Guide to PLU's Special Collections

Pacific Lutheran University's Special Collections consist of unique materials collected by or donated to the department of Archives & Special Collections.
Publications can be read by clicking on the preview image.


Richard Osness Papers - The notes and correspondence of Richard Osness from his work on the Parkland Historical Project. This research also informed Osness's book From Wilderness to Suburbia: An Illustrated History of Parkland, Washington.
Morris Thorsen Papers - Morris "Maury" Thorsen, a member of ILWU (International Lonshore and Warehouse Union) Local 23 Tacoma. Included are ILWU convention materials, board minutes, newsletters, and materials from the ILWU PCPA (Pacific Coast Pensioners' Association).

Audiovisual Materials


ILWU Oral Histories Interviews with the members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Tacoma Local 23 and other waterfront personalities conducted in the early 1980s. Originally recorded on cassette, these interviews have been digitized and available online.
Parkland Heritage Project Oral Histories Interviews with residents of Parkland for the Parkland Heritage Project conducted in 1988. Originally recorded on cassette, these interviews have been digitized and are available online.


The Nisqually Plains Photograph Collection includes several hundred photographs relating to Tacoma and Parkland collected by PLU history professor Arthur Martinson as part of his Nisqually Plains Collection and donated to the Archives.


Local Publications

Mid-County Journal - weekly Tacoma newspaper. 24 issues available online from 1950.
Mid-County Shopper - weekly Tacoma newspaper. 51 issues available online from 1949-1950.
Parkland Times - weekly Parkland newspaper. 74 issues available online from 1949-1951.
Pierce County Herald - weekly Puyallup newspaper. 55 issues available online from 1966-1967.
Prairie Pointer - weekly Parkland newspaper. 205 issues available online from 1945-1949.
Times Journal - weekly Parkland newspaper. 662 issues available online from 1951-1971.

Pacific Northwest Publication Collection

Pacific Northwest Publication Collection is comprised of books and documents describing the counties, cities, people, history and geography of the Pacific Northwest region. These materials are not available online at this time.

Zine Collection

The Zine Collection includes contemporary titles related to social, economic, and environmental justice with a particular focus on the Pacific Northwest. Zines are a type of DIY self-publication typically produced in small numbers and distributed outside of traditional publication channels. These materials are not available online at this time.

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Browse Special Collections materials in the PLU Library Catalog