New Collections and Current Projects

What’s new at Sowell? Here’s a quick rundown of the latest acquisitions and the upcoming conference and essay contest.

 Collections

In late 2013 we acquired the Doug and Andrea Peacock Papers. Doug Peacock, a Vietnam veteran and grizzly bear expert, is a self-described “renegade naturalist.” His wife Andrea is a Montana-based journalist, covering Western environmental news and politics. The materials, currently in the manuscript processing stage, concern Doug’s books, Walking It Off (2005) and In the Shadow of the Sabertooth (2013); Andrea’s book, Libby, Montana (2003); and their joint effort, The Essential Grizzly (2006). The Peacock papers should become available for research in 2016.

In 2014 we acquired the papers of environmental writer and advocate Marc Reisner. He is best known for Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (1986), a book describing the role of water rights and water use in the history and development of the Western United States. Modern Library selected Cadillac Desert as one of thCadillac Deserte top 100 best nonfiction English-language books of the 20th century. The book was a National Book Critic’s Circle Award finalist (1986), and PBS aired it as a four part documentary (1997). Now open for research, the Marc Reisner Papers include published and unpublished drafts, research material, correspondence, photographs, audio and video recordings.

In August 2015 we acquired the papers of Orion magazine, a publication known for its grounding in literature, the arts, and a philosophical exploration of how we live with the natural world. Orion materials, now in the very early processing stages, include correspondence; previous issue drafts and editorial comments; and written, taped and filmed records of the Forgotten Language Tours, Fire and Grit, and the John Hay Awards. The Orion collection should become available for research in 2016.Blessed Unrest

We acquired our first primarily digital collection in 2015, the Paul Hawken Papers. Environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author, Hawken is perhaps best known for his 2007 book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, in which he explores the diversity of the environmental movement from billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes.

2016 Conference and Essay Contest

The 2016 Conference on the Sowell Collection will be held April 21-23, 2016. Featured writers and guests include John Lane, Barry Lopez, James Sowell, Toni Jensen, Kurt Caswell, and Lisa Couturier. We will post a CFP and conference schedule here and on our website. Stay tuned!

The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library has announced the 2016 Sowell Collection Award open to all Texas Tech University students. Essays must be about a writer or writers in the Sowell Collection. Submissions for the 2016 award are due April 20, 2016. Prizes will be awarded for undergraduate and graduate students. First prize $250; second prize $150.

Send submissions as e-mail attachments to diane.warner@ttu.edu, using Sowell Essay Award as the subject line. Please indicate your student status (undergraduate/graduate). Do not include any identifying information (your name) in the essay.

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