This history was published for the annual Guild Spring Luncheon, May 4, 2011
The Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives at the Heard Museum
A brief history in tribute to Guild Volunteers
Laura Portz Norberry
When the Heard Museum opened its wrought iron gates to the Monte Vista entrance in 1929, visitors looking to their left may have noticed five bookshelves against the wall. In the same vicinity was an attractive credenza, adorned with woodcarvings, and fitted with drawers especially designed for holding library cards. A harbinger, perhaps, of future possibilities, this piece resides today in the library, coincidentally to the left of the library entrance. In the beginning, shelves and credenza were the total dimension of the first Heard Museum Library, overseen by Maie Heard with her own donated materials, and her dedication to enhancing the library’s importance.
The original Board of Trustees followed the objectives of Dwight and Maie Heard to provide to the Phoenix community a museum unique in the area, one that would present and promote American Indian arts and culture, with specific interest in the southwestern United States. The Board’s adventure became to promote interest in and appreciation of the American Indian through exhibits, lectures, continuing acquisitions and donations to further the breadth of the museum’s offerings.
Dwight Heard died a few months prior to the museum’s opening, but Maie Heard never let go of their ideal, as acting Director, as benefactress and promoter, and helping to extend the stature and respect of the museum with continuous donations from Heard collections. She filled the job of volunteer extraordinaire, as guide and guiding light until her death in 1951. The museum, well established and increasing in reputation flourished and expanded with the continued assistance of the Heard family.
During Maie’s lifetime, a good many visitors came to Phoenix and to the Heard Museum, spurred on, in part, by growing interest in the freedom of travel by automobile and train, and by the invitation to travel successfully, enticed by the Fred Harvey enterprises. Attentive to tourist interest and increasing local attendance, in 1953, the Heard Museum Board of Trustees voted to hire a curator/consultant: Mr. H. Thomas Cain.
Called Tom by everyone, he assisted the library early in his tenure, requesting money for a darkroom where photographic materials in the collection could be processed and printed onsite. Fifty dollars provided chemicals and equipment. A competent, popular and inventive promoter of the museum, Tom Cain became the Curator of Anthropology. In that capacity, he was the first paid professional staff employee at the Heard.
With his background in museum management, Tom brought in Dr. Carl E. Guthe, Research Associate for the American Association of Museums, who was conducting a survey around the country of small community museums. Dr. Guthe mentioned that a women’s auxiliary worked well in other museums to guide visitors, raise money and generally help where needed, and might be something the Heard Museum could consider. Mrs. Edward Marshall, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, mentioned that she had noticed St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix raising money with their women’s auxiliary. She had discussed the idea with Mrs. Heard who had been favorable. With Dr.Guthe’s suggestion, conversations about an auxiliary at the museum resumed, bringing the Guild into existence with Helen Shackleford as president, in 1957.
By the early 1960s Guild members were helping in the library. Their contributions were cataloging the collections–a huge undertaking which began to place the library and archives in line for greatness. Their efforts made available to researchers, staff, members of the Guild, librarians from other institutions and students, a history of American Indian culture and art. In 1962, the Board of Trustees granted $500.00 to the library for new books, adding materials and important publications, and funds for repair and renewal of fragile documents.
At this time, Carol Ruppe, Reference Librarian from Arizona State University for Archeology and Anthropology, came to the Heard Museum Library, the first professional librarian to volunteer. She was more or less “lent” to the library by the university for one day a week. She stayed for over forty years.
Carol was a spearhead for the library’s forward movement: she and Ruth Harris and Rhoda Reynolds (Guild members who became library volunteers in the mid-1970s) began cataloging, creating records and making a list of what else was needed, and more volunteers came in to help. Not only did Guild volunteers assist with the nuts and bolts of catalog and records, but individual members donated money for library purchases in acknowledgment of the museum’s aim to further support American Indian cultures.
Another legacy of Carol Ruppe is in the acquisition files of the current library: titles of books, periodicals and other print publications that she had assembled for purchase as money became available. There are hundreds if not thousands of her suggested publications on the shelves and in the vault. Long-term plans were to document programs including photo archives, and became feasible thanks to gifts and additional staff. Carol and Billie Jane Baguley received the first Heard Museum Guild Outstanding Library Volunteer Award in 1999.
Carol died in 2004, peacefully and at home, with relatives and friends around her. When Mario Klimiades, Librarian and Director of the Library and Archives, wrote an obituary to Heard Museum members, staff, Guild and friends, he received dozens and dozens of letters from people whose admiration for Carol were full of sadness at her death, and affection for having known her and having had her friendship. The library honors her with a plaque that reads: “Honored for excellence, hard work and commitment which shaped this library and archives.”
The Board of Trustees brought in an ex-librarian in 1948—unpaid–to take the catalog in hand, “because the lack of listing, especially in the line of subject matter in pamphlets and organization reports, has been a detriment to students.” (Board of Trustees minutes, 1948) There was no paid professional librarian until Mary Graham joined the staff in 1979. A recent graduate of University of Arizona Graduate Library School with a Master’s degree in Library Science, she was interviewed and hired by Michael Fox, Associate Director of the Heard Museum. Preceding her own entry, was content from the Prescott College Library that was all moved to the Heard. Mary Graham’s first assignment was to retrieve from that collection all the anthropological material that was to be housed in the new library in the as yet unfinished Murdoch wing. In the meantime, she had also the Donor’s Room (now the Sandra Day O’Connor Gallery) to set up as a library.
Guild volunteers came in to move and shelve books, and helped with everything from library and archival processing, to public reference assistance, to slide library maintenance, and for a while there were forty volunteers through the week in the library. Mary remembers the Guild as “fantastic in supplying enthusiastic” volunteers from the start. And in 1984 the Library and Archives were part of an enormous expansion to the museum (37.000 square feet) and were moved again, to the new Murdoch wing. Students from the Phoenix Indian School came in to help move all the volumes to the new facilities.
When asked if there had been anything at the Heard that surprised her, Mary said, “It was all a big surprise—a totally enriching experience.” Encouraged by the publication of Jeanne Snodgrass’s book entitled American Indian Painters, Mary Graham and Carol Ruppe started files on American Indian artists during the 1980s. From that book, Mary and Carol were guided to a listing of qualifications for membership in the Heard Museum Library artist files, and limited their search to living artists who were making a living through their art.
They began by soliciting information from tribes, pueblos and towns in Arizona and New Mexico, and then took to the road. They visited 40 tribes, 17 pueblos and made trips to the Santa Fe Indian Fair and other fairs, and stopped in galleries and artists’ homes looking for Indian artists and talking about the Heard interest in starting a file. In 1985, a volume containing their names, tribes and artwork specialties was published: it contains at least 4000 artists’ names and information.
An enormous donation of thousands of volumes entered the library’s collection in 1987, and is named for its donor, R.I. Schattner. Comprised in part from the personal library of Donald C. Scott in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, it was bought by Mr. Schattner from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. Materials from the donation are disbursed throughout the library and represent a “growth spurt” in the library collections.
In 1987, Mario Klimiades came to the library, and shortly thereafter the name changed from Heard Museum Library to Heard Museum Library and Archives when the archives were established. Mario’s background was of American Indian culture and art from his work with the Amerind Foundation in
Arizona, and his experience in the Scottsdale Public Library where he had been the Southwest Librarian. The library he newly joined was bulging with materials, lacking in space and short on staff. But Mario and the Guild dug in to handle with aplomb the every day and special activities necessary to cope with situations and carry on. Committees of volunteers helped take care of the day-to-day, and new volunteers joined others who had been part of the mix for a long time. For one example, Nan Steiner, who had worked everywhere in the museum, came to help with the artist files and has stayed. Some of the other Guild volunteers in the library then were Jo Ann Vegors, Helen Bass, Carol Ruppe, Edna Baxter, Ruth Harris, Margaret Meyers, Billie Jane Baguley, Rhoda Reynolds and early volunteers Mildred Starr and Irene Kline.
Space has been an ever-vexing concern in the library, and in 1991 everyone looked forward to the museum expansion that would bring needed elbow room. When Angela Stumpf and Beverly Cooper began eyeing space in the audio-visual area so the Slide Library could be expanded, Mario encouraged volunteers to keep their own spaces uncluttered to make the most of what little room they had. The expansion was coming.
Committees coordinated at that time were the Slide and Photographic Committee, with Angela Stumpf, chairperson, and the Native American Artists Resource Collection Committee (NAARC), with chairs Carol Ruppe and Jo Ann Vegors. By 1991, the library and archives had grown to include more than 40,000 items together with the artist files that provided data on 9000 American Indian artists. In 1994 all of the records in the NAARC files had become computerized. Volunteers from the Guild donated from their own collections as well as money and time.
While Patrick Houlihan was Director of the Heard Museum a grand collection joined the library from Joseph H. Toulouse, via Acoma Books in California. The materials from this important purchase are distributed in various collections on the library shelves. As it contains mostly New Mexican Indian history, art and culture, it was a coup for the Heard library to secure it, through determination to enhance its own southwestern collection with this illustrious addition.
With the new expansion underway, it became obvious that the build-out of the library was to be delayed, as costs of materials rose and museum priorities shifted. The disappointment was overcome by a major contribution from Billie Jane Baguley, the library space was saved, the relief and regard spontaneous throughout the library and archives. Gifts are crucial to cultural institutions everywhere, and gratitude an inherent component to the spirit imbedded in every gift awarded.
The early 1990s saw the Library and Archives Committee established, chaired by Billie Jane Baguley and Maxine Smith. This committee of Guild volunteers took over handling and maintaining all periodicals and newspapers, including rare publications, they maintained an employment opportunity file to attract new volunteers, kept inventory of the cataloging backlog, compiled library statistics, maintained the card catalog, and kept abreast of procedural changes that affected these areas: “procedural changes” meaning, in came computers.
Reports from the committee are not only about business: library volunteers also had fun–luncheon out, and a baby shower for one of the members. The dividends of working together and enjoying each other’s company continues into the present, with an annual holiday party, visits to the Heard Museum North Scottsdale for a tour and lunch in their café, continued camaraderie within the library and shared tasks such as the Book Sale and the Indian Fair and Market.
The advent of computers began changes unimagined until they happened. Jim Reynolds announced the first computer terminal to be installed—and used— to help volunteer searches about American Indian artists, and for art works from them. When collected, they would be displayed on the monitor—in color—for viewing. That was in November, 1991. On its heels, Ann Marshall announced training in Word Perfect 5.1 for staff and two library volunteers interested in updates, correspondence or “creating original documents” to be held in upcoming January, 1992.
By 1993, the expansion plans were to include library and archives links to research libraries nationwide. The community benefits of this kind of expansion were recognized as “greatly increased access for Native American artists and communities, and to the museum’s research collections. “ (Heard Museum Enquirer, 1993)
A committee from the 1990s importantly included the Quality Assurance Library Committee (QALC) and reported in March, 1993, a donation from the Becker Fund (established by Billie Jane Baguley to honor her parents) for the acquisition of books. Accomplishments of this committee throughout the year included updates on the Barry M. Goldwater Collection of Slides and the R. Brownell McGrew Collection; a new intern; and a new title for Jim Reynolds as Associate Archivist, which gave him more involvement in organizing and developing official records and archives of the Heard Museum. The roster of library volunteers from the Guild numbered thirty-one that year.
A new staff member, Archivist and scholar Richard Pearce-Moses, had objectives to improve access to the photographic collections and help develop an educational partnership with Arizona State University. Richard served on several standing committees of the Society of American Archivists in 1997. And an additional staff member—Alice Egan–came in as full-time Library Technician.
Fred Harvey Company Papers in 1988 were indexed by Kathy Howard; it took years to compile them, and prompted a project involving microfilm, along with a Fred Harvey Company clipping file project. In 1993, Kathy became research assistant for the Fred Harvey Company exhibit in the museum.
Growth “spurts” were identified by Mario:
- Artist files begun by Mary Graham and Carol Ruppe became a research collection of artists.
- Margaret Archuleta, Curator of Indian Fine Art, recognizing the importance of artist’s files, gave all her personal artists’ files to the library.
- Jeanne Snodgrass King gave her personal files and books to the library.
- Indian Fair and Market added artists to the files in great numbers.
- Book Sales begun in 1997 grew in profit and stature, providing generous financial support to the library and archives.
- Added space meant accommodation of moveable shelving with lighting, a new card catalogue, computer desks and a thriving library with adequate staff and workspace for additional volunteers.
- Online presentations of library and archival information began including the recent addition of nearly 1000 digitally displayed photographs from the archives.
In the 2000s, LaRee Bates took the staff position of Archivist, researching and organizing information for distribution among materials in the archives collections. Her responsibilities were to keep things organized, assigning numbers to every piece of material that came in, and recording them as an index to all archival materials. Beverly Schueneman, a Guild volunteer, worked with LaRee on the first Guild annual calendar, combing through archival photographs to choose which to place opposite each calendar month.
Betty Murphy joined the library staff in October, 2004, as Library Assistant. Her presence was immediately felt by all volunteers for her instinct to assist anyone in need and answer questions. Her ability to juggle interruptions to her own work with smiles and help has meshed with Mario’s unstinting availability to volunteers.
Prior to coming to the Heard, Betty had worked for years in the printing profession. Being a librarian appealed to her and she could take advantage of previous skills—customer service, compiling lists, tracking profits and expenditures, as well as the print process. With talents to back her up, Betty attended University of Arizona’s library program and graduated with her Master of Arts degree in Information Resources and Library Science while working fulltime. She was feted with a party in the library conference room in spring, 2010. Her degree brought her the official rank of Assistant Librarian.
Mario and Betty believe that volunteers are integral to this forward movement of the library and archives. Volunteer spirit is made known not simply by the number of hours spent there every year, but is described by what volunteers do. The cataloging and filing and typing and continued updates to the thousands of pieces of information in all the NAARC files were done by Guild volunteers, who were and are responsible for maintaining that prized collection, housing files on nearly 25,000 artists. Guild volunteers were and are working every day in the library and archives, and the result is worldwide stature, respect and renown for the Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives in the Heard
Museum. Mario believes volunteers in the library continue to supply this spirit that maintains what may house the largest documentary collection in the world of American Indian artists.
Although the foregoing speaks to our own assessment of the critical value of volunteers, from the Board of Trustees minutes in October, 1996, the Reaccreditation Report from the American Association of Museums gave additional kudos with this statement: “The volunteer organization is extremely strong and active … all volunteers are well-trained and supervised in their work.”
Another recent addition to the staff as associate is Meaghan Heisinger, a researcher who has completed in two years a project begun in the 1990s complementing the museum exhibit of the Boarding School. She processed this Phoenix Indian School collection by organizing and arranging and rehousing the materials in their entirety, adding a detailed description of all its holdings. Included in this valuable collection are videos from the early 1980s, documentations, histories, newspaper clippings from the 1940s to the 1980s and information about other boarding schools in the United States. It is now housed for safe keeping in the archives. Meaghan also has contributed her good will to volunteers and staff.
The Heard Museum Guild shares another component of guilds and volunteer associations that museums in general have in common, and that is financial support. In 1994, the library organized a staff-promoted book sale of duplicate books in the library, held it in a tent in the parking lot and took in a profit of around $1300.00. It was in 1996 that the Guild stepped up to the plate with Cooky Tarkoff’s suggestion that a sale of donated books run by library volunteers could be a success. Cooky brought to the sale previous experience with book sales that convinced her that they would work at the Heard to raise library funds. With that first volunteer Book Sale in 1997, the library Guild volunteers began an annual fund-raising effort.
The Sale in 1997 brought in $3,385.45, and added 111 items to the library collection. Volunteers at the first sale included staff and Guild members, some of whom are working still, every year, and it would be within the realm of belief that Cooky and Shirley Weyand lived in the Heard Museum, sorting and pricing books. (They did catch a cat that came in with books: it turned out, after several days of hearing it meow without finding it, that it was a picture inside a book about cats that “meowed” when the book was moved.)
Cooky continued to chair the event for eleven years, adding a Silent Auction and pulling in Shirley Weyand and Ann Gorton as co-chairs for some of that time. Sales have continued to rocket upward in number of volumes and financial gain. From profits, the library has added computers, furniture, an audio-visual corner, color copier, subscriptions to websites, acquisitions for the library shelves, entry into Online Catalog of Library Collections (OCLC) and has paid some every day expenses when that has become necessary.
The Sale became too large for the Lincoln Auditorium, so the Monte Vista room was added. Too cramped again, Steele Auditorium became home to the event. The public lined up outside the museum hours before the sales began, and the library took that opportunity to make new memberships available. Guild volunteers being forever forward-looking, in 2008, chairperson Lea Seago kept the Encanto Room, took up the entire Steele from the foyer and hallways back through the kitchen, continued an art sale and putting it in gallery format, added jewelry counters, continued the Silent Auction, and found that the committee had decided 40,000 books were the makings of a good sale.
Lea promoted the sale on television and throughout the museum with help from Juliet Martin, Director of Marketing and Communications in the museum. She added a Members Only afternoon for the sale of books, with the chance to preview art, jewelry and the Silent Auction table. On public sale days, the public came. Profits boomed. In that year, the Heard sale was declared by The Phoenix New Times as the “Best Low-Stress Used Book Sale in Phoenix”—a point of pride for all the volunteers. The same committee again worked the 2009 sale, which brought in the highest financial reward to that date.
The recession beginning in 2008 threatened to subdue the sale by 2010, as the museum requested less space usage in order to keep staff costs down. Sandie Straub and her committee rose to the occasion by continuing to emphasize quality items and books, keeping the Silent Auction and jewelry counters and art sales, and the public continued to line up prior to the sale–and they shopped. A few adjustments had been made, and the profit still brought in sums to make everyone gleeful.
Florene Weitz has led the jewelry counter at the Book Sales, bringing her background and good eye to value and pricing, and reaping financial rewards for the library. Anita Hicks has championed the art aspect, with a committee of dedicated volunteers to help set up the exhibits and assist in handling large pieces for buyers. Anita’s determination brought, for the first time, some donated art to auction, which increased the proceeds by more than $20,000. Andy Eisenberg continued her dedication with the Silent Auctions and contributed her talents to that enterprise, making tables of interesting items from books to blankets a must-see for purchasers—or just lookers—and the auctions added to the successful bounty. Jewelry and art and precious items for the Silent Auction are all reviewed by experts in their fields and comparison prices studied.
Book Sales are not easy: 40,000 books are collected by Guild volunteers from the houses, garages, basements or apartments of people who cannot deliver them. Cathy Short and Shirley Weyand have become the “super schleppers” with hundreds of hours added to their volunteer lists, and miles and miles to their cars.
Managing Sales is a year-long occupation, and to bring it all together, a core group of Guild volunteers puts in thousands of hours: Cooky Tarkoff, Shirley Weyand, Cathy Short, Lea Seago, and Sandie Straub have been central to the Sales as chairpersons and to the library for their generosity. Lea expressed gratitude for the opportunity to bring financial rewards to the library within a world-class museum—a sentiment echoed by every volunteer worker.
Volunteers come from both Heard properties to work on this annual project for set-up, Members Only afternoon, public sale days, and clean-up.
And a special benefit from the sale is what happens when it is over. Leftover books are retrieved every year by Greg Clark and his volunteers (Cub Scouts and relatives and friends) who pack up books that have not been sold and take them to Indian reservations. Lea put it well: it “is most rewarding to know that our wonderful donations keep on giving.” And Sandie adds kudos to the Helping Hands Thrift Shop, Gila River/Pima, which takes non-print items left behind.
Book Sales volunteers deserve great credit, and every single person is valued for our annual project: every chairperson and staff member has said it couldn’t happen without volunteers. The library and archives have been recipients of the total amount of money from Book Sales. Including the 2010 Sale, the marvel of dedication and hard work over the years since 1997, the Book Sales have brought in more than $350,000.00.
“Thank you” seems insufficient for the hours given freely by individual Guild members to plan and carry out Sales. Nevertheless, on Sale weekends, all act as one: Success is the goal and as books, art, jewelry and treasures move out, coffers grow.
Guild volunteers Marie Carlucci and Sally Van Wert began training on OCLC (the library’s first entry into that data base, thanks to Book Sale funds) and entering online a record number of books and serials. In December, 2002, they had cataloged 645 books from the collection along with MARC records—a system which allows libraries everywhere to share their own information online, look up what other libraries have included, and electronically export information to any library’s database.
During the 2000-2001 year, 11,000 Guild volunteer hours were counted in the library. In addition to all that time donated, other gratefully received donations from Guild members came in checks, books, archival materials, photographs, and documents to add to the collections. Guild members are voluntary donors of personal papers and letters, and of photographs, music, film and art. Our library and archives are part of what makes the Heard Museum respected worldwide.
From Martin Sullivan, Director of the Heard Museum in 1997: “Whether on the floor of the Museum Shop, or in the galleries where Las Guias tours are given, or in the less visible but equally vital service of Guild members in the Library and Archives and in the collections, there is no question that the members of the Guild are among this institution’s most irreplaceable assets.” (The Heard Museum Guild history, 1977-1997, Guild History Forward, p. 51)
In December 1996, Alice Egan left the library with a great send-off party from volunteers. Mario’s concern for being short-staffed and leaving volunteers with increased responsibilities, wrote a memo to volunteers asking for their selflessness and continued regard for their constituents, reminding them that staff and volunteers within the library and archives are a priority, and that membership, the Council, the Guild and the Board of Trustees all work together to support the museum. He emphasized that the Native American community represents us, and “without their representation, support or interaction we would not exist.” (Heard Museum Enquirer, 1996). He mentioned the busy upcoming tourist season and ventured hope that volunteers would continue to enjoy their work and the rewards of being part of the grand Heard enterprise.
Who could resist our enterprise? Volunteers are proud of this remarkable inspiration of Maie and Dwight Heard, and take their places in the Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives to do whatever needs to be done. Here is a compilation of opportunities, from Mario’s report in the Heard Museum Enquirer in 1993-94:
- prepare and maintain periodicals
- keep records of volunteer hours
- accession new materials
- maintain the card catalog
- cut, paste and file information for the Pamphlet File
- keep inventory of official records for the Heard Museum
- catalog music and video files
- maintain exhibits in the library
- maintain a file of volunteer opportunities
- maintain the slide collections
- index incoming collections
- help inventory and shelve current book collections
- keep a “finding file” for architectural materials
- maintain a file for student art
- interview volunteers for the Oral History project
- help maintain workroom and supply cabinets in good order.
Later additions to the list are maintenance of the NAARC files, looking after archival collections of original, unpublished materials, and updating “finding aids” for documentation in the digital library. Heard North sends documentation from their exhibits for placement in library files, also sharing education and reporting.
Within the collections are the following:
- American Indian art and culture with an emphasis on the American southwest
- Native American Artist Research Collection (NAARC)
- American Indian fine art
- Indigenous arts of Oceania, Africa, Asia and the Americas
- General anthropology and art history
- Museum studies and library and archival sciences
- Photographs and slides
- Oral Histories
Native American Artist Research Collection (NAARC)
The collection began with the four thousand names when Librarian Mary Graham and Carol Ruppe published their book in the mid-1980s. These NAARC files are the centerpiece of the library, and that first book of records is on the reference shelf.
Jim Reynolds, a staff associate archivist during the late 1980s and into the 2000s, took the responsibility for placing files in the first available computers, of artists’ entries into the Indian Fair. Making the files come to life for so many artists and researchers required training in indexing magazines, books, periodicals and newspapers to find biographical and bibliographical information, and references and awards. Volunteers gathered and prepared information every day, and Jim saw the NAARC project bloom during this time, a flowering that grows in beauty and stature with each new entry into the files.
Other volunteer tasks taught by Jim were recording awards from markets and fairs, and keeping up with artists’ entry information: telephone numbers, addresses, the several names one artist might use, and the kind of work they were doing. This information often changes, and when it does, a volunteer is responsible for making that change on the “white sheet”, the first paper in each file, which contains personal information about the artist.
Ann Gorton began working on NAARC files in 1995. The information gathered was bibliographical and biographical including the tribe or tribes of the artist, their art specialty, any exhibits or shows in which the artist’s work was featured, awards achieved and periodical publicity. She worked with Barbara Blashek and Mickie Shipman to find background information for entry into the Argus computer program. Data entry for the first Argus version was done by Carole Rose, Zelma Horwitz and Ann. Fifteen years later, the new Argus program had been revised, and the information re-entered, and Ann says it is a convenient program, requiring hours of volunteer time. Two volunteers are currently working on the data entry, Ann Gorton and Susan Caulk. When interviewed in 2010, Ann said they were up to the letter “F” in the alphabet, letters referring to the artists’ first initials of their last names. With thousands of artists represented in the library files, volunteer accomplishment in having reached the sixth letter of the alphabet was a huge leap forward.
Behind the “white sheet” the files contain ephemera no matter how brief or unusual the format. Inclusions may be anything from resumes and exhibition catalogs to documented interviews and/or awards. The ephemera collected in NAARC differs from the Pamphlet Files, in that each artist’s file holds personal additions such as business cards, gallery publicity for their own art, newspaper articles pertaining to each individual, and family photographs in which whole families of artists are represented. Some of the files contain letters and entries to the annual Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market each March, the entries being supplied to the library by the Guild. In January, 1996, there were 15,400 artists’ files in the NAARC.
The files’ objectives document, preserve and make available to researchers primary source materials. The files contain information provided by artists, and are open to them for adding information and materials to supplement content already there. Volunteers keep files in order and added to, as information comes in. Availability to researchers, artists, students, staff, volunteers and families, acknowledges the effects and importance of art in society, from the study of contributions by artists, to the general welfare of culture and history. Files include brand new and well-known artists, whose work is varied from carving in stone and wood; to textiles from weavings and sewn clothing; from painting to sculpture; and from basketry to jewelry to ceramics to glass. The work itself may be traditional or contemporary. Other work represented by artists in the files may be film or music, photography, and some live performance information.
Other Guild members at recent work on NAARC have included Anita Hicks and Christy Vezolles filing document cases—large file boxes which house works of artists whose information has outgrown standard file sizes. Each document case is categorized as to publications, awards and exhibits, and new biographical information.
Research for NAARC files recently has depended on Roy Fazzi, whose hand has been on newspapers, magazines, additions about work from artists entering the Indian Fair and Market and other sources, and getting them into the files and/or passing them along to other volunteers. Filing materials beyond the white pages has involved Nan Steiner–our Jane-of-all-trades, who has done staging for the Indian Fair and Market, led guided tours before there was a Guild (with gracious help from Maie Heard and Eula Murphy), has been involved with the Heard Museum since 1957, and whose work on NAARC has continued for many years.
A Pamphlet File was begun which included information for individual artists. When NAARC was established, individual artists were represented in their own files, and the “pam file” became holders containing such ephemera as photographs of Indian art from a variety of artists, articles from publications about upcoming exhibits in all parts of the country, and indeed, the entire western hemisphere.
Volunteer Barbara Watkins has contributed hours and days to the physical processing of information. She and Barbara Campbell have cut and pasted reams of articles and photographs, continuing to keep the Pamphlet Files fleshed out, with new additions coming in every day, and amounting to 1,500 broad topics.
Jeanie Burns put in order a guide to the files, and keeps it updated and tracked on the computer. But this file began with a handwritten list—a thesaurus—done by Edna Monroe. It progressed to a Word document organized by Mario and Bilie Jane Baguley, and thence to a database done by Aileen Lea, then proceeded to Jeannie, who is seldom seen away from the computer or the file cabinets. In November, 2010, the Pamphlet Files held 88 linear feet of clippings, booklets, reprints and pamphlets. This file, like NAARC, is never at a standstill, as the flow of information is constant.
Music and Film
The collection of music CDs is continuously bolstered with donations from Canyon Records. With additional acquisitions and donations, the number of sound recordings—CDs, audiocassettes, and record albums—is now over 1,275 and continues to grow. The film collection of videos represents American Indian and indigenous film worldwide—about 1200 videos.
Within the video collection is housed the Joel and Lila Harnett Native Film Library. Also in this collection are reels of film, laser disks and many VHS files, but the bulk of it is modernized with DVDs. The Harnetts set up the fund that allows the library to continue purchasing native film work for the shelves.
Other donors to the film collection are Native People’s Magazine, giving 200 VHS videos; and from the Education Department right here in the Heard Museum, a donation of museum performance videos.
Thanks to the Book Sales, the library purchased an audio visual corner, where visitors can view film and/or listen with earphones to music, and look at digitized photographs without bothering nearby researchers in the Reading Room.
Keeping the online files up to date and the shelves in order is Beverly Watkins, skilled at the computer and with numbers. Music, movies, tapes, VHS, CDs and DVDs are on the library shelves in their own sections labeled and filed in the computer by volunteers current and past, as these kinds of donations and acquisitions come in frequently.
Native Americans Artists Directory is the book written by Mary Graham and Carol Ruppe, following the gathering of artist information in Arizona and New Mexico. This publication is the first official catalogue of artists in those two western states.
The library shelves are filled with books on art, ethnography, journals and histories, novels and poetry, individual artists and museum collections, music, dance, tribal life on reservations past and current and include life for “city Indians” who have chosen to live and work off the reservations. There are books in a series, such as the 30-book set, Indian Tribal Series, a gift in 1981, each volume taking up an individual tribe. There are books of notes taken at Heard Museum staff meetings, picture books, books about Indian art in general and specific titles referring to each of the arts and cultures, from beading to firing a pot, from coming-of-age rituals to ceremonials in reverence of nature. There are biographies of artists and individual tribes, about arguments with the United States government and land disputes among tribes themselves, and fiction for children and young adults as well as adult readers. As a general rule, books do not leave the library in the hands of the public, as the Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives in the Heard Museum is a research library, not a circulation institution. Volunteers and staff are exempt from that restriction in certain circumstances with approval by the librarians. In November 2010, 35,000 books were on the shelves.
Books for the collections are acquisitioned as finances permit, and also donated to the library. Some books come from donations to Book Sales, when they are considered by Mario to be valuable additions. When Jeanne Snodgrass King agreed to donate her books to the library and archives, she insisted that the books go on the shelves, to be available to researchers, Guild volunteers and staff, and not linger in the archives vault. When she was at the museum in 1996 to curate an exhibit of art collected by Jim Bialic, she said, “The main reason for the exhibit is to show that Indian art changed over the years. I fear that many people look at Indian art as always the same. Artists change, and consequently the art changes. It’s important for the viewer to know that Indian art is different. There’s a wide variety of styles, techniques, color schemes—action, quietness— it’s such a variety.” Her books and papers, with letters from artists who became her friends are in the library collections. Her book, American Indian Painters, was donated to the library by the author, and resides on the reference shelves.
Las Guias reserve a shelf in the library reading room for information—books and pamphlets and other published materials–to assist their talks about current exhibits. To become familiar with the assets available to them, new Las Guias are offered a tour of the library led by Lucille Shanahan.
The collections here are astounding. Even a brief look at the shelves begins to advise the researcher of great variety and depth: from Arizona Highways and Native Peoples and American Indian Art Magazine to bound volumes of the Heard Earthsong and Journal. Scientific journals on archeology and anthropology from universities, histories of Indian cultures, ethnic studies and United States government information, tribal newspapers, and extended series of out-of-print publications newly bound are a mere suggestion of the entire periodical collection.
Billie Jane Baguley was for years in charge of getting the periodicals cataloged correctly and placed on shelves, making room for additional journals and newsletters, and collecting serial titles numbering nearly 2,000, which amounted to over 6000 bound volumes in 2010. Periodicals in that year topped 200 subscriptions. Billie Jane took responsibility for making ready the publications which needed new covers, not only setting up the bindery arrangements but boxing the books, then unpacking and shelving them all over again when they were returned. A particular typewriter was kept in the library workroom for Billie Jane’s use—to type cards for every publication. Like many other library and archives tasks, this part is now being managed on a computer.
- Artists and their works (slides, including donations and the accompaniments to artists’ entries for the Indian Fairs
An early donation for the photographic collection from April, 1932, was “Arizona Mule Teams” with no attribution. By 1938, no photographs were being acquired by the museum due to lack of funds during the Depression.
What a change sixty years can make! Slides numbered in the thousands in January, 1996, and the Photographic Files contained more than 28,000 prints and negatives.
The Slide Library holds slides on fine art, crafts, indigenous technologies and ethnographic objects. To view slides, an appointment with a librarian must be made in advance.
Protected in the archives of the library in 2010 are more than 300,000 photographs and 830 linear feet of manuscripts and other materials resided in nearly 300 research collections. Some major collections are the Fred Harvey Company papers and photographs, the R. Brownell McGrew papers and photographs, the Barry Goldwater color photography collection, and “Remembering our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience.” Although these major collections are noted as examples, a one-of-a-kind piece also may hold a special place, such as a signed letter, or private paper, or original sketch.
Institutional records are part of the archives, and may be viewed by request to a librarian. The selection in the archives is vast, with the majority offsite. Archives contain Articles of Incorporation and minutes from the Board of Trustees back to 1929. In 2010, additions of museum correspondence, Board minutes, Guild scrapbooks and other internal documents amounted to 338 cartons occupying 500 linear feet of shelving.
The Native American Artists Archives contain documentation of the artists’ careers. Major collections include but are not exclusive to work of Harry Fonseca, Pop Chalee, Ramona Sakiestewa, Kay WalkingStick and Nora Naranjo Morse.
General information on library and archives collections may be accessed online: www.heard.org, click on Library, and follow the titles desired for information, photos and further references. To view the nearly 1,000 digital images, click the “digital library” category at this website.
And here is just a bit more on Volunteer Opportunity: The importance of volunteer involvement in the library and archives is crucial to their continued presence and stature, growth and development. Besides the collections mentioned above, volunteers keep the premises on the second floor whistling additional tunes, to wit:
Materials for the library and archives are donated every single day. Donations come in envelopes, a box, on a post card or in many boxes at once, and every donation is inventoried by volunteers. Acknowledgment is done by volunteer Donita Beckham with a letter of thanks that includes the inventory in full or in part. Before the letters are mailed, Mario reads and signs them, they are then mailed, and copies are filed in the library workroom. Books are eventually shelved or preserved in the archives, as are other gifts from donors. In addition, Donita is the library’s liaison to the Guild Board.
Acquisitions for the collections are made regularly as financial circumstances permit. Each acquisition is processed, with details filed, the accession appropriately numbered and ultimately filed for a shelf, for the archival vault, and/or displayed on the bookshelf in front of the workroom. Guild volunteers have assisted with accessioning from early on, when Ruth Harris was at the helm. Next, instead of writing out the information on separate sheets of paper, ledgers were used to keep accession records, and now have become computerized with MARC.
One more committee needs to be known, as it is preservation with a difference from papers and photographs and publications and artists’ information: it is the documentation of volunteers themselves. The Oral History Committee began in the early 1990s with discussion among Guild members, encouraged by Dixie Melby and Vivian Price, past presidents of the Guild. It became a reality when it was approved by Mario Klimiades and Ann Marshall in 1992. Two years later it gained further approval from Heard Museum Director Martin Sullivan and the Board of Trustees, to become a Standing Committee of the library and archives. Volunteers continued to administer the program, and today 25 oral histories are on file in transcripts and tapes. In May 1996, the committee itself took over the heretofore hired-out job of transcribing interviews, thus saving money and giving a more personal feel to histories they were hearing. Some of the oral histories were done with the following people: Violet White; Norma Jean Coulter; Anna Mae Murphy; Billie Jane Baguley; Mary Guilford; Isabel Burgess; and Glen Taylor.
In 1996, the Heard Museum North Scottsdale opened on January 13, with an exhibit of paintings by Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo and Apache artists, entitled When the Rainbow Touches Down. A call for volunteers went out prior to the opening, for guides and interpreters, special events people and helpers in their shop and with educational programs. The museum was located in El Pedregal. It was believed at the time—and proven true ever since—that a sister museum in the northern location would bring American Indian art to a wider audience and provide collections from the Phoenix location to be viewed as special exhibits there. Education for Guias has continued to be the same in both locations. The Heard Museum North Scottsdale has since been moved to 32633 Scottsdale Road, with additional space for collections and exhibitions, and a café and expanded shop.
Outstanding volunteer Billie Jane Baguley has been working in the library since 1979, and has amassed over 10,000 volunteer hours. She is reticent to accept thanks for her efforts, but here are some of the places—certainly not all— where she has put her time:
Committees: she chaired the Quality Assurance Library Committee (QALC), held regular meetings with agendas, had her watchful eye on all phases of the meaning of “assuring quality” and kept minutes. In February, 1996, the QALC reported new shelving and that the Slide and Photograph Committee volunteers were planning an ASU field trip. In September 1996, minutes on donations were recorded: from Atlatl; Harry Fonseca; and Mark Grossman.
Billie Jane also chaired the Library and Archives Committee with the same vigor, treating committee members to what was new in collections with mention of what everyone could do to help.
She took care of publications from Indian tribal newspapers and other periodicals, the binding of serial editions, and continued to do it all herself. This likely unrecognized but necessary chore was what she did until she turned in her badge in 2009.
Billie Jane has contributed money to the library as well, providing internships and part-time help to staff. Through personal donations, she increased object collections, and American Indian jewelry as well as books, post cards, photographs and awards conferred upon her.
She has continued to dispense her wry humor and lively wit as well as hours. Her curiosity on a wide variety of topics has kept her going on Heard Museum trips and wanderings of her own. She has given much to the library and archives, but her importance as a volunteer is that she gave and continues to give herself. Because books and precision in caring for them and for the library are so important to her, she’s been a model of the spirit of volunteerism with her standard of “doing it right the first time”. Some of her pleasures include celebration of her birthday with staff and volunteers in the Monte Vista Room, and to accept a gracious “thank you” from time to time. The Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives bears her name in friendship and gratitude. The dedication of her name was conferred on the library in 2004.
Other long-time volunteers in the library have been Catherine Carroll, who oversaw magazine subscriptions and made sure they were renewed or cancelled as called for, that they arrived in a timely manner and that the library was being charged the agreed-upon prices. Catherine also kept the records for volunteer hours in the library. Kathryn Whalen, who was a Guias member for years before joining the library, has been taking care of handwriting out every single acquisition card and order, and keeping records up to date.
All aspects of the library and archives are in one way or another contributed to by Guild volunteers. It is unthinkable that this enclave on the second floor could exist without that dedication. Positions for library volunteers are always open, and in a variety of occupations from cutting and pasting with real paper and gluesticks to computer cutting and pasting in electronic files; from keeping track of donations and filling in acknowledgment letters, to helping with the Book Sales whether it’s heavy lifting or keeping the tables full and in order. Whatever the skill, the library has a place for it.
The number of library hours turned in annually is tremendous and a gift to the museum as well as the library. Guild volunteers are known outside of the Heard Museum and the community for their continuing effort to support the mission here: to provide a museum where American Indian art and culture are available and beautiful and educational. This is a unique and quiet place to spend some hours in awe of what can be done with earth, stone, trees, plants, bone, metals, wool, paints, and a paint brush fashioned from a cactus string. Surprises on film, video, in a hogan or in a walled garden under a Yaqui-created ramada, can also be viewed online from the Heard website, www.heard.org.
The “actual” library is a friendly, comfortable place to be. Artwork is displayed on library walls, and a photographic exhibit lines the hallway on the way in. The furniture in the Reading Room is vintage, from the chairs and tables to the needlepointed cushions. Modern tables along the walls provide workspaces and computers for volunteers and researchers, and are available to Guild members looking for information.
Mario believes volunteers complement what staff does. He says there is a good relationship among Heard staff, with curators, the shop, and artist speakers who take part in Guild meetings. Betty or Mario interview new volunteers, and Betty is the trainer for new people as they arrive. She keeps records on Book Sale expenditures, and each section’s contributions to the extraordinary amount of data amassed daily. Betty is involved with committees who meet when they have things to discuss, and she will assist volunteers new to computers
There is nothing Mario and Betty won’t do to assure volunteers of their value to the library and archives. Available to answer questions and assist in any job, they are both attracted to all the new ideas and talents volunteers bring in.
Staff is always looking for ways to share rewards with volunteers, arranging field trips with lunch out, getting together for the holiday party potluck, giving a reception for Billie Jane’s birthday or other special events, like Betty’s graduation with her Master’s degree. A volunteer workshop may be on the agenda for 2011. Honoring one another is part of the staff-volunteer team
For some volunteers, simply getting to the museum is an endurance test. Kathryn Whalen at times has to take three buses to arrive on Monday mornings, and Barbara Watkins has been known to arrive by bus as well. That people willingly put up with inconveniences in order to continue to be present and work on their tasks in the library is a tribute to the staff and says volumes about volunteer loyalty to the ”grand enterprise.”
The five original shelves of the library in 1929 have had a life here unimaginable to Dwight and Maie Heard 82 years ago. In terms of public interest, they would not be amazed, nor that American Indian artists would have space of their own, nor would they have been surprised that archives established a treasure vault of valuable information.
What would have arrested their attention is the size of the library and archive materials. And what would have brought immense pride to them is the distribution to researchers, historians, teachers, scholars and school children, a public interested in the mission here, information in an instant, all over the world. How they would have been pleased to know that their dream of the museum they envisioned had a library honoring and harboring Indian culture and art, and that the reality of their own donations has reached nearly 40,000 volumes. The Heards were futuristic people, thus the growth, stature and prestige gained by the library and archives would have fit honorably into their original plans.
“The public” is now everywhere, and the library has had a special, secure place from the beginning. Five shelves of books began a claim that has no end. Donations and acquisitions arrive daily, and not always on paper: digital offerings are tendered, meaning that a donation that actually resides in another museum library may be donated virtually to the archives at the Heard.
The engine that keeps the library and archives humming along is the unique team of staff and volunteers. Mario is reticent to take much credit for staff alone. The finer part of that compliment to volunteers is that volunteers feel the same. A communal purpose is felt, and that is with hard work, talent, skills, and sociability to enhance the treasure within these walls. Money is raised together and new members sought. Volunteers honor one another and the name over the door is one of our own: The Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives. These voluntary gifts become important to life’s pleasures for all Guild members who lend their hands, minds and hearts here. You are cordially invited to join in this extraordinary endeavor
This brief history of the Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives at the Heard Museum has been a treat for me, and my thanks go to Lea Seago for having trust in my abilities to take it on. It would have been impossible to begin without the gracious assistance of Mario Klimiades and Betty Murphy who gave me hours of time, pointed me to resources, staff and volunteers who were also available to help–and then checked out the accuracy of information I’d assembled. To all of you whose assistance is in the work, I offer this: you are extraordinary and I am honored to have a place in the strength, wit and determination you so willingly impart to the “grand enterprise” that is the Heard Museum