Monthly Archives: January 2013

Friday Feature: Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart

Last week we had a reading room full of people, including one researcher who unpacked a bag full of branches to use in consultation with this Royal Horticultural Society Colour chart. We had fun watching him classify the colors for the long, drooping catkins.

Protected in this solid green box and stored in the shelves of the McDonald Collection, there are four volumes of colored charts that were originally published in 1938 by the British Colour Council.

What is it? From the RHS site:

The RHS Colour Chart is the standard reference for plant colour identification. Used by the RHS, the chart is indispensable to gardeners who value accuracy in the identification of plant colours. But it is not just gardeners that value the chart – it hasbeen used by food manufacturers to standardise food colourings, chemical engineering companies and fabric designers.

Every day is an adventure on the reference desk!

Special drawings are such a fun part of our special collections

Another fun treat from collections archivist Karl McCreary! Last week we received a new addition to the College of Veterinary Medicine Records, 1923-1976 (RG 175), and what did Karl find when he started digging in? Well there were some odd animal surgery pictures contrasted with cute ones of curled up cats, memos about berserk llamas, and some fabulous drawings.

Straight from a Vet Med presentations file come these drawings for a course Dr. Pearson taught in January of 1983. We’re unsure if they were drawn by Dr. Pearson, but it is clear that this cow has passed “normal,” cruised through “chubby” and “stocky,” by-passed “obese,” and is fully stuck on “fat.” Poor guy…

Friday Feature: assorted fun finds

Collections archivist Karl McCreary is spending his morning talking to students about some interesting aspects of OSU history, especially those that pertain to student life in days of yore… In addition to the yearbooks and assorted pamphlets, before he left he shared a couple of fun finds with me.

The first is the “Fussers Guide.” For those of you not in the know, “fussing” is the same as dating. And as this guide is actually a student directory, you can take the linguistic leap to see that the student directory was actually called the “dating directory.” Another fun tidbit is that faculty & staff are also included — and the directory is sure to note if they are married…

The “Coed code,” an indispensable guide for OSU’s female students in those same days of yore, was helpful for guiding behavior. It provided the rules for all sorts of things, including calling hours for male visitors and curfew times. Back by 10 p.m. on weeknights or face staff penalties!



Happy 5th birthday Flickr Commons!

We’re so proud to be a part of the great Flickr Commons project, with our own 4th anniversary just over the horizon on February 14th. In celebration of this day, Commons members contributed to a wonderful set of galleries!

Happy 5th birthday Flickr Commons

You’ll find a great blog post on the Flickr blog

Exactly five years ago today we announced a fantastic new project: The Commons on Flickr.

To celebrate the occasion, our founding member, the Library of Congress, asked Commons member institutions to send in links to a few of their most viewed, commented, or favorited images. The result is four very special galleries celebrating the beauty, excitement, and emotion of those amazing public collections of civic institutions from around the world.

Check them out and enjoy.


Friday Feature: lovely book arts exhibit on the 5th floor

This fall, Professor Yuji Hiratsuka taught the first Book Arts class offered at OSU. In “Continuum of Inspiration: Student Projects from ART 399,” I hope you’ll see how really wonderful and inspirational their own creations are!

In partnership with Hiratsuka, SCARC staff Anne Bahde and Ruth Vondracek worked with the twelve students to share our book art collections and learn more about book arts generally.

Bahde writes

As students learned different binding styles and methods, they began to explore the creative possibilities offered by combining book forms, artistic media and techniques, and the printed word. Throughout the course, there were exercises and discussions about the creative processes used to conceptualize and transform ideas into paginated visual form.

Using techniques such as printmaking, painting, digital art and printing, letterpress, and photography, students created works that draw readers in, invite them to engage, and drive them to think. Students were inspired by a visit to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center to explore historic book forms, learn about the history of the book, and to see examples of modern fine press and artists’ books.

Stop by the 5th floor of Valley Library through January 31st to see these lovely pieces of book art.

So what is that?

Collections archivist Karl McCreary shares some of the most fun things with me! Today he stopped by with a cut-out picture of the view from lower campus.

It’s sort of like a Rorschach. Karl sees a pig, I see a tongue dispenser — what about you?

Friday Feature: the week the floors got a face lift

Those who have visited our reading room know that the space is delightful, with a sweeping view of the Library quad, light even on a cloudy day, and really wonderful bamboo floors. And it’s those floors that are getting a face lift this week!

We’ve moved all the reading room furniture into the entryway and are having a grand old time watching the sanding and shining. We’ll be open for business again on Tuesday morning  8:15 sharp, once the floors have finished curing. Because, really, nobody wants to do historical research on sticky floors…