NE Oregon Arts


A Gathering Place for the Arts in Wallowa County

The Alvin M. and Betty Josephy Library of Western History and Culture


The Josephy Library is based on over 2000 books, journals, manuscripts, and artifacts from Josephy home libraries in Greenwich, Connecticut and Joseph, Oregon. It honors Alvin’s work as a historian of and advocate for American Indians, and Alvin and Betty’s commitment to literature, history, the arts, the West, and to the people of all colors and backgrounds who have lived in and loved the West.

The collection aims to be comprehensive with Josephy’s own writings and with material relating to Nez Perce and Columbia Plateau Indian and Northeast Oregon history, geography, and culture, and to relate that work to a broad understanding of the West. The main collection is not circulating, multiple copies of several books and periodicals—especially ones with Josephy’s work or of particular local interest—make up a small but growing lending library. It is cataloged through the SAGE Library system of Eastern Oregon libraries administered by Eastern Oregon University in La Grande— and go to Josephy Library under Wallowa County libraries to see currently cataloged materials.

Alvin Josephy was born in 1915 in New York. He went to school at Horace Mann and Harvard, worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, print and radio journalist in New York, a WW II Marine Corps correspondent in the Pacific, editor at Time Magazine and American Heritage, and wrote a dozen books and hundreds of articles about Indian and Western history, including Patriot Chiefs, The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest, and 500 Nations. Josephy’s advocacy for Indians included work with Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall in the Kennedy Administration and serving as founding board chair of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Nez Perce Academic Bibliography

Sarah Madsen is a college student at Portland State University who worked on a bibliography project as an intern at the Josephy Library this summer. The amount of Nez Perce material is huge, which required a “narrowing” in both types of literature and time periods covered. She did a wonderful job of researching and developing format, coming up with a reasonable scope, and completing the first leg of her task. I say first leg, because her intent–and ours–Is to work continue the work. If there are corrections or additions, please sent the information to

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