Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Lendol Calder

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Christianity | Oral History | Photography | United States History

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Lying in Augustana’s Special Collections are three insignificant looking items. Two three-inch black binders with white labels which read “Holden I Copy” and Holden II Copy” in red ink. These two binders along with a plastic spiral-bound paper compilation are photographs and memories of former Augustana German professor Erwin Weber’s summer at Holden Village in 1977. Titled “My Days at Holden,” this compilation is an unpublished photo-book detailing the wilderness and the people of the community of Holden Village. This isolated village situated in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State draws many individuals, including Erwin Weber who in the summer of 1977 came to lecture on the life of Martin Luther. However, what he came away with were photographs, poems, songs, and memories which he made into a 200 plus page book.

After uncovering these items I had a desire to learn more about the man who took such beautiful photographs and made quite a remarkable compilation of a summer at Holden Village. To my dismay, I learned Erwin Weber passed away only a few years ago. My questions could not be answered by the man himself. Instead I turned to what was left – his books, artifacts, and the people that knew him to help understand Erwin Weber’s relation to Holden Village. By turning to these items and people and by viewing Holden Village as a place I worked to interpret the significance of Holden Village to the former Augustana professor known as Erwin Weber.

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A Place of Gemütlichkeit: The Holden Village of Augustana German Professor Erwin Weber

Lying in Augustana’s Special Collections are three insignificant looking items. Two three-inch black binders with white labels which read “Holden I Copy” and Holden II Copy” in red ink. These two binders along with a plastic spiral-bound paper compilation are photographs and memories of former Augustana German professor Erwin Weber’s summer at Holden Village in 1977. Titled “My Days at Holden,” this compilation is an unpublished photo-book detailing the wilderness and the people of the community of Holden Village. This isolated village situated in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State draws many individuals, including Erwin Weber who in the summer of 1977 came to lecture on the life of Martin Luther. However, what he came away with were photographs, poems, songs, and memories which he made into a 200 plus page book.

After uncovering these items I had a desire to learn more about the man who took such beautiful photographs and made quite a remarkable compilation of a summer at Holden Village. To my dismay, I learned Erwin Weber passed away only a few years ago. My questions could not be answered by the man himself. Instead I turned to what was left – his books, artifacts, and the people that knew him to help understand Erwin Weber’s relation to Holden Village. By turning to these items and people and by viewing Holden Village as a place I worked to interpret the significance of Holden Village to the former Augustana professor known as Erwin Weber.