Browse Exhibits (5 total)

Rudolf W. Becking


Rudolf Willem Becking was a professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at Humboldt State University from 1960-1983. He did extensive research in Northwestern California, including writing a guide to coastal Redwood forest plants and discovering some of the tallest trees in the world at that time.  Rudolf, or "Rudi," was a gifted botanical sketch artist who also drew insects, salmon, and birds.

Becking also participated in political processes in the Northern California region. Highlights include involvement in the establishment and later expansion of Redwood National Park (1960s and 1970s), environmental issues related to the city of Arcata, California and Humboldt Bay in the 1970s and 1980s, and many other regional environmental issues. He continued his scholarly work, botanical sketching, and political agitation regarding environmental issues until his death in 2009.

 For more information about Becking and a complete description of the contents of the Rudolf W. Becking Collection, please visit the finding aid at


Exhibit curated by Christine Emerson

Susie Van Kirk

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Susie Van Kirk worked tirelessly to provide a safe haven for all those that needed it, human or arbor. Through her activism, historicism, and professionalism, Susie met adversity among the Redwoods head on and played an integral role in solidifying the permanence of our natural resources and human solidarity.

Her works, both personal and professional, were fundamental in the protection of life and history in Humboldt County while her environmentalist work helped establish Redwood National Park.

By Luke Wages

Merle Shuster


As a freelance photographer in Humboldt County in the mid-twentieth century, Merle Shuster captured much of the region’s growth and development during the post-war period. His wide-ranging photograph collection reflects both the diversity of his interests as well as his natural aptitude in the photographic medium. As early as high school, Shuster displayed a passionate interest in photography. After graduating from Eureka High, he was intensively trained in aerial photography in the navy and successfully established his own business in 1946. In response to his blooming reputation in the region, Shuster was regularly contracted to work for local people, businesses, land developers, and insurance companies. This enabled him to not only document the growth of local business, but to also chronicle the natural beauty, changing landscape, and historic events surrounding Humboldt County’s iconic redwood forests.


Curated by Meghan Ueland


Books: Rare and Local


With so much Redwoods can offer it's hard to imagine being able to put all the information into several leaflets and some binding. Books are by no means out of date when it comes to resources, and the Humboldt Room as plenty to offer. Let us explore some of the books in Rare books that talk about redwoods and sequioas, some dating back to 1884, as well as some prime exaples directly from the Humboldt room, a lot of which are published in Humboldt county. 

Lynwood Carranco

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Lynwood ("Links") Carranco came from a small town but that didn't stop him from doing big things. He had a variety of occupations from being an author, local Humboldt Historian, teacher and also a writer. Having touched many pools of interests his main focus was on logging and lumber history. This is most definite in his photo collection, as there are always connections to the mighty redwoods. His books have a deep relation with the photos in the collections.