What was there before Whole Foods?

2011 Google Maps aerial view of the corner of Myrtle and Broadway
As the City of Boise welcomes a new grocery store to the corner of Broadway and Front Street, Special Collections takes a moment to reflect on the history of this corner lot. Since the 1970s, the lot contained between Front and Myrtle, Broadway and S. Ave B, was mostly vacant – abandoned warehouses and a dirt lot.

The concrete slabs, which are now under the Whole Foods building, were once part of the headquarters for the Morrison-Knudsen Construction Company. From the 1930s to the 1970s, M-K operated a worldwide civil engineering and construction management firm from this location.

Harry Morrison, president of the company, was a big supporter of Boise Junior College and an original trustee. In the photo below, the B.J.C marching band, directed by John Best (center in white), thank Mr. Morrison (on the right) as part of Harry Morrison Appreciation Day – November 5th, 1958. In the background is M-K headquarters and current location of Whole Foods. From this angle, Broadway Avenue is just behind the machine shop.

Harry W. Morrison Appreciation Day
In the early 1970s M-K moved its headquarters across Broadway Avenue to what is now the URS building. The U.S. Forest Service took over ownership of the buildings on the lot sometime in the 1990s. By the mid 2000s, the Forest Service had left the buildings mostly vacant and in 2009 they gave permission to the Boise City Fire Department to use the empty structures for a training fire.

It remained vacant until 2011, when construction began on Whole Foods and Walgreens. Find more photos of the B.J.C. marching band, Harry Morrison, and the 1950s at Historic Boise State.

Jim Duran,
Special Collections


Social Explorer

The Boise State campus community now has access to an amazing historical and current time demographics tool!

Social Explorer contains over 18,000 maps, and millions of data elements that span 220 years. The interactive mapping tools help students and faculty to create infographics that depict a time period and place to help better understand the period.

This tool can be used by any Boise State student, staff or faculty member. This video will show you the basics on how to create a map or infographic and save, share, and use it! This will impact your presentations, reports, and papers.

The content includes:

  • Current and historical demographic data
    • The entire US Census from 1790 to 2010
    • All annual updates from the American Community Survey (from 2005 to 2010)
    • All annual updates from the American Community Survey
    • InfoGroup data on religious congregations for the United States for 2009, including maps for counties, and special census areas, as well as point maps of the actual congregation locations (to be updated yearly)
    • The Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS) from 1980 to 2000. (To be updated in 2012.) 
    • Carbon Emissions Data for 2002 from the Vulcan Project
  • Creates thematic and interactive maps that make it easy to visually explore all historical and modern US census data across the centuries and even down to street level detail where available. 
  • Creates reports at all geographic levels including the state, county, census tract, block group, zip code and census place (where the data exist).


The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960 to 1974

Want to find primary source material from The Sixties? Albertsons Library recently purchased a new database containing letters from activists, the New Left, newsletter, photographs, and other incredible content that helps explain this era. 

The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960 to 1974. This database documents the key events, trends, and movements in 1960s America with 150,000 pages of rich and complex original materials. 

Research freedom rides, sit-ins, the draft, the Equal Rights Amendment, Earth Day, the Free Speech Movement, the Stonewall riots, Woodstock, the Summer of Love, the Space Race. 

The materials in this database can be used in many courses and students will enjoy the rich and engaging content.

Search the database, and find some gems today! Everyone with a Broncoweb username and password has access to this resource. If you need help, contact us! Help is available 24 hours a day. 


The Life of a Rodeo Queen

Snake River Stampede Queen, 1959
 What do rodeos, cooking, and Christian romances all have in common? They are all major parts of the life of Donna Fletcher Crow. Born in 1941, Crow graduated from Northwest Nazarene College in 1964 with a B.A. in Language and Literature. She married Stan Crow and taught high school English, literature, and creative writing in Boise and Nampa.

"Making Choices" novel, 1987.
This background led her to be the author of over 50 books in various genres. Known best for her Christian and historical fiction, Crow also wrote mysteries and several volumes of the “Making Choices” series, which were of the choose-your-own-adventure genre. In addition to writing, she was an avid reader and corresponded with numerous authors, including Diana Gabaldon, Jeffrey Archer, and Dick Francis.

Crow authored “The Frantic Mother Cookbook,” which contains sections for the variety of cooking needs: lunchbox, Sunday dinner, ladies luncheon, Sunday school, bedtime snacks, family picnic, and “Luncheon for my Mother.” These include recipes but also personal commentary and stories. Crow was an experienced hostess and enjoyed entertaining in her home, such as gourmet club, worship studies, tea parties, and mystery dinners.

As a teenager, Crow entered and won rodeo queen contests. She was the 1959 Snake River Stampede queen and Miss Rodeo Idaho. While competing in the Miss Rodeo America contest, she said, “I think Rodeo is one of the greatest and leading sports in America today.”

So how do we know all this about Donna Fletcher Crow? Because she donated her papers to Special Collections and Archives. Her collection includes scrapbooks, photographs, ticket stubs, articles, drafts of her writings, correspondence, diaries, and other material she saved throughout her life. The guide to her collection is online: http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv29232/.


Library Hours During Thanksgiving Break

The Library will be open limited hours for Thanksgiving Break:
  • Saturday 11/17 -- 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Sunday 11/18 -- 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Monday 11/19 -- 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 11/20 -- 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 11/21 -- 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 11/22 - Saturday 11/24 -- CLOSED
  • Sunday 11/25 -- 10:00 AM to 12 Midnight

If you will be in town next week, come by to study and enjoy the relative quiet before the rush of finals and the end of the semester begins.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Mary Aagard,
Head, Access Services


Announcing Digital Commons Networks

Starting this fall, faculty and students who have added their research to ScholarWorks will now be included in the Digital Commons Network. With almost 600,000 full-text documents, the Digital Commons Network is one of the largest collections of openly accessible scholarship currently available. Organized using a subject taxonomy, content is grouped into discipline-specific “Commons.” 

Researchers can browse the Discipline Wheel, conduct a general search, or navigate to the Commons of each major discipline (Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Law, Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences). From each Commons, researchers can browse titles or drill down to see additional sub-disciplines.

The Digital Commons Network also helps highlight the work of Boise State and its scholars by featuring the most popular resources during the last month. In October for example, Boise State ranked in the top ten accessed publications in the sub-disciplines of Bioinformatics, Literature in English – North America, Hydrology, Interpersonal and Small Group Communication, Power and Energy, Disability and Equity in Education, and Medical Nutrition. 

Inclusion of Boise State works in the Digital Commons Network helps raise the profile of faculty and scholarship and enables searchers to find research produced at Boise State. To learn more, please visit ScholarWorks.

Michelle Armstrong,
Librarian / Asst. Professor


Former BSU Professor Glen Barrett’s Research Files Open for Research

Professor Glen Barrett with a copy of his
book, Boise State University: Searching
for Excellence, 1932-1984

Glen Barrett arrived at Boise State University, then called Boise State College, in June of 1968. In 1984 he published Boise State University: Searching For Excellence, 1932-1984, a book honoring the university’s 50th anniversary.

In creating the book, Barrett compiled almost 600 research files on a variety of topics related to Boise State history. He made extensive use of the materials in Special Collections and Archives and when the work was completed the files were placed back in the archive, processed, and indexed.

Although a finding aid was available to in-person visitors of the archive, Special Collections and Archives is proud to announce that a finding aid for the Glen Barrett Collection on Boise State University is now available online at: http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv78878

Did you know that Boise State University was built on the site of the old Boise Airport? If you search the above finding aid you will see that there is a file about this in the above collection. There is also an interview with former Boise State President John Barnes, files related to the history of KAID and KBSU, files on buildings in and around campus, and snippets of campus life.

Glen Barrett’s entire book, as well as the other books written about Boise State History by Eugene Chaffee and Patricia K. Ourada, are available online through ScholarWorks at http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/uni_books/ . Boise State University Special Collections is open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

Kent Randell,


Export Notes from Downloaded eBooks

The Bluefire Reader app made a few updates to their app, which adds to what you can do with downloaded eBooks from Albertsons Library!

Now you can take notes in downloaded eBooks from EBL, when you use the app Bluefire Reader.

You can now take notes, highlight passages, and mark bookmarks - then export and share them all with yourself or others!

If you use an iOS device, you can now export all of your notes from your eBooks with two clicks using the Bluefire App. Android devices can only share one note at a time, but they're working on this as well. Download it now from Google Play.

Here's how!

First, hard hold the text and select it to highlight, add notes, etc. 
Once you've finished adding all of your notes, they will appear in bookmarks. So tap the bottom of the screen, and then select Bookmarks.
In the upper right, look for the box with an arrow coming out of it. Then select email, if you want to email the notes to yourself.

Type in your email address, and send! It will be nearly instantaneous.

In Android, you can do this one at a time only. But you can do this in iOS also. Select the text, and add a note, then share each one individually by doing a hard hold on the note.

Search for eBooks now! For help downloading eBooks, check out our guide! Or ask us for help.


Staff & Faculty Campus Delivery Service

Are you a current staff or faculty member on the Boise State University campus? Did you know that we provide book delivery to your campus mailstop?

There are just a few settings you can adjust in your Interlibrary Loan account to receive those at your mailstop, and when you place a Hold/Request on a book, you can select the Faculty/Staff option, and add your mailstop.

This video should help! Let us know if you have any questions!


Boise State University’s Gender Equity Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary This Fall

The Women's Center was founded in Fall 1992 and was organized by a group of students, faculty, staff, and HERSWest, Boise State’s Women’s Faculty/Staff Association. Its mission is “to empower students to achieve their goals and promotes social change by providing educational outreach, support services, and a safe place.” Funding for the Center’s creation was obtained by Dr. Larry Selland, interim president at the time.

The Center was signed into being as an official administrative unit on July 1, 1993, by Selland. The university provided the Center with funding and established an advisory board during this time. The educational outreach opportunities provided by the Gender Equity Center strives to raise awareness of policies, services, and programs at Boise State that affect women. It also provides a place to meet and study, and is located in the SUB on the second floor.

The Center is well documented in Special Collections and Archives through scrapbooks, photographs, event materials, newspaper articles, and correspondence. Newsletters and other publications produced by the Center, as well as items created for Women’s History Month are also housed in Special Collections.

The materials are open to the public.Materials in ScholarWorks on the Gender Equity Center include the annual booklet published in March during Women’s History Month titled “Women Making History.” The years span 2001-2011, and the collection may be viewed at the link below http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/wmh/ 

More information about the Gender Equity Center is available at their website, https://genderequity.boisestate.edu/.

[Update 12/13/17: The Women's Center changed its name to the Gender Equity Center in 2016]