We Love Dark Horse Comics!

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January 12, 2015 – May 1, 2015
First Floor, Elevator Lobby

Dark Horse Comics was founded by Portland State alumnus Mike Richardson in 1986 and has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States, with mutual ties to the film and television industries. In 1998, the company originated the Dark Horse Deluxe brand of merchandise, which includes models, toys, and collectibles from Dark Horse and other lines. Dark Horse also has developed a strong manga program through collaboration with Japanese manga creators since the 1980s.
Domo figurines from Dark Horse Comics
The Portland State University Library Dark Horse Comic Collection contains a browsing collection of all Dark Horse publications as well as a research collection of print materials and realia. The exhibit from PSU Library Special Collections presents just a few examples from the wide variety of genres and formats represented in the complete Dark Horse Comics catalog, including original comic series, licensed projects, manga, and collectibles.

View the exhibit on the Library’s first floor, and then check out your favorite Dark Horse titles from the browsing collections on the Library’s third, fourth, and fifth floors.

Learn more:
Dark Horse Comic Collection at PSU Library
PSU Library Special Collections
Dark Horse Comics


Display Highlights

Above: “Dark Horse, working with Big Tent Entertainment and the NHK broadcasting corporation, brought Domo-kun, a popular Japanese cult-icon character, to the United States, with a series of products ranging from Qee figurines to journals and stationery sets. Dark Horse now sells over thirty-five different Domo-themed products” (via Dark Horse Company History).

Buffy2Above: In 2007, in conjunction with series creator Joss Whedon, Dark Horse launched Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, which continued the story from the television series. Merchandise included Buffy mugs, pint glasses, a “Conversations with Dead People” Board (also known as a ouija board), a vial of “holy water,” and a cross necklace for fending off vampires.

Caspar2Dark Horse has released collectible lines for Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys and The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy; Roman Dirge’s Lenore; Rob Reger’s Emily the Strange; and classic comic strips including Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, and Harvey Comics Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Above: Dark Horse launched Star Wars comics in 1990. “While licensed projects had been around for decades, most publishers devoted few resources to titles they did not own. Dark Horse took a different tack by plotting stories and using top talent to create comics series that were essentially sequels to popular films” (Dark Horse Company History).

The exhibit will be on display through May 1, 2015. The research collection, which contains one copy of every Dark Horse comic book, graphic novel, collected edition, book, print, poster, statue, figure, and all other products, is available by appointment in PSU Library Special Collections for scholarly use.

Women Committed to Community Action: Honoring 104 Years of Service

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September 22, 2014 – January 3, 2015
First Floor, Elevator Lobby
The PSU Library’s fall term exhibit highlights 104 years of contributions to the local community by the Junior League of Portland.  The Junior League, a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

The exhibit illustrates JLP’s origins, fundraising endeavors, historic preservation initiatives, community arts programs, and family service programs, many of which are still thriving with the work of community volunteers.  PSU Library Special Collections is home to records documenting the JLP’s administrative and public service activities from the 1920s through 2010.

See the exhibit in the Library first floor elevator lobby, from September 22, 2014 to January 3, 2015.

Many thanks to members of the Junior League of Portland Archives Committee, Joanne Carlson, Sarah Munro, Karen Wheeler, and PSU librarian Kris Kern, for their work curating this exhibit. Thanks to Carolee Harrison for assistance with images and for installing the exhibit.

Building Art: Oregon’s Percent for Art Program at PSU

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July 7 – September 15th, 2014

An Exhibit by the PSU Archives of Capital Projects and Construction

Since 1975, Oregon state law mandates that at least 1% of construction funds for new or remodeled buildings with a budget over $100,000 be used for the acquisition of public art.  Building Art shows how construction has generated public art at Portland State through examples of Percent for Art exhibitions on campus, with behind-the-scenes looks at the selection, design, and installation processes.  Discover public art at Portland State, how it was created, chosen, and placed, and how new artists can get involved with the Percent for Art program.

Building Art is created by the Portland State University Archives of Capital Projects and Construction.  The exhibit can be viewed during Summer 2014 in the PSU Library first floor elevator lobby.

Taxonomy, Ecology and Conservation: The Life and Tides of Joel Walker Hedgpeth

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Illustration by HedgpethApril 9 – June 27, 2014

The exhibit featured books and documents from the archive of Dr. Joel Walker Hedgpeth (1911-2006).

Dr. Hedgpeth was a key figure in marine biology and oceanography, first along the inter-tidal coast of California and Oregon, the gulf coast of Texas, and then across the world. He was a skilled illustrator and editor, and authored many publications. With a distinctive voice, he lectured widely and influenced many students of marine and estuarine biology.

Hedgpeth’s primary field was taxonomy, and he specialized in Pycnogonida, a group of marine arthropods known as “sea spiders.” However, his life and work included many friendships and relationships with key people in biology and other fields, including John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, Aldo Leopold, C. S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell. He was a supporter of women in science including Olga Hartman, Libbie Henrietta Hyman and S. M. Manton.

Exhibit courtesy of the Estate of Joel W. Hedgpeth
Curated by Randall W. Smith and Gretta Siegel

Hellboy: the First 20 Years

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Hellboy_Thumbnail_175pxMarch 19 – April 18, 2014

Dark Horse Comics has proclaimed March 22, 2014 as Hellboy Day, in recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction #1. We celebrated Hellboy’s anniversary, and the Dark Horse Comics Collection at Portland State Library, with a display featuring Hellboy and other Dark Horse figures, as well as early Hellboy comics.

The Dark Horse Collection includes copies of all materials produced by Dark Horse. The browsing collection, along the curves near the windows on the Library’s third, fourth, and fifth floors, includes one copy of every Dark Horse comic book, graphic novel, collected edition, and book.

Beyond Convention: Women of the Portland Japanese American Citizens League

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thumbnail_JACL_library_exhibit_posterOctober 28, 2013 – March 21, 2014

Drawing on our collection of historic records from the Portland JACL, this exhibit highlights the pivotal roles that women have played in the organization since its inception in the 1930s. Japanese American Citizens League, Portland Chapter Records, 1930-2008, the Library’s new collection, comprises the records of the Portland chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League from 1941 to 1994, with some materials as early as 1930 and as late as 2008. It encompasses the period leading up to the forced exclusion and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the re-establishment of the local community following the closure of the internment camps in 1945. See our Online Finding Aid, and learn more on the Portland JACL Website. Many thanks to Marti Clemmons, Carolee Harrison, and the Oregon Cultural Trust for supporting this collection and exhibit.

Transitions of PSU Library

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June 12 – September 30, 2013

The Portland State Library had already been relocated twice when it was divided in 1968. It had outgrown its original Smith Memorial Center location, but the new Millar Library split services into two buildings: public access in Library West on the Park Blocks and technical services in Library East in Smith. After forty-five years on both sides of the park, a building expansion that changed the library’s size, shape, and look, and numerous remodels to both buildings, PSU Library is again housed under one roof in 2013. This photographic exhibit showed the phases and historic highlights of the library’s physical transitions between 1946 and the present day.

Historic Travels to the Middle East

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moeurs_et_usages_smallJanuary 13 – March 23, 2012

Highlighting PSU Library Special Collections’ Middle East Studies collection, this exhibit drew on a range of 17th- and 18th-century Western studies of the Middle East from fundamental academic works to popular memoirs and featured rare examples of cartography, scientific and landscape illustration, and early printing in Arabic. Materials in this collection have been acquired with generous support from the PSU Middle East Studies Center, the Gordon Hunter Fund, Gary and Patricia Leiser, and the Tarbell Family Foundation.

“Say We Are Here”: Culture, Community and Activism Across Four Generations of Black Oregonians

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Say We Are Here exhibit posterSeptember 26, 2012 – January 31, 2013

PSU Library’s Special Collections presented an exhibit featuring original materials from the Verdell A. Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection. Verdell A. Burdine Rutherford (1913-2001) and Otto G. Rutherford (1911-2000) were leading members of the African American community in Portland for much of the twentieth century. The photographs, documents, publications and ephemera in the exhibit represent the depth and breadth of the Rutherford family’s community service while also providing a rich overview of the institutions and events central to Black Oregonians over the past one hundred years.

Selection and interpretation by Marti Clemmons, Meg Langford, Jeanne Roedel, Tasha Triplett, and Prof. Patricia A. Schechter, PSU Department of History.

The Art of Ornithology: A Century of Bird Illustration

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Painted illustration of birdJune 25 – September 7, 2012

The PSU Library presented a collection of avian art, including the iconic work of John James Audubon, colorful tableaus of rarely-sighted tropical birds, and the first publication of high-speed photographs of hummingbirds in flight. The artists are naturalists, explorers, soldiers, scholars, and hobbyists, all sharing an enthusiasm for birds and a passion for portraying them in lifelike detail.

This collection was generously donated by David B. Dengler, PSU Alumnus 1977.