Sealaska Heritage Institute media intern and Northwest Coast art student Mikayla Mitchell peruses some of the books recently donated to the institute by Lesley Jacobs. (Courtesy Photo | Brian Wallace for Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Sealaska Heritage Institute media intern and Northwest Coast art student Mikayla Mitchell peruses some of the books recently donated to the institute by Lesley Jacobs. (Courtesy Photo | Brian Wallace for Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Sealaska Heritage Institute library grows thanks to donations

Seattle resident donates Northwest Coast art books.

A Seattle resident donated more than 20 books on Northwest Coast art to the Sealaska Heritage Institute library, SHI announced.

Lesley Jacobs, who studied NWC art under the formline design scholar Bill Holm, gave the books to SHI for the benefit of art students, according to news release from SHI.

Any duplicates of books already in SHI’s library will be stored at Gajaa Hít for carvers who take classes there with the institute’s Donald Gregory, a Tlingit art teacher, according to SHI.

“What struck me about Sealaska Heritage is that the institute has so much passion for teaching and engaging with the community,” Jacobs said in a news release. “It seemed like a perfect fit to find a place that would allow the books to be used by many.”

The gift comes on the heels of another donation by a retired anthropologist who gave his entire collection of books and research materials on the Northwest Coast, Sub-Arctic and Arctic culture areas to SHI earlier this month.

“Our research library in a short period of time has evolved to include an important collection of works,” said SHI President Rosita Worl in a news release. “Our goal is to increase scholarship on Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures, and the Sealaska Heritage library, with the help of these donors, will certainly help to achieve that.”

Jacobs studied NWC art in the 1980s for a year under Holm, who was a family neighbor at the time and may be best known for his book “Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form,” which was first published in 1962 and continues to be a staple in NWC art classes today. Jacobs’ father, the late Frank Jacobs, was a woodworker who later studied NWC art and amassed a small library of books on the topic. After Frank Jacobs’ passed away, Lesley Jacobs decided to donate the books to an institution where they would be used.

SHI taff is cataloging both collections, which will be made available to the public.

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