On Friday, March 8, 7 p.m., Bonneville Power Administration Library and Visitor Center archivist Libby Burke will give a talk at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on its new exhibit, “High Voltage—BPA and the HVDC Test Center, 1963-2017.”
Anyone interested in attending is asked to buy tickets before March 6 by calling (541) 296-8600 ext. 201. The talk starts after a 6 p.m. dinner. Admission is $18, or $5 for the talk only.
The HVDC Test Center was the first facility of its kind in the United States and was established to “use emerging industry knowledge on conversion between alternating and direct current.” The tests it conducted helped the BPA design a system to transmit power from today’s Celilo Converter Station, near The Dalles, to the Sylmar Converter Station in California. That system’s 846-mile-long direct-current line was heralded as the longest of its kind in the world.
The Discovery Center’s exhibit is partially drawn from more than 30 boxes of plans, instructions, day-to-day test documentation and photographs.
Burke’s talk also includes historical films; she has curated two sets of BPA films and a third set is planned for sometime in 2019.
Burke has worked for nearly 20 years in archives at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, the National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle, and the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo, Hawaii. She has been at the BPA’s library in Portland since 2012.