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David T. Mason Papers, 1865-2004

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Mason, David T.
Title
David T. Mason Papers
Dates
1865-2004 (inclusive)
1950-2004 (bulk)
Quantity
12 linear feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0045mason (collection)
Summary
The collection is comprised of notebooks, journals, photographs, posters, programs, correspondence, reports, speeches and writings, clippings, original scores of music, and publications documenting the academic work, research, and interests of Fairhaven College professor David T. Mason.
Repository
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
98225
Telephone: 360-650-7534
cpnws@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English.
Sponsor
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

David T. Mason was born January 7, 1937 in Berkeley, California. His parents, Lucile (Roush) Mason and Herbert Mason were renowned botanical scientists and longtime faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Davis. David T. Mason earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology at Reed College in 1958. In 1961, David received a Master of Arts degree in zoology at the University of California, at Davis, where he went on to complete a PhD in Limnology in 1966. Soon after receiving his doctorate, David became an associate professor of Biology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

David integrated teaching and research with theatrical productions and creative writing. He was actively involved in producing and directing plays, and creating musical scores for countless Friends of Fairhaven Theater productions. He became especially well known for his performance art piece, “Blue Baroque.”

As a much beloved professor at Fairhaven College, Mason taught a wide variety of inter-disciplinary classes including basic biology and ecology theory and practice. Among the very few publicly ‘out’ gay male teachers in the mid 1960s, David also created one of the first gay and lesbian studies classes in the Pacific Northwest. He was also well known for his theater courses and performances. Of particular note are his "Orpheo," "Dictionary" and "Opera" classes. David emphasized experiential learning. Classes such as the ‘Lynden Recycling Project’ helped increase awareness about the importance of recycling. Students in his gay studies class were invited to learn about gay culture by touring the local gay bar. ‘The Course of the Stream’ encouraged students to study natural habitats along rivers and streams in Whatcom County.

During the late 1960s through 1980s, David pursued various research and activist projects, and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 1973, which took him to Uruguay to pursue his environmental research. The Uruguay experience culminated in a series of traveling lectures and multimedia slideshows on environmental concerns which David presented to audiences as varied as learned biology scholars and school children. His sabbaticals and research trips took him mainly to the Alaskan arctic to study the effects of crude oil on natural habitats. His major research interests ranged from limnology studies of Mono Lake in California, and Antarctica, the impacts of sewage treatment and heavy metals on natural bodies of water in the arctic and the Pacific Northwest, and habitat studies along the lower Stehekin River, to ecological effects on plants and animals along the Nooksack River and Lake Abert in Oregon. He also studied the release of chemicals in Bellingham Bay by Georgia-Pacific mill. David produced numerous articles and research papers both published and unpublished for educational presentations and traveling multi-media slideshows.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The David T. Mason Papers reflect the varied interests and research pursuits of this beloved Fairhaven professor and include a small portion of materials relating to the lives of his parents, Lucile (Roush) and Herbert Mason.

Family and Personal papers contains correspondence, photographs and background information about Mason and his immediate family. The Mason and Roush family photographs date from approximately 1865 to the middle of the 1900s and document Herbert Mason’s research expeditions to the arctic during the early 1900s, Yosemite National Park field school, Stanford and Berkeley, California, as well as a host of botanical and geological locations. This series documents his school and formative years, including his experimentation with LSD in the mid 1960s, teaching and scholarly pursuits, and ongoing contact with family, male and female lovers, and friends.

Records pertaining to Mason's education and career comprise the core of his collection, including samples of course materials (lectures and notes) from classes he taught at Western Washington University and at Fairhaven College from the 1970s through the 1990s. Course materials include a clippings file from Mason's Gay Studies class from the early 1970s, as well as handwritten lectures from popular and well-attended biology and ecology classes. Education and Career records also contains project notes, data, published, and unpublished research papers about various sites Mason explored including the Alaskan Arctic, Mono Lake and other sites in California, the Stehekin River in Whatcom County, Washington, and Georgia-Pacific mill among others as well as correspondence and reports from Mason’s sabbaticals and Fulbright travels. The Mason Education records also include slides and field notebooks from Mason's various research projects. Slides include images of people, landmarks, plants, and animals from Bellingham and his world travels. There are also images of theater works and other artistic projects. Locations of slides and field notebooks include: Alaska, Australia, Antarctica, South America, Africa, the Philippines, and Japan.

This collection also contains speeches, lectures, publications and letters of appreciation regarding Mason’s popular and dynamic traveling multi-media slideshows. The collection contains scripts and musical compositions from Friends of Fairhaven Theater productions in which Mason played the vital roles of producer, director, actor and musician. Writings and Art contain samples of Mason's creative writing, drawings, musings, and include several one-of-a-kind local gay publications.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

David T. Mason Papers, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Personal and Family Papers, circa 1865-2004Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Personal Papers
1937-2004
Box/Folder
1/1
Transcripts, resumes, vitae
1961-1980s
Correspondence - Incoming
Box/Folder
1/2
Loline Hathaway to David Mason
1956-1967
1/3
M.S. to David Mason
1957-1960
1/4
Jonathan Hough to David Mason
1957-1968
1/5-1/6
Bernie Oordt to David Mason
1968-1969
1/7
Chuck ___ to David Mason
1973-1977
1/8
Thomas Belfield to David Mason
1975
1/9
Various
1955-2004
Correspondence - Outgoing
Box/Folder
1/10
David Mason to Loline Hathaway
1956-1961
1/11
David Mason to Jonathan Hough
1957-1967
1/12
David Mason to Bernie Oordt
1968-1969
1/13
David Mason to Lucile Mason and Herbert Mason
1972-1974
1/14
Various
1956-1977
1/15
Correspondence, notes and clippings concerning LSD use
1966-1969
1/16
Chuckanut Village and other properties
1970-1972; 1986
1/17
Berkeley High School Yearbook
1954
1/18
UC Berkeley High School Reunion
1979
Photographs
Box/Folder
1/19
Baby album
1937-1939
1/20
Loose baby photos
1937-1939
1/21
Childhood
circa 1939-1950
OversizeFolder
1
Childhood
undated
Box/Folder
1/22-1/23
College
1954-1956; circa 1958-1966
1/24
Adult
circa 1963-1991
1/25
Friends
circa 1960s-1990s
1/26
Seattle Gay Pride Parade
circa 1980
1/27
Nature photographs
undated
1/28
Trip to Japan
undated
Subseries 2: Family Papers
circa 1865-1990s
Box/Folder
1A/1
Correspondence
1939-1955
1A/2
Clippings Herbert and Lucile Mason
1931-1932; 1946; 1972; 1989
1A/3
Notebooks
circa 1940; 1970; 1971; 1974; 1975
1A/4
Family datebooks
undated
1A/5
Childhood music notebook
1944
Photographs
Box/Folder
1A/6
Herbert and Lucile Mason
1931-1969
1A/7
Family and friends
circa 1919-1960s
1A/8
"In Memoriam: Herbert Mason"
1994
2/1
Adult
circa 1920s-1990s
2/2
Family and friends
circa 1920s-1963
2/3
World War I
circa 1917
2/4
Alaska and Inuit
circa 1931
2/5
California, Washington, and Oregon
1918-1946
2/6-2/7
Miscellaneous
circa 1920-1964
Lucile (Roush) Mason
Box/Folder
2/8
Childhood
1896-1914
2/9-2/10
School years
circa 1912-1933
2/11
Adult
1942-1973
2/12
Amelia (Gunther) Roush (mother)
circa 1912-1920s
2/13
Thomas Roush (father)
circa 1865-1934
2/14
Family and friends
circa 1912-1964
Travel
Box/Folder
2/15
Yosemite National Park
1916-1939
2/16
Stanford and Berkeley, California
circa 1916-1932

Series II:  Education and Career, circa 1954-2002Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Course Materials
circa 1960-1999
Box/Folder
2/22
Biology 402 class notes and lectures
1966-1993
2/17
Biology 402 class notes and lectures
1966-1993
2/18
Biology 325 Connelly Creek project, stream studies, and "South Spur of Sehome Hill"
circa 1989
2/19
Communication One and one reel (Super 8 film)
circa 1970s
Gay Studies Class
Box/Folder
2/20-2/21
Articles and handouts
1964-1999
2/22
Gay Academic Union pamphlets, brochures, "chapter starter kit," conference notes
1974; 1978; 1979
2/23
National Gay Task Force materials
1977
2/24
Gay Academic Union Journal, Gai Saber 1, no.1-4
1977-1978
2/25
Clippings files related to gay rights
1975-1993
2/26
Hypothesis re: AIDS and related publications
circa 1982
2/27
Sex roles class lecture
1984 February 27
Lynden Recycling Class
Box
3
35mm slides
1972
Box/Folder
4/1
Project notes and questionnaire
1972
4/2
16mm film reel
1972
Box/Folder
4/3
Opera class
1995
Subseries 2: Fairhaven College
1974-1998
Box/Folder
4/4
Red Square Magazine article (includes a cover photograph of David Mason)
1987
4/5
Awards received and given
1987-1992
4/6
Fairhaven College commencement programs with David T. Mason as master of ceremonies (includes slides)
1974; 1982; 1988; 1989; 1992; 1993
4/7
Retirement celebration invitation and photographs
1998
4/8
Student photographs
undated
Subseries 3: Correspondence
Correspondence is generally about the creation of the College of Environmental Studies including information about the interdisciplinary studies between Biology/Fairhaven and Huxley.
1960-1995
Academic Correspondence
Box/Folder
4/9
Research on Anti-Discrimination policies of several universities and corporations
1975-1984
4/10
TIAA-CREF participation
1972-1973
4/11
Creation of the College of Environmental Studies
1967-1968; 1986
4/12
Visiting Anthropology and Literary Scholar Sophia Morgan
1990-1991
4/13
Letters of appreciation for teaching
1967-1990
4/14
Rehire, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Committee
1965-1995
4/15
Research Advisory Committee (RAC)
1985-1991
4/16
Hiring process and early career at Western Washington State College (WWSC)
1965-1970
Research
Box/Folder
4/17
Experiments with platinum and silver electrodes concerning oxygen concentration in water
1960-1961
4/18
Sabbatical to South America and the southwestern Pacific (includes photos)
1980-1981
4/19
Correspondence to Fairhaven College from Africa
1972-1974
4/20
Project co-ordinations with David Scholl
1964-1968
4/21
Critiques of other academic studies
1982-1983
Subseries 4: Speaking Engagements
1966-1998
Box/Folder
4/22
General correspondence related to speaking engagements
1967-1995
4/23-4/25
Letters of appreciation
1969-1995
4/26
Speeches and papers given at professional meetings and classes
circa 1966-1990
4/27-4/28
Publicity and clippings relating to seminars and performances
1969-1998
Subseries 5: Publications
1966-1991
Box/Folder
4/29
Correspondence relating to papers submitted for publication
1966-1981
4/30
"FAST" [Faculty/Staff publication of WWU]
1985-1991
4/31
"Lace Wing: A Fragment," Ecosphere 2 (January 1971): 9-10
1971 January
4/32
Abstracts of papers presented at the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography meeting
1980
4/33
"Exorcizing the Engineer."California Engineer (March 1970): 32-33
1970 March
4/34
"Post-Deep Ecology, or Yes, Good is Bad" presentation
1985-1987
Reports
Box/Folder
4/35
"Bioassays of Lower Trophic Levels, Volume VI of a Study of Toxicity and Biostimulation in San Francisco Bay_Delta Waters," Berkeley
1971
4/36
"Water Resources Engineering Education Series, Program VIII: Freshwater Lakes and Their Management"
1971
4/37
"An Approach to Quantitative Morality for Engineers: The Strongest Counter Oar."
undated
Subseries 6: Major Research Projects
1960s-1999
Mono Lake, California
Box/Folder
5/1-5/2
Correspondence, affadavits, and research related to Sierra Club lawsuit
1979; 1997
Publications
Box/Folder
5/3
"Biologically Precipitated Tufa at Mono Lake"
1964-1965
5/4
Data and notes relating to publication
1960s-1970s
5/5
Thesis: "Limnology of Mono Lake California"
1967
Box/Folder
5/6
Film: "Lichen and Grout"
circa 1977
Alaska
Box/Folder
5/7
Correspondence relating to research
1978-1987
5/8
Climate data
1977-1981
Reports and Publications
Box/Folder
5/9
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecurias (INIAP-NAPO), Alaskan Arctic
1977; 1979; 1980; 1983; 1989
5/10
"A Bioassay on a Shore Fly at Prudhoe Bay" and "A Study of Petroleum Toxicity to a Shore Fly at Prudhoe Bay"
1978
5/11
"Arctic Salt Marsh Lakes"
1981
5/12
"Biological Stress-strain Relationships in Arctic Salt Marsh Ecosystems"
1981
5/13
"Environmental Assessment of Selected Habitats in Arctic Littoral Systems."
1979 April 1-1980 March 31
5/14
"Effect of Vegetation, Crude Oil, and a Vehicle Track on Salt Marsh," and "Soil Strength in Arctic Alaska, U.S.A."
1980s
5/15
"Reconnaissance Characterization of Littoral Biota, Beaufort and Chickchi Seas."
1977 April 1-1978 March 31
5/16
Habitats in Arctic Littoral Systems (report)
1977-1979
5/17
Environmental Assessment of Selected Habitats in Arctic Littoral Systems, WWU Report
1980
Prudhoe Bay
Presentation Materials
Box/Folder
5/18
Transparencies, Prudhoe Bay
1970s
5/19
Transparencies, "positives" of Prudhoe Bay
1970s
Photographs
Box/Folder
5/20
Prudhoe Bay
1970s
5/21
Aquatic macrophytes (PVO)
1989
Research Notes
Box/Folder
5/22-5A/5
Data and notes
1977-1989
5A/6
Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP)
1970-1986
Uruguay - Fulbright Scholarship
Box/Folder
5A/7
Correspondence and research notes
1972
5A/8
Notebook and travel receipts
1972
5A/9
Photos of the Ektar 125 salt marsh
1999 May 5
Stehekin River
Publications
Box/Folder
6/1
"Habitat Values of Woody Debris Accumulations of the Lower Stehekin River, with Notes on Disturbances of Alluvial Gravels."
1985
6/2
"Follow-up Study of Habitat Values of the Lower Stehekin River," and "Appendix V: Small Animal Mycophagy" by Fred Rhodes
1985
6/3
"Ecosystem Impact of Disturbance of Alluvial Gravel and Woody Debris along the Lower Stehekin River Channel."
1985
6/4
"Small Mammal Microhabitats Influenced by Riparian Woody Debris," and "Running Head: Small Mammals Influenced by Woody Debris."
1986
6/5
Prose: "Stehekin Debris: Narrative of a Wood Pile," presentation and transparencies
1985
Research Notes and Data
Box/Folder
6/6-6/7
Notes and Data
1981-1985
Box
6A
Audio cassettes (data gathered at site)
1984 June-August
Box/Folder
7/1
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather and climate data
1987
Subseries 7: Minor Research Projects
1966-2002
Washington
Oversize-Folder
2
Lake Whatcom, water level graphs
1966-1968
Box/Folder
7/2
Correspondence regarding Georgia Pacific mercury discharge litigation
1970-1994
7/3
Georgia Pacific chlorine/mercury deposits reference and notes
1969-1971
7/4
Nooksack River, data and correspondence
1993
7/5
VAX (computing system) instructions, and data sheets
circa 1982
Oregon
Box/Folder
7/6
Lake Abert, project budget information, project notes and data
1996-1997
7/7
Lake Abert, correspondence
1994-1997
7/8
Research photos of Mount St. Helens
undated
7/9
Minor research reports Lake Abert
undated
7/10
ODFW Scientific Taking permits
undated
7/11
Lakeview Resource Area Planning update
2002
South America
Box/Folder
7/12
Columbia, leaf research, data and slides
1979-1981
Subseries 8: Film
circa 1978
Box/Folder
7/13
Flamingos and beetles in Nyika Africa (super 8)
FILE REMOVED
undated
7/14
Geese, foam (super 8)
FILE REMOVED
circa 1978
Subseries 9: Slides
1954-1989
Box
7A
Alaska, Ski Ski Beach
1977-1979; 1982
7B
Alaska, Tahiti, Colorado, Washington (Whatcom County, Bellingham, Mount Baker)
1961-1978
7C
Arctic, North Sweden, Alaska, New Zealand, South America, Hawaii/Fiji
1954-1974
7D
South America, Australasia, Ghana, Cape Town, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia
1972; 1980
7E
Australia, South America (Ecuador), Asia (Phillippines, Japan)
1980; 1989
7F
California, Mexico, Whatcom County, Artistic and Abstract Works (Food, Words, Reflections, Self)
circa 1983
7G
Bellingham, 'South Side'
1972-1976
7H
'South Side', Mono 1976, Stehokin
circa 1976
Subseries 10: Field Notebooks
1975-1999
Box
7I
Untitled yellow notebook, Mining Transit
1976
South America
undated
Todd Rollins: Biology 325, Ecology
1988
Retirement
1998
Untitled tan notebook
undated
Plants, Fungi, Field notebook
undated
Untitled, Mining Transit notebook
1975
Padden Lagoon/Red River
1991-1992
Important Field Data, Flat Rock, Field Book
1994-1995
Vital Field Notebook
1977
Untitled, Handi Notes
undated
Course of the Steam, Field Notebook
1987 July
Nesset Farm, Transit Notebook
1999
Photocopy of untitled notebook
1983
Untitled, Mining Transit Notebook
1975
Sehome, Field Notebook
1991
Plants, Mining Transit Notebook
1976
Plants Collection, Mining Transit Notebook
1975
Urban Wildlife, Transit notebook
1989
Field Notes and data: mammals, weather, vegetation (2 discs)
1994; 1995
7J
Black with red edging
1982-1983
Yellow with white tape from bottom left to top right, includes letter
1983-1984
1979 Alaska – Includes copy of passport, photographs of David Mason, and negatives.
1979
Yellow 1981-AK – field notes
1961; 1981-1982
Orange EEN-1977 – field notes
1977
Orange AK 1976 – field notes
1976
Yellow ABERT-I + plants
1994-1995
Yellow Mono – Mono Mouse Habitat, contains plant stem with leaves.
1997
1978-KOTZ-II-78 – field notes
1977-1978
PUO-1978 II – field notes
1978-1982
Orange – field notebook
1980-1982
Yellow AK89 – field notes
1989

Series III:  Theatre, 1970-1998Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Production Materials
1970-1998
Box/Folder
8/1
Background information, resumes, theater vitae
circa 1980s
8/2
Cast lists
undated
8/3
Correspondence relating to productions
1973-1998
8/4
Publicity posters
1970s-1990s
8/5
Programs of events
1970s-1990s
8/6
Budget information
1977; circa 1980; 1991
8/7
Clippings, reviews
1977-1990s
8/8
Notes and background information on Bertolt Brecht's productions
1980s
8/9
"Three Penny Opera" character sketches
1980s
8/10
"Darling of the Day" sound recording, review, "The Crucible" mini-script, and ephemera
undated
8/11
"Edward II" songs (music tape)
undated
8/10
"Mother Courage" - Brecht (music tape)
undated
Subseries 2: Scripts
1986-1998
Box/Folder
8/13
"Out of This World"
undated
8/14
"Drums in the Night"
undated
8/15
"With music by Kurt Weill"
1978
8/16
"Edward II"
1982
8/17
"Crisis at Middlesex Ranch"
1986
8/18
"Blue Baroque" - with Director's notebook and script mock-ups
1991
8/19
"Woyzeck"
1993
8/20
"Gilgamesh"
circa 1998
Subseries 3: Compositions
circa 1981-1998
Box/Folder
8/21
Composition notebook
1981
8/22
"The Last Love of Lucifer"
1981
8/23
"I Might Have Been a Star"
1987-1988
8/24
"Whirligig"
1989
8/25
"Gilgamesh"
1998
8/26
Compositions for clarinet
undated
Subseries 4: Photographs
1977-1990s
Box/Folder
8/27
"Trial by Jury"
1974
8/28
"The Yeoman of the Guard" (includes costume notebook)
1979
8/29
"The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat"
circa 1980
8/30
"Gondoliers"
1980
8/31
"The Sorceror"
1981
8/32
"Edward II"
1982
8/33
"Utopia"
1983
8/34
"The Last Love of Lucifer"
1985
8/35
"Crisis at Middlesex Ranch"
1986
8/36
"Princess Ida"
undated
8/37
"Patience"
1998
9/1
"The Mikado"
undated
9/2
"Tommy" - student-directed production
undated
9/3
Unknown plays and performances/theatre events
undated
9/4
"Some Awful Brecht Thing"
undated
9/5
Miscellaneous
undated
Subseries 5: Recordings - Film
undated
Box/Folder
9/6
"Goroka" - six reels
undated
Subseries 6: Recordings - Sound
1979 December 22
Box/Folder
9/7
"Mahogany Live at the Met"
1979 December 22

Series IV:  Writings and Art, 1960-1997Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Poetry, Prose, and Compositions
circa 1960-1997
Box/Folder
9/8
Musical compositions
1964-1990
9/9
Philosophical writings on science, art, and the environment
circa 1969-1995
9/10-9/11
Poetry
1955-1984
9/12
"Stories from a Life"
undated
9/13
Publications, self and local
1990; 1993; 1997
Subseries 2: Drawings
undated
Box/Folder
9/14
Drawings by David T. Mason
undated
9/15
Prints by Stephen McMillan
undated
Subseries 3: Collected Publications
1975 ; 1980
Box/Folder
9/16
"Morning Due: Voices of Anti-sexist Men"
1975 March-April
9/17
"Northwest Oasis: A Forum for Gay Culture"
1980