Planning for the Future While Preserving the Past

Jun 17, 2016

A KSUT interview with Shelby Tisdale, new Executive Director of the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College.

Credit Fort Lewis College

The Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College is so named because it focuses its research and exhibits on the large geographic region known as The American Southwest.

Based at Durango's Fort Lewis College, it owns a large collection of historic materials covering Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

The Center's academic reach is hinted at through its current website banner image. It's a vintage shot of the Sonoran Desert, possibly the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. A long way from Durango.

Plenty of Fort Lewis students and academics can be found at the center, deep in research. But the merely curious wander in, too.

Some come to hunt down old maps and photographs, others to comb through the stacks at Delaney Library. Many stop in to see the latest exhibit at the museum. A summer lecture series brings in notable authors and researchers.

There's even a special program at dawn on the Summer Solstice, modeled after the sunlight solstice markers of the Ancestral Puebloans of the region.

Shelby Tisdale is the new Executive Director of the Center of Southwest Studies. She joined KSUT's Mark Duggan in the studio recently to talk about the center's public and academic programs, and its future.