Edie Butler is a certified archivist, now retired, who finished her career at the Humboldt State University Library. She was very familiar with the vast size and the amazing breadth of Peter Palmquist’s collection of images from northwest California. Her deep commitment to preserving all aspects of regional history for research close to “home” guided her to seek first the working negative collection that had been a mainstay of Palmquist’s studio, and then digital copies of additional images from the Peter Palmquist Collection that is now at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Today these images comprise the Palmquist (Peter E.) Working Photograph Collection and the Palmquist/Yale Digital Collection at the Humboldt State University Library.
Since retiring, Butler continues volunteer work on the Humboldt Watershed Council Video Collection. Due to deterioration, severe in some instances, the collection requires reformatting before it can be donated to a repository. She continues volunteer consulting with Ina and Noel Harris about the future of their collections, and serves as a volunteer researcher for the Arcata Playhouse. She is a volunteer archivist for the Historic Sites Society of Arcata and the Humboldt Handweavers and Spinners Guild.
Creation of the Palmquist/Yale Digital Collection at Humboldt State University
As an archivist at Humboldt State University Library’s Humboldt Room, I was awarded a grant so that I could take a research trip to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Through an agreement between the Beinecke and HSU’s Library, I selected 740 images from the Peter Palmquist Collection (at the Beinecke), and the staff at Yale digitized them. These images were then catalogued at the HSU Library. All 740 images can be seen on the HSU Humboldt Room’s website. I focused on Humboldt-related images including 308 by Peter who was a great chronicler of Humboldt life. Also included are important images of Hoopa from Nellie McGraw’s circa 1901 photo album.
To get to these images and identifying details, once you go to the website, click Photographs on the left side, then select Search Photographers Database, and finally type Palmquist plus Palmquist Yale for the Collection. I retired just after completing this project. library.humboldt.edu/humco/holdings/PalmquistYaleAid.html