An LSTA Grant for the Chuck Williams Photo Collection

“OSU Libraries receive grant money for activist photographic collection: Work of photographer Chuck Williams, including cultural events, Oregon landscapes, will be displayed at OSU” by A

After winning a competitive Library Services and Technology Act grant, Oregon State University Libraries will begin to make the Chuck Williams collection accessible to the public.

LSTA grants are available for any public library in Oregon to apply for. In January, OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center submitted an application with partner Willamette University Libraries for the shared project “Preserving the Legacy of an Oregon Activist and Artist: Making Accessible the Chuck Williams Collections.” This project seeks to preserve and make accessible the work of Williams, an Oregon photographer, activist, and member of the Grand Ronde tribe. Although WU Libraries is the official applicant, both universities will benefit from the $81,156 grant.

According to Natalia Fernández, curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives, the idea to apply for an LSTA grant came up years ago. In 2016, OSU acquired Williams’ photographic collection while WU acquired papers detailing Williams’ years as an environmentalist and activist.

“We knew that we wanted to collaborate on a project to ensure both collections would be cared for and made accessible to the public,” Fernández said via email.

Larry Landis, director of SCARC, provided guidance during the creation of the grant proposal. According to Landis, due to the large size of Chuck Williams photographic collection, over 185,000 slides and 7,000 prints, the extra funding was needed.

“We felt that it would probably require some outside funding to make the collection available to researchers,” Landis said.

Fernández and project partner Mary McRobinson began working on the application last November and submitted a final draft in January. In April, the State Library Board approved LSTA funding recommendations at which point grant recipients were notified.

“We were both thrilled when we learned we were awarded an LSTA grant,” Fernández said via email. “We are so excited that our project will enable the public to have access to the collections.”

The main purpose of the project is to make both collections accessible, which will involve digitizing certain content, creating a public exhibition, and promoting the collections to regional and national viewers. According to Fernández, the majority of the funds will be used to hire a full time Project Archivist for a year to work on these tasks so that the collections can become accessible [in] 2020.

According to Landis, accessibility means making collections available online as well as organizing them in a way that is useful to researchers.

“If you don’t have information about the collection and don’t know where things are in the collection, it’s really not very usable,” Landis said.

Fernández believes that when the collection is made public, it will have broad research appeal to those studying subjects such as environmental science and politics, legal and legislative studies, grass-roots activism, photography, and Oregon’s communities of color and multicultural history.

OSU’s Chuck Williams Photo Collection features thousands of his photographs dating from the 1980s to the 1990s. Many of the photographs feature cultural events throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest such as Homowo Festival, India Festival, and Greek Festival. Williams photographed numerous tribal events including Pow-Wows and tribal community clinics. Other photographs show Williams’ love of local landscapes throughout Oregon such as rivers, mountains, and parks.

“These rich and varied images will provide researchers and the public with visual knowledge of both well and lesser-known Oregon festivals, communities, and landscapes,” Fernández said via email.

Landis also believes that the diversity of the photographs means that they will appeal to a wide variety of people.

“Somebody might be interested in these great photographs of events that Chuck Williams photographed, somebody else might have a deep interest in the photographs that he took of various indigenous communities,” Landis said.

WU’s Chuck Williams Activist Papers document Williams’ struggle to preserve the Columbia River Gorge. His activism during this time helped to create the National Scenic Area Act, which protects certain areas from further development.

According to Landis, OSU has received LSTA funding in the past, and was the winner of the 2016[-2017] LSTA project of the year for its work in digitizing William L. Finley collections.

“We have a strong track record of receiving LSTA grants,” Landis said.

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The OMA and OSQA Featured in Archival Outlook

The OMA and OSQA are featured in the Society of American Archivists (SAA) newsletter “Archival Outlook” May/June 2019 issue! Back in August of 2018, the OMA and OSQA presented at the annual SAA conference held in Washington DC as part of the panel “From Best Practices to “Next Practices”: Documenting Underrepresented Communities through Oral Histories” – the panelists were then invited to write short cases studies based on their presentations. Below, and online, is the result…

The OMA and OSQA Case Study:

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OSU Solidarity March 5 Year Anniversary – Justin McDaniels Oral History

Meleani Bates (with megaphone) co-leads OSU students, faculty, and staff in the Solidarity March, March 12, 2014

Five years ago today, OSU students gathered for a Solidarity March. Just a few weeks ago, Justin McDaniels shared his involvement in the March and the #ITooAmOSU campaign, and his interview is now available online!

In late February / early March 2014, anonymous acts of racism brought light to hate speech and bigotry on campus. Students rallied and the #ITooAmOSU campaign came together at the Memorial Union (MU) Quad on March 9th, and the Solidarity March occurred March 12th. To learn more about the events, check out the Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at Oregon State University website, specifically the entry on the 2014 Solidarity March.

Justin McDaniels was one of the Oregon State University students that mobilized the “I, Too, Am OSU” campaign and the Solidarity March in 2014. These movements were in response to the lack of response from university administration in protecting marginalized students.

Justin McDaniels Oral History Interview

Interviewee: Justin McDaniels
Interviewer: Natalia Fernández
Interview Date: February 19, 2019
Location: The Valley Library, Oregon State University
Duration: 2:00:29

Summary:  McDaniels begins his interview by sharing stories from his childhood growing up in Canby, Oregon, specifically his high school and early college experiences. McDaniels also shares his coming out story, as well as his experiences as a queer biracial cis-gendered man. He discusses, in-depth, his participation and leadership in the “I, Too, Am OSU” campaign and the Solidarity March in 2014 – he discusses the campus climate, the impetus for the campaign and march, the administrative response, the behind the scenes planning, and the impact of his activism, as well as his support group and mentors. As a student who took an academic break and returned four years later, he has the unique perspective of learning that despite how powerful these movements felt in the moment, the same racist undertones exist on the campus. He expresses his thoughts regarding racist complacency, the concept of diversity within a university setting, and the lack of meaningful actions taken by university administrators.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from OSQA <3

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OSQA wishes you a very queer and very happy Valentine’s Day!

The craft center hosted a free Valentine’s Day card-making event inside the Memorial Union with the option of screen-printing a t-shirt for a fee of $10.00. To make this event more inclusive, poetry from queer poets of color and copies of images from queer comics that are part of the Thomas Kraemer collection were provided by the Oregon State Queer Archives. Poems by Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Angel Nafis and many others celebrate queer romance. The comic selections all depicted love between couples of same sex, interracial, and polyamorous types.

As soon as the event started, there was already a group of students waiting to start crafting! It was exciting to see so many students excited to make a gift to share with those they love or appreciate. One student exclaimed that he was amazed to see gay images included in the craft materials so he was going to spend most of his day making cards for all his friends. The inclusive message was also included in the screen printing with the option of printing “Love Trumps Hate” on purchased t-shirts.

Special thanks to Angie and Jules from the Craft Center for including the Oregon State Queer Archives!

See below for photos from the event…

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MLK Jr. Week Event ~ “African Americans Against the Bomb”

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This MLK Jr Week, SCARC hosted the event “African Americans Against the Bomb” featuring longtime SCARC researcher, OSU instructor, and activist Dr. Linda Marie Richards.

Over 30 people were in attendance to hear Dr. Richards give a lecture featuring the histories of Indigenous Peoples and African Americans who were anti-nuclear weapons activists. She led a discussion about human rights and the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, provided an update on the progress for the Treaty, and shared some of the arguments used in the past by Indigenous and African American leaders to “ban the bomb.” She then opened the space to facilitate conversation and listen to concerns among participants about social justice and the current nuclear arms race.

Richards is a historian of science and is currently working on her book manuscript, “Human Rights and Nuclear Wrongs.” She is the Co-PI on the National Science Foundation grant, “Nuclear Environments and the Downwinders Case” and teaches for the School of History, Philosophy and Religion.

For more information about this fascinating topic, check out the 2015 book African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement by Vincent J. Intondi.

Check out the event pics below!

Dr. Linda Marie Richards

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Attendees in Discussion and Viewing Archival Documents

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Archival Documents from SCARC’s History of Science and OMA Collections

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Dr. Richards Speaking with an Attendee and Additional Materials for Attendees

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MLK Jr. Week Event – “Dr. King’s Legacy Lives On: Student Activism at OSU”

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MLK Jr. Week featured a panel of current and former OSU students who have spearheaded activism at OSU. The students shared their recent experiences with using speech and activism to initiate change on campus. Among other things, panelists detailed their experience with activism at OSU, the barriers or challenges they experienced and their advice for student activists concerning organizing, cultivating relationships, and building coalitions.

The moderated Q&A was followed by an opportunity for the audience to participate in a Q&A with the panel. The following former and current OSU students made up the panel:

  • Darius Northern, People of Colour
  • William Miller, Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Raven Waldron,  Scab Sheet, Dr. Asmatey, Indigenous Queer and Two-Spirit Student Alliance
  • Azeem Hussaini, SUPER, Building Names, Tuition Costs
  • Sienna Kaske, Here to Stay and DACA

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The event was made possible through a collaboration between the Office for Institutional Diversity, the Coalition for Supporting Free Speech and Activism, and the Community for Responsibility and Belonging.

The OMA was there to record the panel!

Dr. King’s Legacy Lives On: Student Activism at OSU — event recording

Date: January 23, 2019
Location:Student Experience Center, OSU Campus
Panelists: Raven Waldron, Azeem Hussaini, Darius Northern, Sienna Kaske, and William Miller
Moderators: Jonathan Stoll and Yiqiu Cai
Length: 01:05:08

There were about 70 people in attendance at the event!

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Glitter in the Archives! Year 3

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Glitter in the Archives! Year 3

On Friday October 26, 2018, the Oregon State University Queer Archives hosted the 3rd annual Glitter in the Archives event. This year the OSU Craft Center participated in hosting by providing an abundance of amazing art supplies to use in conjunction with the copied archival materials. Jules, an anthropology graduate student worker at the Craft Center, had the remarkable idea to ask students to contribute to a zine that will highlight the experiences of queer OSU students on our campus. The Pride Center also donated the use of their button maker so participants had the option of creating art they could proudly wear on their clothes or backpacks. The 5th floor reading room of the Valley Library was transformed into a space of color, creativity, collaboration and community as everyone took the time to create pieces that channeled their unique experience, feelings, challenges or growth.

Thank you to everyone who made the afternoon a memorable experience. The zine will be made available on campus and online mid-November!

Check Out the Event Pics Below:

The Crafters and their Crafting Creations

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Transforming the Reading Room into a Crafting Room

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Crafting Supplies

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October was Queer History Month and OSQA was honored to be a part of it! And, OSQA was thrilled to be featured in the OSU Barometer article “Archives Month features opportunities to engage with history” by Alexis Campbell.

2018 Queer History Month

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Creating Change and Community: Histories of Activism at OSU

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“Creating Change and Community: Histories of Activism at OSU” is a pop up exhibit that highlights historical moments of student activism at Oregon State University. Each panel includes background information, an overview of strategies used, and the impact and result of the student activism. The exhibit is intended to celebrate student speech activity and activism at OSU. Celebrating every moment would be impossible; this exhibit features specific moments and is intended to represent diversity across time, strategies, and issues. We hope to expand the exhibit with additional examples of activism.

The exhibit “popped up” by the SEC and MU plazas during weeks 1 and of fall term 2018…

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The stories featured include:

  • The Black Student Union Walk Out ~ As a local embodiment of the national Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s, in October of 1968, fifty-five OSU students established the Black Student Union (BSU) with the mission to give Black students a united voice regarding their educational experiences and needs. Just a few months later, a conflict between the head football coach and a player named Fred Milton, a black student athlete, sparked the newly formed organization into action. As a result, the BSU walk out of 1969 forever changed race relations on OSU’s campus.
  • African Students’ Association Anti-Apartheid Movement ~ Apartheid in South Africa, from 1948-1994, was the legalized policy of segregation and political, economic, and social discrimination based on race. In the 1970s, the United Nations condemned apartheid as a violation of human rights, and various organizations in the international and United States sports community barred South Africa from athletic competition. In the early 1980s OSU’s African Students’ Association voiced its opposition to the OSU wrestling team’s connections, specifically the head coach’s relationship, to the South African Wrestling Federation. Those in favor of the relationship argued that sports and politics should remain separate, while those in opposition argued that the OSU wrestling team’s actions were indirectly condoning apartheid.
  • Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Corvallis ~ For many years Indigenous communities have condemned the celebration of the federally recognized holiday “Columbus Day” to commemorate Christopher Columbus, a man who, along with his contemporaries, launched an era of genocide and slavery. Instead, Indigenous communities have called for the recognition and celebration of the Indigenous peoples thriving in the Americas prior to Columbus’ arrival, as well as in the present day. On Monday, October 12, 2015 the City of Corvallis celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time and became a part of the larger national movement to honor the history and living legacies of the first peoples of the Americas.
  • Students of Color Speak Out ~ Inspired by the students at the University of Missouri, on November 16, 2015, members of OSU’s students of color bravely shared experiences of racism endured throughout their lives and as part of their educational experiences at OSU. The “Students of Color Speak Out” in Gill Coliseum was the result of a petition to President Ed Ray to address the students’ need for the university to prioritize their safety and well-being. The “Speak Out” concluded with a call to action for the administration to make institutional changes to move OSU toward being a more socially just and inclusive campus.

To access the exhibit PDFs, be sure to download the file when prompted.

The exhibit is a part of OSU’s “We Have Work to Do” campaign, #wehaveworktodo

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We Have Work To Do encourages all Oregon State community members to find their roles as essential contributors to the creation of an inclusive and equitable university.

The exhibit was curated by members of the Coalition for Supporting Activism & Protected Speech at OSU. Members include representatives from ASOSU; Office of Student Life; Office of Institutional Diversity; School of History, Philosophy, and Religion; OSU Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center; Diversity & Cultural Engagement; Advancing Academic Equity for Student Success; Educational Opportunities Program; the Center for Civic Engagement; Student Experiences & Engagement; and the Ethnic Studies Program.

And, the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws featured the exhibit panel about Indigenous Peoples’ Day as part of the 2018 celebration!

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OSQA at the Corvallis Pride Festival 2018

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The OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) had a booth at this year’s Corvallis PRIDE Festival! This was our first time at PRIDE as an organization and it was an incredible opportunity to connect to the LGBTQ+ community in the area.

Our booth was all about sparkles, colors, and fun on the cloudy September day. We had a “spinner wheel” game courtesy of the Valley Library and while the fun colors and spinner wheel drew people into the booth they stayed for the conversation and information. We talked to people across age ranges, identities, and experiences. One of the more striking similarities between the dozens of conversations we had was the excitement attendees showed for our organization and mission. Largely, people had never heard of OSQA and when they walked up the booth could not name the acronym! However, once we had a chance to chat and explain who we were every single visitor was excited about our work. Repeatedly we heard comments such as “That is really important work” and “I’m so glad you exist! We need a history of our community!” Particularly older community members were glad to see that an official archive of LGBT life and activism is being created. Such a thing had not existed when they were students and young people themselves and they were glad to see we were undertaking such a project.

Students were also excited to see themselves reflected in the archives. One student expressed surprise and gratitude that the Queer Archives had its own title and staff. Students showed interest in our upcoming Glitter in the Archives event and liked the idea of crafting among fellow LGBT community members in a physical space that placed their history centrally.

One of the best parts of the event was the opportunity to share some of our physical pieces from our collection! Dozens of people flipped through comic collections and picture books about gay characters and by queer authors. “Wow!” one local high school student exclaimed. “They’re showing gay people like regular people! I love it!” Another OSU student stayed to read an entire collection for over half an hour. Particularly younger visitors had no idea that such resources existed, nor that they could be accessed in the OSQA. It was a joy to be able to share our collection with the community.

The attitude and energy of the entire event was overwhelmingly positive. The Corvallis Pride Festival is “dedicated to connecting the LGBTQ+ Community in Linn/Benton counties.” The Oregon State Queer Archives was overjoyed to be a part of that mission and to connect the current LGBTQ+ community to a shared history of life, activism, and literature here in Corvallis, OR.

~ Devon Graham, OSQA Archives Student Worker and OSU Graduate Student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

Devon at the OSQA booth!

Devon at the OSQA booth!

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The OMA at JCLC

jclc-logoThe OMA was at JCLC this year – and presented! The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color is a conference sponsored by five associations of ethnic librarians, including the American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). JCLC brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities who use our services. The previous JCLC conference took place 6 year ago and the OMA was in attendance – OMA JCLC 2012. And, the OMA was featured in library-world news via American Libraries!

“Campus Connections to White Supremacy: Reconciliation through Community Engagement and Historical Research”

Building and place names play an important role in how community members interact with, remember, and revere their histories. In recent years, more and more communities, including colleges and universities, across the United States are challenging the existence of memorials associated with the confederacy and white supremacy. These memorials, whether they are statues, building namesakes, or place names, are symbolic of the long historical threads of racism, institutionalized discrimination, and the use of public spaces to perpetuate dominant narratives. These issues must be addressed as part of the efforts of inclusivity and equity that increasingly characterize the culture of college campuses. In this environment, archivists and special collections librarians are often called upon to provide historical context. We also have the opportunity to engage our communities in productive and transformative discourses. In addition to an overview of campuses across the United States engaging their communities in efforts to reconcile current values of inclusion and diversity with their racist histories, as a case study, attendees will learn about the Building and Places Names Evaluation process at Oregon State University (OSU). When OSU names a building, it speaks to its values and efforts towards creating an institution that respects and affirms the dignity of all individuals and communities. Therefore, OSU community members who raised concerns regarding campus buildings whose namesakes may have held or espoused racist or otherwise exclusionary views, posed an important question: “What does it mean for OSU to value equity and inclusion if individuals after whom its buildings are named did not?” Beginning in 2016, OSU began a process to answer this question by developing evaluation criteria, working with community stakeholders, responding to a student protest, providing a team of scholars historical research assistance, designing and implementing a community engagement plan, and planning for permanent education accessible to community members. Attendees will be able to adapt the information learned to plan for collaboration within their own communities, articulate the significance of building and place names with community inclusivity efforts, and advocate for the role of archivists and research librarians to help inform urgent, often fraught public debate.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and reference a variety of campuses across the United States that have engaged their communities in efforts to reconcile current values of inclusion and diversity with their racist histories.
  • Adapt the information learned from the Oregon State University case study to develop, design, and implement historical research plans, community engagement initiatives, and permanent education proposals for local communities.
  • Articulate the significance of building and place names for community inclusivity efforts and advocate for the role of archivists and research librarians to help inform urgent, often fraught public debate.

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