Johnson, special collections processor
801-626-7235 • melissajohnson1@weber.edu