Village Books records, 1980-2019  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Village Books
Title
Village Books records
Dates
1980-2019 (inclusive)
Quantity
3.75 linear feet, (7 boxes)
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0351
Summary
This collection documents the history, activities and impact of Village Books, an independently-owned bookstore in Bellingham, Washington.
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


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection documents aspects of the history, activities and impact of Village Books, an independently-owned bookstore in Bellingham, Washington. The collection contains newsletters, and select subject files relating to issues of censorship, freedom of speech and related legal cases.

Newsletters dated from 1980 onwards document the activities, role and expansion of Village Books as a community-based business. Issues include recommendations for readers of all ages, best seller lists, and information about local literature and arts-related events and opportunities (including events and book groups sponsored by Village Books). The collection also contains issues of Village Books' separate newsletter for children, which began in Fall 1988.

Subject files contain clippings, correspondence and other materials relating to issues of free speech and censorship. These files include documentation of the American Civil Liberties Union's 1988 lawsuit against the City of Bellingham (blocking an attempted anti-pornography initiative), in which Village Books was one of four plaintiffs. The collection also includes materials about reactions to the publication and sale of Bret Easton Ellis' "An American Psycho", and a controversial 1990 issue of "Esquire" magazine, plus two files relating to the 1995 case brought against owners and managers of Bellingham business, The Newstand.

The collection also contains a small number of files pertaining to the design, planning and approval process for the construction of the store building at 1200 11th Street in Fairhaven.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Village Books was established in 1980 by Chuck and Dee Robinson, as an independent bookstore located in Bellingham’s Fairhaven District. The Robinsons and Village Books are recognized for long-term and significant roles in contributing to the expansion and revitalization of local community. Throughout its history, Village Books has engaged in and supported a wide range of community events and programs, including but not limited to author presentations and readings, book groups, the Chuckanut Writers workshops and conference, and the Chuckanut Radio Hour. Chuck and Dee Robinson have been active members of professional organizations such as the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and the American Booksellers Association, and received awards for their civic engagement and philanthropic work.

The original Village Books was located at 1206 11th Street in Fairhaven, but moved into the nearby “Knights of Pythias” building in September 1982, providing room for the Robinson’s new card and gift shop, Paper Dreams. Following completion of a brand-new facility in 2004, the Fairhaven bookstore moved into its present-day location at 1200 11th Street. A second Village Books was opened in Lynden, Washington in 2015. In 2016, the Robinsons sold the two Village Books bookstores and Paper Dreams to longtime employees Paul Hanson, Kelly Evert and Sarah Hutton.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Village Books Records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Washington University.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Newsletters and publications, 1980-2018Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Village Voice
1980-1990
1 2
Book Club Banner
1993-1997
1 3
At The Village For Kids
1988-1990
1 4
Young Readers' Book Club Banner
1994-1997
1 5
The Chuckanut Reader
1991-1999
1 6
The Chuckanut Reader
1999
1 7
The Chuckanut Reader
2000-2002
1 8
The Chuckanut Reader
2002-2004
1 9
The Chuckanut Reader
2004-2006
2 1
The Chuckanut Reader
2006
2 2
The Chuckanut Reader
2007-2008
2 3
The Chuckanut Reader
2008
2 4
The Chuckanut Reader
2009-2010
2 5
The Chuckanut Reader
2010-2012
2 6
The Chuckanut Reader
2012-2013
3 1
The Chuckanut Reader
2013-2014
3 2
The Chuckanut Reader
2014-2015
3 3
The Chuckanut Reader
2015-2016
3 4
The Chuckanut Reader
2016-2017
3 5
The Chuckanut Reader
2017-2018
3 6
The Chuckanut Reader
2019

Series II:  Subject Files, approximately 1988-2001Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3A 1
Privacy Issues
approximately 2001
3A 2
Censorship file - general
approximately 1988-1991
4 1
Censorship files - Newstand Case
This file contains graphic content and imagery that many individuals may find offensive and disturbing.
approximately 1994-1995
4 2
Censorship files - Newstand Case
This file contains graphic content and imagery that many individuals may find offensive and disturbing
approximately 1994-1995
4 3
Censorship files - Banned Books Week
approximately 1992-1994
4 4
Censorship files - Banned Books Week
approximately 1992-1994
5 1
Censorship files - Freedom of Speech materials
Includes copy of open letter written by Nikki Craft to Chuck Robinson
1990-2014
5 2
American Bookseller's Association - Candidate Information
1990

Property and Building Files, approximately 2001-2004Return to Top

Materials documenting the design, planning and zoning process relating to the construction of the Village Books store at 1200 11th Street in Fairhaven.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
5 3
Design Concepts
2001
5 4
Floor Plans
approximately 2001
5 5
Design / approval process
2001-2002
5 6
Design / approval process
2001
5 7
Building appeal
2001
6 1
Planning Commission Materials
2001-2002
6 2
Contracts
2003-2004
6 3
Final Report
2002

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Booksellers and bookselling--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources
  • Independent bookstores--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources
  • Personal Names :
  • Robinson, Charles E (Charles Elwyn)
  • Robinson, Diane M. (Diane Mary)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Village Books--Archives
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Records (Documents)
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Robinson, Charles E (Charles Elwyn) (creator)
    • Robinson, Diane M. (Diane Mary) (creator)