Sid White Papers, 1970-1990  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

White, Sid, 1924-2008
Sid White Papers
1970-1990 (bulk)
1925-2009 (inclusive)
22.0 cubic feet
Collection Number
This collection documents the life and work of Sid White (1924-2008), a founding faculty member of The Evergreen State College.
The Evergreen State College, Malcolm Stilson Archives and Special Collections.
Archives and Special Collections
Daniel J. Evans Library
The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA
Telephone: 360-867-6126
Fax: 360-867-6790
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Sid White Papers document the professional, and, to a smaller extent, personal, life of Sid White. Sid was a founding faculty of The Evergreen State College (TESC). The collection spans from 1925-2009. The bulk of material reflects Sid's pursuits during his time at TESC (1970-1990). The early portion of the papers documents his time before TESC and the later portion documents his time as emeritus and his pursuits during retirement.

The collection consists of photographs, papers, personal and professional correspondence, clippings (information artifacts), school records, books, audiotapes, copies of Ex-CBI Roundup, super 8's, videotapes, 3 ½" Mac formatted floppy disks, drawings, sketchbooks, sketches, studies, slides, copies of original artwork, research materials, fliers, exhibit catalogs, records for Evergreen Galleries and Exhibit Touring Services of Washington State, grant applications, academic program planning materials, evaluations, and a marionette.

The Sid White Papers is comprised of seven record groups. The first three record groups, Sid White Archive, 1925-1970, Sid White Professional Pursuits, 1970-1992 and Sid White Art Archive were arranged by Sid White with assistance from Pat Matheny-White and originally placed in binders. The documents have been removed from the binders and put into archival boxes. Sid's original organizational order has been maintained. The remaining records have been arranged in the following groups: Memoir: Formative years: Reflecting on life-shaping events and episodes in my life, TESC 25th Anniversary, Media (Information storage), and Objects.

In Volume 1 of Sid White Professional Pursuits, 1970-1992, Sid wrote a brief introduction to each volume. In the introduction to Sid White Archive, Pat Matheny-White gives the researcher the following initial introduction:

"Sid’s family: wife Pat Matheny-White, son Steven Finnegan White, daughter Sally Cooper Tang, daughter Lucy Webster White and nephew John White, are pleased to donate the Sid White Archive to The Evergreen State College Library Archives. This Archive includes not only Sid’s 60-volume Evergreen Professional Archive from his career while at Evergreen; but also his personal, professional, and artistic archive from his high school days forward. These combined archives provide a centrally located record of the development of his ideas and creativity throughout life, documenting his adventures in “thinking on paper and in various media.” There are seeds of ideas from his study of graphic design in high school that came into fruition later, as he designed publications and exhibits, and taught presentation design in many media. After serving in India during World War II, Sid contracted tuberculosis; his arguments with the deacon in the Sanatorium during his recovery led to his getting a graduate degree in philosophy. There are many examples of this phenomenon of the germination of ideas, as Sid fully recognized while designing and writing his memoir, Formative Years: Reflecting on Life-shaping Events and Episodes In My Life [and Thinking: a Life Theme Volume 1 & 2]. This memoir will be added to the Sid White Archive. We know Sid would have been pleased to have the complete documentation of his life available in Evergreen’s centrally located Archives. He has fully developed his Evergreen Professional Archive and organized the material in his other archives in a similar way." -Pat Matheny-White

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Sid White (1924-2008)

Sid was born in Detroit, Michigan, 12 December 1924, to immigrant parents of Rumanian and Jewish descent. In his early life he lived in various places including Russia (1931-1936) and Brooklyn, NY. While in Brooklyn he went to Abraham Lincoln High School, which specialized in graphic design.

He voluntarily inducted into the Army after high school and was stationed at many places in the United States and abroad in India (1944-1946). He was honorably discharged from the Army 12 January 1946. He attended Wellfleet (MA) School of Art. He contracted tuberculosis in 1946 and spent the next year at a sanatorium run by Sisters of Mercy in Gabriels in upstate New York. From 1948-1951 he attended the University of New Mexico, receiving his bachelor of arts in art education with a minor in philosophy. He then attended the University of Wisconsin from 1951-1952, receiving a master of science in philosophy with an emphasis in aesthetics and social philosophy. From 1952-1953 he returned to the University of New Mexico as a doctoral candidate in American studies with an emphasis on art in American society.

Throughout the 1950's he taught at high schools in Raton, NM and Menlo Park, CA. Beginning in 1958 and for ten years, at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, OR. In 1950 he married Molly Finn White. They had three children: Steven, Sally and Lucy. While at OSU, he directed the Junior Year Abroad program for the Oregon System of Higher Education, during which time he and his family lived in Pavia, Italy (1964-1966).

In 1970, he was hired as planning faculty of The Evergreen State College(TESC). That same year Sid and Molly divorced. From 1971-1989 he was a faculty member of TESC. In 1972 he married Pat Matheny-White, with whom he collaborated professionally and personally until his death. In 1971 he helped plan and facilitate Evergreen Galleries and from 1978-1989 he was the Gallery Director. He assisted in the creation and became the Director/Curator of Exhibit Touring Services in 1981 and remained as head until 1990. In 1989 he received emeritus status from TESC. He assisted in the research and documentation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of TESC. During his years in retirement he wrote his memoir: Formative Years: Reflecting on Life-shaping Events and Episodes in My Life and Thinking: A Life Theme Volumes 1 & 2. Sid died 21 January 2008.

Patricia Matheny-White (1945-)

Pat was born Patricia Matheny 28 July 1945 in Bemidji, MN. She grew up in Blackduck, MN. In 1963 she went to Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN where she received her bachelor of arts in music history and performance. At this time she met Jim Holly, who would become the founding Dean of Library Services at The Evergreen State College (TESC). In 1967 she attended University of Denver (CO), Graduate School of Librarianship, where she received her master of arts in library science with an emphasis in academic librarianship.

She began her career at Southwest Minnesota State College. In 1970, she was recruited by Jim Holly to be part of the TESC library planning staff. She helped develop the non-print collection with Sid White. Sid and Pat married early in 1972. Pat continued working at TESC Library in many different capacities for 25 years. In the 1977 academic year she took professional leave to do academic research in late 19th and early 20th century art. After her studies she also became a member of TESC faculty.

Throughout her career she collaborated with Sid on many projects, including; Chicano Cultural Expression in the Pacific Northwest project and the Peoples of Washington project, in the roles of Resource Director and Research Coordinator. She retired from TESC in 1995 and became an emeritus faculty librarian. During her years in retirement she collaborated with Sid to organize his archives and write his memoir, and create the Chicano Archives at The Evergreen State College Archives. Currently, she is working on her own archive and memoir.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Duplication by the archives in no way transfers either copyright or property right, nor does it constitute permission to publish in excess of "fair use" or to display the materials.

Preferred Citation

In all cases, publication or display of our materials must carry the credit line: " From The Evergreen State College Archives". Citations of specific materials should include the accession number, provenance and series title, file folder heading (if any) followed by the specific item's identification (title or description).

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Most of the collection was arranged and described by Sid White with assistance from Pat Matheny-White. Original arranged order was maintained when placed in archival boxes. The author of this finding aid has described the original order of this collection using the verbiage of Sid White and Pat Matheny-White whenever possible. Some items have been added to the collection where they fit into the description. Other items were kept separate and arranged in other records groups within the collection.

Processing Note

Some items in this collection are minimally processed and will go through further processing when time is available. One box, student work, is completely unprocessed. The records groups Sid White Archive, Sid White Professional Pursuits, and Sid White Art Archive were processed and described by Sid White with assistance from Pat Matheny-White.

Acquisition Information

The materials in the archive were donated by Sid White's widow, Pat Matheny-White, and his children, Steve White, Lucy White and Sally Tang.

"We feel honored to join Pat in donating this archive to Evergreen. Our father’s years at TESC and with Exhibit Touring Services were the culmination of a full life of discovery, travel and personal transformation. Along with our mother Molly White, we shared in the adventures of the Eugene, Pavia and Corvallis years that are included in this archive. Even before his arrival in Olympia in 1970, Sid White was the pathfinder, thinker, taskmaster and dreamer whom we were privileged to call Dad. Pat’s careful custody and unstinting efforts in organizing this portion of the archive are a wonderful testament of her love and collaboration." -Steve White, Lucy White and Sally Tang

Related Materials

Related material can be found in Evergreen Galleries Collection, SPC1990-51 the Chicano Art & Culture Archive Project 1979-1989, SPC2009-04 People of Washington Project Documentation, 1976-12 PP.M384 the Pat Matheny-White Papers, and 1976-32 Program Histories.

In addition to the collection available in the Evergreen State College Archives, there are related materials located at The Library of Congress: American Folklife Center: Sidney D. White Collection (AFC/2001/001/31890), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

I:  Sid White Archive, 1925-1970Return to Top

3.75 cubic feet

This records group documents Sid's life from 1925-1970. It consists of photographs, papers, personal and professional correspondence, clippings (information artifacts), school records, books, audiotapes, and copies of Ex-CBI Roundup. There is extensive documentation of Sid's time in the Army, with particular attention to his time spent in India (1944-1946). This series also documents his education from high school to doctoral candidacy, and his early professional life. The books included in this series are books written by educational mentors in Sid's life. The series was originally arranged by Sid White and described by Pat Matheny-White: description is as follows.

Sid White Archive: 1925-1970 A 31 Volume Archive produced by Pat Matheny-White

Container(s) Description Dates
Archive Introduction/Overview
Presenting briefly written introductions to each of the 31 below listed volumes, along with commentary on special components within each volume.
SDW Personal
Sid was born in Detroit and during this time period he lived in Detroit, Manhattan, Russia, Monroe, Michigan, Chicago, and Brooklyn. There are photos of family and friends, including those taken when he was on leaves during the early years in the Army. Information on the principal of his high school in Brooklyn and his mentor/graphic design teacher, Leon Friend. Accompanying this volume is a copy of Leon Friend’s book on graphic design.Sid was able to specialize in graphic design in high school.
SDW Personal
Sid lived in Brooklyn, Belmar, NJ and then voluntarily inducted into the Army and was stationed at Ft. Dix, Waynesville, Lexington, Boise, Spokane, Newport News, India, Burma. He then came back to Brooklyn, followed by art school in Wellfleet on Cape Cod.There are photos of his days in the Army and of the places he was stationed. This volume also includes information as a result of his research on his Army experiences.
SDW Personal, Gabriels
While Sid was living in Wellfleet he contracted tuberculosis and spent a year in a sanatorium run by the Sisters of Mercy in Gabriels in upstate New York. This volume has photos and documentation on the sanatorium, as well as his writings that were stimulated by his discussions with a deacon who was also a patient at Gabriels.
Bill Joyce Correspondence
Bill was a very close friend that he met when he was in the Army. They were intellectual compatriots during the war and carried on a lively correspondence for a number of years from 1947 to 1957. They resumed writing to each other in the early 1990s.
SDW Personal
Sid lived in Wellfleet, Brooklyn, Albuquerque, Madison, Raton, NM, Menlo Park, Eugene, Corvallis and Italy during this time.There are photos of family and friends as well as transcripts from the University of New Mexico and the University of Wisconsin.More of the documentation of this time period is in other volumes.
SDW Personal, Writings UNM
Sid graduated with honors with his bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of New Mexico. Some of the highlights of his numerous writings at this time include: “Symbolism in Art.” April 8, 1949.“A Proposed Humanities Course.” October, 1949. See the following volumes for other highlights.
SDW Personal, UNM, Colorgrams
Sid developed this method of teaching students to create with “controlled freedom.”There are a number of examples of student work as well as Sid’s.
SDW Personal, UNM, Writings, Integration
This was a well-developed method of thinking and teaching that was written in response to a proposal for an Honors Program at UNM.
SDW Personal, UW, Writings
Sid was fortunate to study with Max Otto, a scientific humanist. He received his master’s degree in philosophy and aesthetics.One of the key papers that he wrote was “Emerson and the War.” 1953
SDW Personal, UW, Max Otto Correspondence
Sid and his mentor corresponded for a few years after Sid got his degree.Accompanying this volume are copies of Max Otto's books.
SDW Personal, UNM Doctoral, Writings
Sid went back to UNM to do his doctoral work in American Studies. A highlight of his writings was “Proverbial’s Quest for Objectivity.”
SDW Professional, Writings, Raton, Eugene
Sid’s first teaching experience after leaving UNM was in the high school in Raton, New Mexico.He publishes “Epidemic in Raton” New Mexico School Review. Vol. 35, No. 7 (March 1956): 15 and his organization of “Good Government Day,” a town and gown event was documented in the local newspaper.After teaching one year in a high school in Menlo Park, CA, Sid was fortunate to get a teaching appointment at the University of Oregon.Important published articles were: “Why You Can’t Teach Art to Children.” 1957.“Collegiate Inventors,” Old Oregon. Vol. 38, No, a (August-September 1957): 12.“Symbolism in Children’s Art,” Journal of the National Art Education Association. Vol. 10, No. 4 (April 1957): 7-10.
SDW Professional, Audiotape, Eugene
A tape of a lecture at the University of Oregon.
SDW Professional, Corvallis
A published article included in this volume: “The Nightmare,” Oregon Art Association Bulletin. Spring, 1959.
SDW Professional, Corvallis
A student Publication
SDW Professional, Corvallis, Writings
Important published works were: “What is This Child?” School Arts. Vol. 61, No. 10 (June 1962):6. “Some Problems in Communication in Art Education,” Oregon Art Association Bulletin. Fall, 1962.“On Questions and Answers” Guest Editorial printed in the Opinions From The Hill column, The Corvallis Gazette Times. July 2, 1964.“Art as A Way of Life,” School Arts. Vol. 64, No. 6 (February 1965): 5-8."Toward a Theory of Transformational Thinking" (unpublished manuscript).
SDW Professional, Corvallis, Writing PAA Review
Russell Day recruited Sid to be the Editor of the PAA Review, the publication of the Pacific Arts Association.
SDW Pavia
Sid directed the Junior Year Abroad program for the Oregon System of Higher Education at this time. The whole family lived in Pavia for two years. They also traveled around Europe in their VW van.
SDW Professional, Corvallis
This volume includes correspondence and documentation of various production projects.
SDW Professional, Corvallis, Audiotape
This tape is the soundtrack for a production, “Pop Art,” that was broadcast on KOAC, the Oregon Public Broadcast station.
SDW Professional, Corvallis
This volume contains correspondence and documentation on projects and teaching.
SDW Professional, Corvallis
This volume documents Sid’s teaching and presentations, and his job search for a new interdisciplinary teaching environment.

II:  Sid White Professional Pursuits, 1970-2007Return to Top

15.0 cubic feet

This records group documents Sid's life from 1970 on and contains the bulk of this collection. This portion documents Sid's endeavors at The Evergreen State College(TESC), his work with exhibit Touring Services of Washington State(ETS) and his time as an emeritus faculty at TESC. This collections is comprised of professional correspondence, photographs, curriculum development, evaluations, papers, audiotapes Evergreen Galleries and ETS records, brochures, catalogs, clippings (information artifacts), and grant applications and documentation. During his years in retirement he put extensive work into the organization and description of this portion of the collection. Some items have been added to this portion of the collection, including documents that relate to parts of this collection and a program from his memorial service in 2008. A more in depth description of this portion of the collection is included in Vol. 1 Archive Introduction and Overview. His guide description is as follows:

Sid White Professional Pursuits: 1970-2007 A 60 volume Archive collaboratively produced by Sid White and Pat Matheny-White

Container(s) Description Dates
Archive Introduction/ Overview
Presenting briefly written introductions to each of the 60 below listed volumes, along with commentary on special components within each volume.
Planning Year
Planning Year Photos,Position Paper on the Arts At Evergreen
Teaching Years
Evergreen Teaching Chronology:Space, Time and Form, 1971-72;Image and Idea, Fall 1972-Winter, 1973;Multi-Media and Video Production Group Contract, Spring, 1973;Freud and Jung, Fall 1973, Winter 1974;Public Information Group Contract, Spring 1974;Public Information and Minority Affairs Group Contract, 1974-1975;Multi-Media Cluster Contracts, 1975-1976.
Teaching Years
Audiotapes for: Space, Time and Form, 1971-72;Image and Idea, Fall 1972-Winter, 1973.
Teaching Years
Recent Art History/Painting & Photography Group Contract, Spring, 1977;Collaborative Arts Consortium, 1977-1978.
Teaching Years
Images in Sequence Group Contract, 1978-1979;Scott Miller Records, 1977-1980;Looking at Images Module, Fall 1978-Winter 1979.
Teaching Years
Audiotapes for: Chuck Close Interview;Recent Art History/Painting & Photography Group Contract, Spring, 1977.
Teaching Years
Audiotapes for: Looking At Images Module, Fall 1978-Winter 1979 Summer Photo Institute, 1979
Teaching Years
Teaching Years
Individual Contracts and Internships, 1974-1990;Gallery Management and Exhibition Design Internships, 1979-1990.
Parallel Pursuits
Parallel Pursuits
Dean and Self Evaluations
Evergreen Galleries Exhibits
Please note: A number of exhibit catalogs, too large to fit into the EG Volumes, are stored in a separate container.
Fall 1978-Winter 1980
Evergreen Galleries: Spring 1980: Shamsud-Din Exhibit: Public and Personal Work
Spring 1980
Evergreen Galleries: Exhibits
Early regional and cultural diversity exhibits:Evergreen and Photography, 1981;Alfredo Arreguin and Sudan Lytle, 1982;Latin America: Women as Artists and Artisans, 1983;Chicano Poster Exhibit, 1983.
Fall 1980-Fall 1989
Evergreen Galleries: Exhibit Slides
Evergreen Galleries Correspondence
Exhibit Touring Services: Program Planning and Correspondence
Exhibit Touring Services: Audiotapes
Exhibit Touring Services: Program Records
Exhibit Touring Services: Exhibit Brochures
Exhibit Touring Services: Exhibit Slides
Exhibit Touring Services: Campaign to Save the Program
Evergreen Galleries- Exhibit Touring Services: Correspondence
Exhibit Touring Services: Correspondence
1986, 1989, 1990
Exhibit Touring Services: Chicano/Latino Art Exhibits
Chicano and Latino Artists in the Pacific Northwest
Exhibit Touring Services: Chicano/Latino Art Exhibits
Exhibit Touring Services: Chicano/Latino Art Exhibits
Audiotapes for: Mexicano/Chicano Culture Discussions and other Chicano and Latino Artists exhibit events.
Exhibit Touring Services: Shamsud-Din Exhibit
Peoples of Washington Projects
Planning and Correspondence
Peoples of Washington Projects
Evergreen Peoples of Washington Weekend
Peoples of Washington Projects
Exhibit Touring Records
Peoples of Washington Projects
Peoples of Washington Projects
Special Responses, Reviews and Evaluations
Peoples of Washington Projects
Audiotapes for project events
Early EG and TESC Grant Applications
Regional Photography and Printmaking, 1979 Washington State Arts Commission, $2,000Roots of Third World Art (Seed Grant), 1980 The Evergreen State College, $1,500Evergreen and Photography, 1980 Washington State Arts Commission, $750, The Evergreen State College Foundation, $500Goya/Scholder Exhibit, 1981 The Evergreen State College Foundation, $500Community Art Project, 1981 POSSCA, $1,000Martin Luther King Exhibit, 1984 The Evergreen State College, $2,500
Isaac Shamsud-Din: Public and Personal Work
Washington State Arts Commission, $2,795 (with Gifts and Matching form Oregon Arts Commission, Pierce County, Museum of History and Industry, Tacoma Cultural Pluralism Center)
Exhibit Touring Services Funding
Washington State Arts Commission, $270,670; Washington Commission for the Humanities and other sources, $101,089.
Art and Cultural Diversity: Pacific Northwest Perspectives
National Endowment for the Humanities, $99,534Mexican/Chicano Art and Cultures in the Pacific Northwest, 1982 National Endowment for the Humanities, $98,928
Chicano Cultural Expression
National Endowment for the Humanities, $15,000
Sichuan Photography
Washington Commission for the Humanities, $6,050 (with Gifts and Matching from First Interstate Bank)World of Sichuan’s Children, 1983 Superintendent of Public Instruction, $15,485 (with Support from ALPAC Corp.)
Chicano/Latino Artists in the PNW
Washington Commission for the Humanities, $8,565 Washington State Arts Commission, $5, 000 Idaho Arts Commission, $1,500 Spokane Arts Commission, $150 King County Arts Commission, $700
New Directions Northwest
Washington Commission for the Humanities, $10,481 Oregon Commission for the Humanities, $3,500 King County Arts Commission, $2,500
Peoples of Washington Traveling Exhibits
Washington Centennial Commission, $70,339 (with Gifts and Matching from Great American Bank)
Peoples of Washington Traveling Exhibits
Washington Commission for the Humanities, $31,443
Peoples of Washington Traveling Exhibits
Washington State Centennial Commission/Washington State University, $35,000
Peoples of Washington Projects
Fiscal Grant Records
King County Arts Commission, $27,950
In Praise of Pattern: The Art of Alfredo Arreguin
Planning documents including Exhibits USA. This exhibit was not funded
Emeritus Years
Audiotapes of an interview with Sid on the history of Evergreen
Emeritus Years Professional Projects
Betty LaDuke Project

III:  Sid White Art Archive, 1941-1979Return to Top

1.0 cubic feet

This records group documents his body of artwork from 1941-1979. This series is comprised of original pieces and copies of original artwork. The series consists of drawings, photographs, sketchbooks, slides, and printouts of digital copies. The series was organized by Sid and includes his documentation. The description is as follows:

Sid White Art Archive, 1941-1970s

The following volumes document Sid’s artwork throughout his life. They include original art as well as copies of larger paintings and drawings.

Container(s) Description Dates
SDW Art, High School
SDW Art, High School, Cargoes and Landmark,
SDW Art, Army
This volume is accompanied by a container of his drawings.
SDW Art, Brooklyn, Albuquerque, Raton
SDW Art, Corvallis
SDW Art, Olympia
SDW Art, Olympia

IV:  Memoir: Formative Years: Reflecting on Life-shaping Events and Episodes In My Life and Thinking: a Life Theme Volume 1 & 2, 2005-2009Return to Top

0.125 cubic feet

This records group includes a PDF and print copy of Sid's memoir. Also included are several variations of the manuscript.

V:  TESC 25th Anniversary, 1996-1997Return to Top

0.875 cubic feet

This records group documents the exhibit created for The Evergreen State College's 25th anniversary celebrated in 1996. While Sid was emeritus faculty he assisted in the creation of this exhibit. The series consists of questionnaires and responses by prior students and faculty who were present in the first academic year of evergreen, photographs, 2 published books of responses, exhibit planning material, exhibit material, and research materials.

VI:  Media (information storage), 1959-1990Return to Top

1.083 cubic feet

This records group consists of various media storage devices including reel to reel audiotapes, super 8's, VHS videotapes, Umatic videotapes, and 3 ½" Mac formatted floppy disks containing information relating to the academic and professional pursuits of Sid. 11 of the audiotapes and all videotapes reflect academic programs at The Evergreen State College. The remainder of the audiotapes and the super 8's are from Oregon State University. The floppy discs contain information pertaining to the Peoples of Washington Project.

VII:  Objects, 1971Return to Top

0.25 cubic feet

This records group consists of one marionette (stringed puppet) made of paper-mache in the likeness of Sid created by students in the first program Sid taught at The Evergreen State College.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Art and philosophy
  • Art, Modern--20th century - Washington (State)--Olympia--Exhibitions
  • Art--Exhibitions
  • Art--Study and teaching (Higher)--Washington (State)--Olympia
  • College teachers--Washington (State)--Olympia
  • Interdisciplinary approach in education
  • Universities and colleges--Washington (State)--Olympia

Personal Names

  • White, Sid, 1924-2008--Archives
  • White, Sid, 1924-2008--Pictorial works

Corporate Names

  • Evergreen State College. Faculty.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Matheny-White, Pat (collaborator)