Holden, located in Washington’s Cascade Mountains above the West side of Lake Chelan, originated as a copper-mining company town in 1937. In 1960, three years after the operation shut down, it was transformed into a non-profit Lutheran retreat center, now known as Holden Village. Both the mining and Lutheran communities have generated substantial archival collections, the three largest of which are currently housed at the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, and Holden itself. Making use of finding aids, reports and summaries written by past and present Holden archivists, and the personal recollections of former residents, this paper traces the history of these collections, including episodes of both institutional neglect and concerted preservation efforts. To some extent, this history serves as a case study for the archival challenges faced by small, remote communities, but it also demonstrates ways in which Holden may be unique.

Author Biography

Mattias Olshausen is a Research & Instruction librarian at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. He is also co-editor of the International Journal of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities.



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