Memorials to WAML Founding Members and Other Members Who Have Made Major Contributions to WAML

by Katherine L. Rankin

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Below is a list of WAML founding members. If you know the status of anyone we have marked with a question mark, please let me know at

Founding Members 1967

Updated August 1, 2017 and September 26, 2017 with the assistance of Stanley D. Stevens

† = Deceased                [?] = unknown status                [L] = living

Mary Lloyd Blakeley †
University of Arizona

Kathleen Brennan [?]
Western Washington State College

Edwin H. Bryan †
Bishop Museum, Honolulu

Gertrude M. Cordts †
Oakland Public Library

Sheila Dowd †
University of California, Berkeley

Lachlan M. Elder †
Hearne Brothers Maps, San Leandro

Barry Gardner-Smith [?]
Scripps Inst. Ocean. - La Jolla

Carlos B. Hagen †
University of Calif, Los Angeles

Ruth Dahlgren Hartman †
Central Washington State College

Virgil Hays †
Northeastern Nevada Hist. Soc.-Elko

Edward Jestes †
University of California-Davis

Medora Johnson †
San Joaquin Co. Hist. Soc.-Lodi, CA.

Etta Judd †
Oregon State University Library

Elinor C. Kelly †
University of Washington

Beatrice L. Lukens †
University of California, Berkeley

John David McClure III †
Sacramento State College

Robert Gerald Nadey †
Calif. State Lands Com.-Sacramento

H. Theodore Ryberg [L]
Director of Libraries, University of Alaska

Wallace St. Clair [?]
San Fernando Valley State College

William Sanders [?]
U.S.G.S. Library-Menlo Park, CA.

Mimi Sayer [L]
San Francisco State College

Mary Schell †
California State Library-Sacramento

Robert Sivers [L]
Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara

Donald Barclay Slocum Jr. †
Eugene, Oregon

Stanley D. Stevens [L]
University of Calif., Santa Cruz

Edward P. Thatcher †
University of Oregon-Eugene

Fredrica H. Whyte †
Long Beach Pub. Lib.-Los Cerritos

Eleanore E. Wilkins †
U.S.G.S. Library-Menlo Park, CA.

Frances Woodward [?]
University of British Columbi

Stan and I have picked five deceased founding members and six members who joined later for me to write about. We picked people whom we feel have contributed a lot to WAML and to map librarianship, and those contributions are what I am focusing on in this article. There is more information on these people on the Memorials page under the Membership tab on the WAML website. We did not include Mary Larsgaard because there are several memorials to her elsewhere in this issue.

I would like to thank Stan Stevens, Dorothy McGarry, Greg Armento, Linda Newman, and Louise Ratliff who helped me a great deal with this article.

Edward Thatcher, 1916-2001.

Ed was the father of WAML. According to Stan, he was the inspiration for getting WAML started. He was the person with Sheila Dowd welcoming map librarians to that first meeting in 1966 to discuss starting an organization for map librarians in the West. Sheila, Ed, and Carlos Hagen had sent the invitations to the meeting. However, his first letter urging that such a group be started was dated 1959 and was written to the then executive secretary of the Special Libraries Association. Ed also declined being the first president and the first editor of the original journal, the Bulletin. Stan said, “I have always respected and admired Ed’s guiding principles for WAML: an independence from parent organizations, the personal contact between members through semi-annual meetings, an opportunity to learn from more experienced colleagues, the ability to develop a working relationship with a colleague who could be turned to when solving problems in the map room. Independence was a key to his inspiration. While he was a member of other organizations, and did not ignore their possible help in developing WAML, he urged that WAML should stand alone and develop its own organization with the ability to decide for itself how best to strengthen map librarianship as a profession.” At the time of WAML’s founding, other organizations required that members have a degree in librarianship, but Ed believed that the only requirement should be “working in the field of map librarianship”.

Ed worked as a science and map librarian at the University of Oregon from 1952 until he retired in 1981. When he retired, he was the recipient of the first honorary life membership in WAML. Ed also taught map librarianship at the University of Oregon. Harold Otness said, “You can get anything you want in Ed’s map library, and you can get it in a friendly manner, and that is a remarkable feat in the twentieth century world of librarianship”.

Sheila Dowd, 1925-2015.

Sheila Dowd was the mother of WAML. While she was map librarian at the University of California, Berkeley in 1966, she hosted a gathering of map librarians to explore founding an organization that would be devoted to the interests of map librarians in the Western states. That was the beginning of WAML, although she declined to be its first president. Sheila worked at Berkeley for thirty-five years, starting in social science reference and moving on to maps and government documents. She was also Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development for fifteen years starting in 1974. Sheila started working at Berkeley in 1953. She retired in 1988 and received UC Berkeley's highest honor, the Berkeley Citation.

Carlos B. Hagen-Lautrup III, 1929-2010.

Carlos was the third person who signed the invitation inviting map librarians to the meeting to explore starting an organization for map librarians in the West. He also served as one of WAML’s earliest presidents and as vice president and contributed to the Information Bulletin (IB). Carlos was the first head of the University of California, Los Angeles Map Library. According to David Decklebaum, “His goal was to build a cartographic information center with a rich array of many kinds of maps and atlases as well as gazetteers, place name literature, and books and journals dealing with the study of cartography”. Carlos also mentored a number of his employees at UCLA.

Edwin H. Bryan Jr., 1898-1985.

Ed was one of the founding members of WAML and remained a member from 1967 until the 1978/79 membership year when he retired. Ed worked at the Bernice Bishop Museum in Honolulu for over six decades. He was both Map Librarian and Curator of the museum. Ed published Captain Bryan’s Pacific War Atlas during World War II, and he began a title in 1942 that was still being published as of 1985, Bryan’s Sectional Maps of O’ahu, a popular street guide. In 1960, he founded the Pacific Scientific Information Center at the Bishop Museum. Ed knew a huge amount about the Pacific Islands and helped many researchers with that knowledge. He also founded the Honolulu astronomical observatory (including the creation of star charts for the Pacific skies that are still in use). Stan Stevens represented WAML at the memorial for Bryan at the Bishop Museum.

Edward Calvin Jestes, 1929-2011.

Ed was another of the founding members of WAML. He was the Geology Librarian at the University of California, Davis from the mid-1960s through the 1990s when he retired. Ed attended many WAML meetings and published two articles in the WAML IB that were invaluable to those searching for geologic maps of California. He also co-authored (with David Lundquist) the article “Place Name Guides of California: an Annotated Bibliography” for the IB.

Roy Vernon Boswell, 1894-1990.

WAML named Roy an honorary life member at its Berkeley meeting in September 1983. In 1971, he established the Collection for the History of Cartography at California State University, Fullerton, which was later renamed the Roy V. Boswell Collection for the History of Cartography. Roy was the sole volunteer-curator of the collection until he resigned in 1985. He also made pioneering efforts in cartobibliographic description. Roy mounted ten exhibits from his collection, and he wrote a fine-press catalog to accompany each of them. He wrote other works describing his methodology and philosophy, some of which were republished in the IB. He and his colleague Linda Herman wrote an article about his collection with the title “The Roy V. Boswell Collection for the History of Cartography, California State University, Fullerton: a Description with Some Notes on Cartography and Maps” that was published in the IB in 1988 and later as a separate publication. Roy also hosted a WAML meeting in 1973.

Sue Trevitt-Clark, 1946-1998.

In 1967, the Department of Geography and the University Library of the University of Oregon merged their two cartographic material collections into a new branch library in Condon Hall. Sue began working in the Map Room that year as a work-study student. In November 1970, Ed Thatcher made her a permanent member of his staff. She worked there for over twenty-seven years until she passed away in 1998. Sue was always working to improve the large aerial photography collection held by the library. She was president of WAML from 1982 to 1983. Sue started the tradition of compiling lists of WAML officers, committee members, and appointed liaisons that appeared in the WAML IB. She worked with Stan Stevens to compile the historic WAML list for WAML’s twentieth anniversary meeting in Reno in 1987. Sue served as Oregon editor for the IB for many years and wrote several atlas reviews and articles. She was also a speaker at meetings and a member of the WAML Hospitality Committee.

Ron Whistance-Smith, 1935-2003.

Ron served as WAML’s president in 1984-85, as secretary in 1985-86, as a member of the Publications Advisory Committee from 1980-1986, served on the Nominating Committee in 1979-80 and 1984-85, and was WAML’s representative to the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA). In September 1981, he hosted a WAML meeting in Edmonton. Ron also made presentations at WAML meetings and wrote many book reviews for the IB. He was on the ACMLA Executive Board for a year and was their publications editor for a number of years.

In 1971, the University of Alberta hired Ron as interim map curator and made him curator in 1973. For twenty-one years until he retired in 1994, he worked to improve and promote the William C. Wonders map collection, which was originally part of the Geography Department. Even after he retired, he continued to volunteer in the map collection and to hunt down maps for it. He increased the annual acquisition budget from $2,500 to $50,000. Ron quadrupled the number of items in the collection to 400,000, making it the fourth largest collection of maps at any university in North America and the largest academic map collection in Canada. He knew a huge amount about Canadian maps and loved to share his enthusiasm for and knowledge about maps. In 1995, WAML awarded him an honorary life membership. In 2000 at a joint meeting of WAML, ACMLA, and the Canadian Cartographic Association, ACMLA gave him their Honours Award.

Barbara Haner, 1924-2010.

Barbara’s undergraduate degree was in geology, but she decided she would rather use her subject training as a librarian. She took her first post as an earth sciences librarian in 1988 at the University of California, Riverside. In 1995, Barbara transferred to UCLA where she was the Earth, Space, and Atmospheric Sciences Librarian until she retired in 2002. She was the geological editor for WAML, was a member of the Publications Committee, and hosted the spring 1994 meeting at Riverside. Barbara also contributed book reviews and an article to the WAML IB. Her paper “Guidebook Citation Patterns in the Geological Journal Literature: a Comparison Between 1985 and 1967” won the 1991 GIS Best Paper award. Barbara was also active in the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS). She planned its meeting in Seattle in 1994 while serving as vice president/president elect. Barbara was also on the International Initiatives Committee, Best Reference Book Committee, and the Sixth Union List of Geologic Guidebooks Committee, and served as the organization’s first press officer.

Jim O’Donnell, 1952-2012.

Jim served as acting head of the Geology-Geophysics Library at UCLA in 1981. He then moved to Texas and was the science librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio before returning to California in 1986 and beginning to work as manager of the Geology and Planetary Sciences Library at the California Institute of Technology. In 1994, he progressed to running the Earthquake Engineering Library. In 2004, Caltech promoted him to Head of Collections, Information and Research Services. Jim worked in that position until his illness prevented him from working.

Jim was WAML president in 1992-1993, vice president/president elect the year before, and past president the year after. He was subscription manager from 1997 to 2005. Jim reviewed books for the IB and hosted meetings in 1988, 1997, and 2007. He received WAML’s Award of Excellence in January 2012.

Jim was a member of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) for over thirty years. He was a co-founder and an early president of the Pacific Section. Jim also served on the American Geosciences Institute’s GeoRef Advisory Committee for several years. He worked with a group to update the GSIS bylaws in the mid-1980s. Jim set up an informal system to fax papers between the UCLA and the Caltech geosciences libraries. At the 1992 GSIS meeting, over diner at the Rookwood Restaurant, he and other California librarians formed the Rookwood Accord to share materials among their libraries. They added other institutions to the group with the Lake Merced amendments at the WAML meeting at San Francisco State University in 1993. Jim was the publications manager for GSIS and became their secretary in 2003-2004. He was also their webmaster in 1999-2007 and was chair of the society’s Website Advisory Committee from 1998 to 2004. Jim helped choose and present the Best Website Award. He also served on the Mary B. Ansari Best Reference Work Committee from 2002-2004. Jim presented various papers at the GSA/GSIS annual meetings. He served on the Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC) from 1993 to 1995. Jim’s last service to geoscience librarianship was his service on the Geological Society of America Publications Committee.

Richard Soares, 1954-2013.

In 1987, Rich began his career in map librarianship as a senior library assistant in Branner Earth Science Library at Stanford. His position focused on science and maps, and his job included map cataloging and collection development. He moved on to a professional position as a reference specialist in the sciences at Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library in Provo. Rich’s position had an emphasis on reference and collection development in geology, geography, and maps. He took on the duties of map cataloging and preservation. Rich wrote “Early Soil Maps of California, 1900-1940: A Bibliography with Indexes”, and it appeared in the WAML IB in July 2001.   Rich returned to his home state, California, and to his alma mater, California State University, Chico, when he was appointed as an assistant librarian at Chico’s Meriam Library. He served for eleven years as the biology, chemistry, agriculture, nutrition and food science, and nursing librarian. In 2005, he was granted tenure and promoted to associate librarian. Rich wrote several indexes to soil and geological maps appearing in print and online. He wrote bibliographies of early soil maps of California and of the Pacific Northwest issued by the United States Department of Agriculture and geologic maps of Utah issued by the USGS that appeared in four issues of the WAML IB.

Rich joined WAML in 1986. He was very active in the Association through the early 2000s. Rich was business manager from 1988 to 2002 and publications manager from 1992 to 2002. He co-hosted a WAML meeting with Riley Moffat in spring 2001 at BYU and co-hosted a meeting with Joe Crotts at CSU, Chico in spring 2004. Rich provided the first online registration for a WAML conference. He was active in the California faculty union, CFA (California Faculty Association) and was appointed CSU, Chico Faculty Rights Chair in 2008. In 2009, he assumed the role of CFA webmaster.

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