Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Mountain Rescue” Video Now Available

This post is contributed by Student Archivist Genevieve Connolly, an undergraduate Physics major with a particular interest in particle physics and astrophysics. She loves studying languages on the side, and hopes that her future career takes her all over the world. 

The natural beauty of Oregon in the 1920s is a unique sight. Portland-born photographer Ralph I. Gifford (1894-1947) made it his mission to capture Oregon’s trademark scenery. As a photographer for the Travel and Information Department in the Oregon State Highway Commission, his photographs were used to promote tourism. However in addition to his contributions to Oregon’s tourist business, he also took motion pictures. This “Mountain Rescue” video is one such example. Shot on Mount Hood, the production was probably intended to be a search and rescue training video. It portrays a staged rescue during which a man hiking on the mountain falls, injuring his leg. He is then found by a group of rescuers who use a portable radio to call for assistance and then carry the injured man down the mountain and evacuate him. At 3:40, a Crag Rats Hood River patch can be seen on the left shoulder of one of the rescuers. Founded in 1926, the Crag Rats is the oldest mountain search and rescue organization in the United States.

SCARC obtained this footage from a donor in 2009. It came to SCARC out of order and interspersed with other miscellaneous footage of Oregon. In total, the collection consisted of 7 reels of 35mm nitrate film negatives (about 3200 feet). After being digitized it was arranged into the order displayed in the final video by two SCARC student employees: myself and my sister. My sister, Maddie, first watched the entire video containing the mountain rescue footage (about 35 minutes) from start to finish to sort out the timestamps of the mountain rescue. Then she discerned the story line of the rescue and listed the timestamps in the correct order. Using this list, I put together the final video in Adobe Premiere by cutting the footage at the timestamps indicated by my sister and rearranging them into the order she determined. I am happy to have been able to contribute to giving the public a glimpse into this aspect of Oregon’s history.

April 2019 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

SCARC completed 11 new or updated finding aids in April 2019.  Following is a list and a little information about what we accomplished.

These finalized finding aids are available through the Archives West finding aids database, and the OSUL discovery system (a.k.a. “the catalog”).

  • Three of the guides are for collections that were only minimally described and are now fully processed and described.
  • Four  of the guides are for new collection received in 2014-2018 that were previously unavailable to researchers.
  • Four of the guides are updates to incorporate additions.

All of these materials are now available to researchers.

Collections that were only minimally described and are now fully processed and described:

College of Business Videotapes, 1983-2005 (FV 194)

The College of Business Videotapes principally document the activities of, and coursework related to, the Austin Family Business Program, which was founded at Oregon State University in 1985. The collection consists of recordings of events and trainings sponsored by the program as well as promotional materials used for program outreach and third party productions relevant to the subject of family businesses. The collection likewise includes recordings of Family Business Management course lectures offered to distance students by OSU Business professor Pat Frishkoff from 1997-2000.

Alexander K. Chapman Photograph Collection, 1908-1910 (P 235)

The Alexander K. Chapman Photograph Collection is comprised of photographs assembled by Alexander Kesterson Chapman between 1905 and 1909, when he was a student at Oregon Agricultural College. The collection includes photographs of student groups on campus, but is primarily comprised of individual portraits, both identified and not identified. Chapman graduated in 1909 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. Select images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Ralph VanCleave Photographic Collection, circa 1860-1949 (P 156)

The Ralph VanCleave Photographic Collection contains images of the Horning Carding Mill and F.A. Horning residence, and includes written histories of both subjects. Also held within the collection are images, taken in the 1940s, of public schools from all around the Willamette Valley.

Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

New Collections:

Educational Activities Committee Records, 1972-2015 (RG 293)

The Educational Activities Committee Records document the process for requests and allocations of student fees at Oregon State University.  In addition to information about the administration of the funding process, the records document the programs and activities of many fee-funded units and organizations such as the Associated Students of OSU, Student Media, Music Department, University Theater, and a multitude of students clubs and organizations.

Oregon Higher Education Oral Histories Collection, 2019 (OH 046)

The Oregon Higher Education Oral Histories Collection contains the interviews of 17 individuals sharing the histories and their experiences of 6 community colleges in Oregon including Blue Mountain Community College, Central Oregon Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Lane Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, and Portland Community College. All of the interviews are available online.

Joanne Tynon Papers, 1999-2016 (MSS Tynon)

The Joanne Tynon Papers document Tynon’s research in the area of outdoor recreation and tourism and her career as a faculty member at Oregon State University.  Tynon joined the faculty of the College of Forestry in 1997 and retired in 2017.



Wilson Room Prints Collection, 1738-1885 (MSS WilsonRoom)

The Wilson Room Prints Collection consists of nearly 200 prints from the late 18th century and early 19th century that were compiled by Norman and Glenville Starr Wilson and represent various printing processes of this period.


Finding aids that have been updated to incorporate additions:

Obo Addy Legacy Project Collection, 1970-2018 (MSS Addy)

The Obo Addy Legacy Project Collection consists of records, promotional materials, and various forms of media related to the Homowo African Arts and Cultures organization, later known as the Obo Addy Legacy Project. Obo Addy’s personal materials include correspondence, promotional materials, and photographs. Obo Addy, a master drummer at the age of six, established the Homowo African Arts and Cultures organization with his wife and manager Susan Addy as a way to celebrate and preserve the traditional music of Ghana and Africa. The organization was established in 1986 and closed in 2018.

Hop Growers of America Records, 1956-2011 (MSS HGA)

The Hop Growers of America Records (HGA) document the functioning of the organization. The HGA was founded in 1956 in Washington State. Its mission is to create a healthier and more efficient United States hops industry for corporations and farmers through education, advocacy, promotion, and support for technical and scientific research.


Thomas Kraemer Papers, 1908-2018 (MSS Kraemer)

This update reflects a major addition to this collection that was received in 2018.  Oregon State University alumnus Thomas Kraemer helped to found the Gay Peoples Alliance, the first officially recognized gay student group at OSU, in 1976. The Kraemer Papers reflect Kraemer’s decades-long research on LGBTQ+ issues. The collection includes Kraemer’s blog, blog reference materials, and research files; his collection of comics, magazines, and films; and some biographical materials.

Oregon Hop Growers Association Records, 1895-2004 (MSS OHGA)

The Oregon Hop Growers Association Records document the administration of the OHGA and its various activities, including outreach events and the collection of statistical information about hop production in the United States and abroad.  The general membership meeting minutes have been digitized: Oregon Hop Growers Association Meeting Minutes, 1955-1970Oregon Hop Growers Association Meeting Minutes 1971-1983Oregon Hop Growers Association Meeting Minutes 1984-1993.  All of the photographs and slides have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

The videos have been digitized and are available online: Oregon Hop Commission Historical FootageJohn O’ Connell, Hop Growers of America conference presentationHops farming operations.

New! KBVR Video Now Available Online

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) obtained a large collection of audio-visual materials from KBVR-TV in 2015, when OSU’s student television studios moved into the new Student Experience Center. This collection, which was fully processed in 2017, consists of a number of video cassette tapes and DVDs from the KBVR television studio. Included along with the video files are a handful of audio files as well; primarily KBVR-FM radio bumpers and audio CDs. But most prominent are the KBVR-TV shows, all created by Oregon State University students through the years. Comedy shows, newscasts, talk shows, short films, game shows…just about anything the creative Beaver could fathom, KBVR aired.

SCARC is pleased to announce today that 241 items, mostly videos, are now freely available online. While this is only a fraction of the whole collection received from KBVR, it does represent a significant release of content that had previously been available by request only. Here now is your guide to this new cache of fascinating and fun video!

SCARC has released forty-one episodes of The Beaver Sports Show, a half-hour long program that featured student hosts across campus reporting on the latest sports news and interviewing notable Beaver athletes, while providing their take on Oregon State’s sports teams. The Beaver Sports Show episodes obtained by SCARC range from the years 2008-2011.  One episode of interest, from 2009, highlights a “day-in-the-life” of two Oregon State football wide receivers, Taylor Kavanaugh and James Rodgers, who went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons. The show was anchored by several students, including John Hendricks, Kalena Bell, Rick Stella, and Boon Kruger.

Similar to The Beaver Sports Show, KBVR-TV produced KBVR News. This was a thirty-minute nightly news program that detailed happenings around campus including student events, Corvallis and world news, and sports highlights. All of the segments were anchored and produced by students, notably Spencer Smallwood, Kelsey Gill, Mike Card and Marcus Collins. The clips date from 2004 through fall 2011.

Continuing the theme of news programs, Blonde Bombshells on the Hour is also presented in SCARC’s KBVR release. Blonde Bombshells on the Hour was a KBVR TV show that announced the latest music news from hosts, Camille Field and Elle McCracken, as well as Maya Holmes and Brittany Wooten. All of the anchors in this 2011 show shared the same hair color: blonde! Back to the Theatre was a 2010 show preceding Blonde Bombshells, with a somewhat similar theme: movies. Movie news and movie reviews were discussed on this talk show, six episodes of which are available online. The show was hosted by students Mike Card, Kelsey Gill, and Jay Lee, and in one episode of prominence, hosted special guest, OSU Distinguished Professor of Film Studies Jon Lewis.

Letting your voice be heard was a popular trend among students creating programming for KBVR-TV, and a few shows highlight this: Campus View (2008), No Big Whoop (2004-2008), and Questions on the Quad (2011.) These shows, usually airing in the late night, all hosted by two or more students who share their opinions on campus issues and encourage viewers to call in and either ask their own questions or share their own views. They typically focus on a guest who can speak to a topic the hosts are discussing in the episode. Questions on the Quad focused on student hosts roaming around the Memorial Union Quad, interviewing students on various topics. The show Open World (2008) shined a spotlight on international students discussing different aspects of their culture: geography, family dynamics, and the differences they’ve experienced since becoming an international student. SCARC has released three episodes of this show, hosting students from Africa, Japan, and Vietnam. Similar in style to Open World is Dr. Haydrogen German Vids (2013) which presents fascinating interviews with German instructors on their backgrounds in the German culture and language.

Another popular trend among students was producing their own sitcom, reality show, or game show. The two sitcoms in the collection, Anchors (2012) and The Jota Show (ca. 2000s) stars a large cast of students portraying characters in silly scenarios. Anchors is about a group of college-aged news anchors who constantly find themselves in trouble. The Jota Show is about a group of friends navigating young adult life. The reality shows presented in the collection are Greek Pads (2009), Limited Reality (1999), and Trading Rooms (2007-2008.)  Greek Pads is an MTV-style show where the viewer gets a personal tour of just about any Oregon State sorority or fraternity they want to see. Trading Rooms is based off of popular TLC show Trading Spaces, using a similar synopsis with a university influence: two sets of roommates, two designers, twelve hours, and a 250-dollar budget to revamp each other’s dorm rooms. Limited Reality has a similar plot to The Jota Show, but is a reality show about how average people act when they know they are being filmed. SCARC also has several game shows produced for KBVR, all inspired by popular television game shows and starring student contestants: Who Wants to be a Beaver? (2001), Blind Date Oregon State (2002), and the OSU Dating Game (2008-2009). Also in the online collection is one episode of a popular KBVR aerobics show Bodywise (1994) and a Japanese cooking show called Naomi’s Itadakimasu (ca. 1998). Itadakimasu is Japanese for “let’s eat!”

Another common theme KBVR-TV programming through the years has been music-centric shows–if Blonde Bombshells on the Hour and their Music Fusion Fridays weren’t telling enough, Beavers love music. The music-specific collection of videos in the online release are mostly concert footage: “The Meow Meow Show,” Oregon State’s Battle of the Bands, and the Flat Tail Music Festival. “The Meow Meow Show” was a 2004 concert headlined by five punk-rock bands. The University’s Battle of the Bands and Flat Tail Music Festival are annual events where student bands are encouraged to perform. Locals Live is a show that began in 2006, and focuses on local artists performing in front of a small audience. The show still runs on KBVR today.  The online release also includes a collection of videos from past events, including “Snow on the Quad,” a winter sports event that took place in the Memorial Union Quad in the middle of May, 2006. The event received news coverage by KGW Channel 8 News, was so popular that it continued into the subsequent years, before becoming the “Campus Rail Jam Tour” and concluding in 2011.

Also included is a large collection of short films produced by New Media Communications students from the 2000s to 2010s, including several produced by student Kevin England. Among these are several short films produced specifically by New Media Communications 383 students, as well as a full-length student film, Spade on the River, which is about a young, by-the-book man becoming roommates with the kind of guy he’d been warned about. The short films collection displays the work of talented young students who shared a love for storytelling through this new medium.

This collection of items from the KBVR television and radio stations display the kind of passion that is prominent among Beavers. Whether it’s a passion for music, sharing their views, making their audience laugh, or even taking their own spin on a popular TV show, Beavers are creative, and they know how to show it. The 241 video and audio clips presented in this collection will be an excellent source of inspiration for future Beavers in this regard. Not only that, but the clips are a source for historical inquiry, including news stories documenting past events and campus happenings, and sports coverage of past match-ups. This collection will also provide a nostalgic way to look back on projects produced by previous Beavers–whether they produced, anchored, starred in, or filmed a KBVR production, their memories are now available. It is no doubt that these videos will continue to be a source of past university events, humor, and inspiration for years to come.

This post was contributed by Student Archivist Katy Roach, a history major with the goal pursue a career in the archives.

March 2019 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

SCARC completed 7 new or updated finding aids in March 2019.  Following is a list and a little information about what we accomplished.  These finalized finding aids are available through the Archives West finding aids database, and the OSUL discovery system (a.k.a. “the catalog”). 

All of these materials are now available to researchers.

Collections that were only minimally described and are now fully processed and described:
Robert W. Henderson Photographic Slides Collection, 1936-1998 (P 098 – SG 1)
The Robert W. Henderson Photographic Slides provide visual documentation of Oregon State University and the state of Oregon from, in bulk, the mid-1950s to the late 1990s. Consisting of nearly 16,000 unique 35-mm color slides, all of which are described individually, the collection depicts a wide range of university activities, particularly as concerns agricultural research and the development of agricultural practices at OSU’s county Extension offices and regional Experiment Stations. Other strengths of the collection include faculty, staff and student life at OSU; Oregon’s rural communities as viewed from the ground and the air; and imagery from Henderson’s travels around the world. Photos of coins, insects, flowers, produce and numerous other subjects round out the collection. Robert Henderson (1914-2006) was an OSU alum and photography enthusiast who worked as a faculty member in Farm Crops and the Agricultural Experiment Station for thirty years.

Larry Kirkland Photograph Collection, 1951-1969 (P 125)
The Larry Kirkland Photograph Collection documents activities related to school spirit, athletics, and student social life at Oregon State University (OSU). Kirkland began his undergraduate work at OSU in 1968, studying art and working in the Instructional Materials and Research Center. Kirkland completed an Honors Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design in 1972.  Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

C. William Nelson Papers, 1958-1990 (MSS NelsonCW)
The C. William Nelson Papers document Nelson’s field collecting and research study of insects, especially moths and butterflies, in Oregon and Washington.  C. William Nelson was an avocational entomologist and insect collector who lived in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area.


New Collections:
Gail Achterman Papers, 1975-2012 (MSS Achterman)
The Gail Achterman Papers consist of materials created by Oregon State University Institute of Natural Resources’ creator and director Gail Achterman. Achterman led the institute from 2003 to 2011 and was renowned in the areas of natural resources and environmental law and policy. The collection chiefly consists of journals related to the Institute of Natural Resources and educational materials she shared during her time as director, as well as items pertaining to the Gail Achterman Willamette Legacy.

Fred Bowman Papers, 1983-2010 (MSS Bowman)
Fred Bowman co-founded Portland Brewing Company in 1986. The Fred Bowman Papers include digitized versions of photographs showing the renovation of the original Portland Brewing location and early events at the brewery. The digitized documents include news articles, business documents, and a personal pocketbook with handwritten notes.The digitized photographs in this collection are available in Oregon Digital. These materials were provided to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center in 2015 for digitization. The original items have been retained by Bowman.

Fashion Organization Records, 1978-2012 (MSS FashionOrg)
The Fashion Organization Records consist of materials reflecting the activities and administration of the Oregon State University Fashion Organization (OSUFO) and are comprised of financial records, organizational records, correspondence, ephemera, newspaper clippings, audio-visual material, and photographs and slides. Previously known as the Fashion Group International-Student Chapter, OSUFO was a fee-funded student organization that organized fashion-related events on campus, including the annual Recycled Fashion Show. The group was established as the Fashion and Design Students club (FADS) in 1983, and disbanded sometime between 2012 and 2015.

Valley Library Art Collection, 1948-2018  (RG 297)
The Valley Library Art Collection Records document the artists and art represented in the Northwest Art Collection as well as the work of Betty LaDuke.  The Northwest Art Collection consists of more than 140 pieces of artwork that were installed in the Valley Library as part of the Oregon Percent for Art program at the time of major renovations of the Oregon State University Library in the late 1990s.

Remembering the 1942 Rose Bowl

1942 Rose Bowl Program Cover

1942 Rose Bowl Program Cover

Although OSU’s football team did not make it to a bowl game this year, and despite the fact that our rivals in Eugene did (and won, no less), it is an appropriate time to remember one particular bowl game from our past. Seventy years ago this past Sunday, on January 1, 1942, Oregon State College played in its first Rose Bowl game, defeating a heavily favored Duke team, 20-16. This has been Oregon State’s only Rose Bowl victory, but it was also important for another reason – it is the only Rose Bowl game not played in Pasadena, California.

Oregon State earned the right to play in the 1942 Rose Bowl by defeating the Oregon Ducks, 12-7, in the last game of the 1941 season (sound familiar?) on November 29. Duke had an outstanding season, and ranked #2 at the end of the regular season in the Associated Press poll, was one of the best teams in the nation. But everything changed eight days later with the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. Restrictions on large group gatherings on the West Coast imposed by the U.S. military nearly caused the game to be cancelled. In order to avert this possibility, Duke offered its stadium as the venue for the game and Oregon State readily accepted. With logistics ironed out, the Oregon State football team departed Corvallis and arrived in Durham, North Carolina on the morning of December 24 to a large, welcoming crowd. OSC’s team was treated to considerable southern hospitality. Color film footage of the OSC team arriving in Durham and pre-game activities there is available online.

The game was played under wet conditions, perhaps giving the Beavers an advantage. Regardless, when the final gun sounded, Oregon State had upset Duke, 20-16, in a very hard fought battle. Footage of that game is also available online.

Jack Yoshihara catching a football

Jack Yoshihara catching a football.

One Oregon State player was prohibited from making the trip to Durham. Jack Yoshihara was a sophomore end on the Oregon State football team, but because of his Japanese ancestry, was prohibited from traveling more than 35 miles from home due to military restrictions. Later in 1942 he was forced to withdraw from Oregon State due to Executive Order 9066, and ended up in the Mindoka internment camp in Idaho. Fortunately, Jack was included in the 1942 Rose Bowl team photo, and did receive a Rose Bowl ring, belatedly, in 1985. And Jack was one of the Oregon State alumni of Japanese-American ancestry who were awarded honorary degrees at OSU’s 2008 commencement ceremony. Jack can be seen showing off his Rose Bowl ring at this ceremony — see and go to minute 14:35.

1942 rose bowl team

Oregon State College's 1942 Rose Bowl team

The victorious Beavers returned home from Durham, and were honored at a banquet, footage of which is available online. (Note – this footage also includes the Nov. 29, 1941 game against Oregon.) Many of the Oregon State and Duke players fought in World War II after leaving their schools. And a few of them crossed paths during the war. Duke University’s alumni magazine from this past October includes an excellent article on the transplanted Rose Bowl, as well as a couple of moving accounts of how and when those former players ran into one another on the battlefield.

A final twist of irony from this game – Duke’s starting quarterback was a fellow named Thompson Prothro. This is the same Tommy Prothro who was introduced as Oregon State’s new football coach thirteen years later, in February 1955. In ten seasons, Prothro had considerable success at OSU, taking teams to the 1957 and 1965 Rose Bowls, and winning the 1962 Liberty Bowl behind the efforts of Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker.

Tommy Prothro

Tommy Prothro, ca. 1964.

Photos of Oregon State’s 1942 Rose Bowl adventure, as well as its other Rose Bowl games, are available online.

Grand Tradition of Great Leaders: University Librarians

The Sky's the Limit at the Valley Library ...

The OSU Libraries has had a wonderful history of wonderful leaders! With the retirement of OSU Libraries and Press director Karyle Butcher, we are poised to appoint a new leader soon, soon, soon. Being an archivist at a university means looking forward to new opportunities, but always doing it with an eye pointed toward the past …

A trestle was between library and Admin building -- Library book trucks were used to move.

So I’m giving myself an excuse to write a post on the history of University Librarians at OSU — even those who worked here when this wasn’t a university and wasn’t called OSU. But naming conventions are a topic for another day.

The beginnings of the Oregon State University Library are imprecise, unclear, and undistinguished. The most certain and obvious things in the first three decades of its existence are that there was not much of it, and that what there was was administratively neglected. Financial support during many, perhaps most, of the earliest years was at or near to zero. There was, nevertheless, from the beginning, institutional awareness of the need for a Library (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 1).

In 1870, Professor Joseph Emery elected “librarian” of the college, yes he was “elected.” Six years later the Oregon Legislative Assembly, yes people who were “elected,” appropriated $1,000 to purchase books; this move was the first official show of legislative support for a college library. However, the first “official” college library was likely that of the Adelphian Literary Society, which had acquired the Corvallis Library Association’s Library in 1880. Signing for the receipt of the Association Library was L. S. Stock, “Librarian,” presumably a member of the Adelphian Society (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 4).

Ten years later, that would be 1890 for those of you keeping track, the Adelphians transferred their 605-volume library to the college.

For the next eight years it was, however, to continue to be entirely student operated. Even though now the property of and under the care of the college, the pattern of haphazard management persisted. A student Librarian was simply handed the keys and told he was in charge. Sometimes there was not even contact with or instructions from the previous Librarian. The selected student Librarians, usually young people who needed work to finance themselves, seemed to be universally well meaning and conscientious. Some of them were outstanding but without indoctrination or leadership it was obvious that the Library would suffer (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 5-6).

That same year, May Warren was hired as the first paid student worker for the Library, but she was only on staff for a year and was replaced by Miss Lois Stewart, who was in turn replaced by Willard Wallace Smith. Smith was on staff (as the staff) for three years! He claimed to be the first librarian since he “attacked his responsibilitieswith more vigor and imagination than might have been expected of a student” (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 6). Smith was succeeded by Esther Simmons, and then Robert Golden, and then Lionel Johnson.

Johnson and his assistant, Fanny Getty, observed that

It seems that in rainy weather, the Library was the onlyconvenient place for lovers to meet, though they were not allowed to talk above a whisper. It was very common to find cooing couples hidden away behind racks of books, and my policy was not to interfere with them unnecessarily (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 9).

Arthur Stimpson, fresh from the Spanish American War, took over the helm and considered the first full-time, nonstudent librarian. When Stimpson was appointed, the collection had grown to 3000 volumes and 500 pamphlets and bulletins. Though he was not a professional librarian, he nonetheless acted as a worthy leader at the end of the 19th century as the college worked to meet the needs of a growing student body. Stimpson had varied interests and involvements, playing on the football team and acting as a contributor to the Barometer.

Football Team, 1897

Calrson reports that Stimpson resigned in 1901 to accept a position in the Railway Service and he was succeeded by Lewis W. Oren.

Lewis was not, however, quite a full-time Librarian as he was also required to teach algebra and arithmetic (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 13).

R. J. Nichols, a native Oregonian, followed Oren. Nichols was the first librarian not educated at OAC, earning his degree from Willamette University. His was to be the longest tenure to date, from 1902-1908.

The20th century saw a new era of professionalism for the college librarians. As Carlson says,

There came in the sunnier of 1908 to direct the Library, as its first professional Librarian, Ida Angeline Kidder. This was the turning point,a major milepost. From then on things would be different, very different (The Library of Oregon State University, Carlson, pg 17).

Ida Kidder was appointed as the first professionally trained librarian in 1908 and worked as the University Librarian until her death in 1920. Kidder received a degree in librarianship from the University of Illinois in 1906, shortly before her 50th birthday, and she was an essential force in the development of the library collection and its role for students, faculty, and the campus community. Her tenure is impressive and she was a beloved figure on campus, often seen travelling around campus in a cart, named the “Wickermobile,” and earning her the nickname “Mother Kidder.”

Ida Kidder in Wickermobile

In twelve years she increased library collection 8-fold and in her 2nd year offered a “library practice” course required of all freshmen. One of the highlights of her career was the building of a 57,000 square foot Library Building (now Kidder Hall) that was completed in September of 1918.

When Kidder passed in 1920, Lucy M. Lewis began her 25 years as the head of the Library. During her term, she oversaw the move to centralize the library, initiating and supervising library programs, establishing a browsing room and student personal library, and seeing the establishment of the Friends of the Library.

Lucy M. Lewis was the University Librarian from 1920-1945.

During this time period the Library grew from 41,248 volumes, a budget of $23,409, 8 staff members to 111,196 volumes, $48,486 for a budget, 17 staff members, and saw the start of several big projects. For instance in 1924, Lewis was instrumental in making OSC one of two land grant colleges in the entire country to participate in a nation-wide preparation of a National Union List of Serials. This was a project to list and record the holdings of cooperating libraries with an end goal of producing a list that could be shared among libraries to complete their own serials collections; it seems simple to us in our fancy social media and WWW life, but back then this sort of list was a fabulous and unique thing! The next ambitious project, in 1930, called for the reclassification of the Library’s collection from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress — again, not a small task but one that would move the Library into a new era of professionalism and improve access for users. Finally, in 1934, Lewis planned a room for Mary McDonald’s donated collection of 3,000 volumes.

Beginning in 1932, Mary J. L. McDonald made the then largest donation of books to the library when she donated volumes worth just over $10,000. She donated a total of over 1,000 items that included a complete works of Abraham Lincoln valued at $4,800. (The Valley Library, Wikipedia)

Lewis was elected president of the Pacific NW Library Association in 1936 and received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Library Science in June 1945.

William H. Carlson served as the University Librarian of OSU from 1945 to 1965.  He was quite active in research on library topics, publishing a number of articles and reviews on topics in library science such as post-war library planning and resources in Western libraries. At the same time, he also pursued an interest in Scandinavian studies, owing partly to his own Swedish ancestry. His tenure is full of important milestones for our current program, with his hiring of Harriet Moore as the first full-time archivist in 1961 and the construction of the Kerr Library (now the Valley Library) in 1963. Retiring from the OSU Library in 1965, Carlson continued to be involved in library research, serving as a consultant on a survey of Oregon Institutional Libraries from 1966 to 1967. Carlson also completed a history of the OSU Library during his retirement, which was later submitted to The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science in 1977.

Kerr Library construction, 1962

In August 1965 Rodney Waldron replaced Carlson, bringing the library into an “age of automation.” He added a system analyst to library staff and oversaw the installation of LOLITA (Library Online Information Text Access), a TWX multipurpose instrument that searched a number of databases, and LIRS (Library Information Retrieval Service). During his time as University Librarian, the total library budget reached over $1.5 million, with $600,000 for books compared to the $216,000 allocated in 1966. The holdings also hit the 1 million volume mark and, accordingly, the library acquired two additional floors for library expansion.

Photo shows Rodney Waldron with the new portable microfilm reader.

In the same year as Waldron’s departure, in 1984, Melvin R. George took over as director of the library, which at that time had a $4.5 million annual budget and 72 employees. George served as University Librarian until 1996. In 1986, a room was added to the library to accommodate a donation from alumnus Linus Pauling, which consisted of his papers and two Nobel Prizes. You know how much we all love Linus…

Linus Pauling Honored at Oregon State Agricultural College

Karyle Butcher served as University Librarian from 1996 until 2010, an era that saw the Libraries earning a strong reputation as an innovative and user-centered organization.

“Under her leadership, the library transformed itself from a traditional university repository of books and journals to a campus information hub nationally recognized for its leadership in digital collections and for using the Internet to break down barriers that have historically limited public access to knowledge and learning. She oversaw completion of the $47 million Valley Library building project in the mid-1990s, and in the early days of the Internet, integrated information technology services into the library…

Among the Library’s many and more recent innovations under Butcher: In conjunction with the Institute for Natural Resources and the OSU College of Forestry, creation of the vast Oregon Explorer digital library; the launch of ScholarsArchive, which makes peer-reviewed journal material readily available to all online; participation in Flickr Commons, which makes historically important digital photography collections from some of the world’s leading libraries available via the popular website; and leading the OSU Press to unprecedented success in recent years, even as other academic publishing houses were shuttering.”

See the article “Head of OSU Valley Library and OSU Press to Step Down” for much more on Butcher and the library she helped create. We miss her wit and fancy socks.

Karyle Butcher hands out cookies for the 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Valley Library Remodel: Cookies in the Quad!

So here we are, ready for a new leader and all the inspiration that change can bring!

Want to do more research on the Library? Check out the History of the Library Research Guide.

Pop goes the color…

It’s that glorious time in Oregon when the greens are really green, flowers are bursting with a myriad of colors, and the rain is raining … and raining … and raining … and yes, raining.

So throw off those early spring (or not quite “spring”) rainy day blues and jump into our puddle of glorious purple, pink, fuchsia, yellow, etc. after delightful etc. with the new Flickr Commons set “Beautiful, bountiful, bouquets!” — and grab a handful of flowers.

Happy Commonsversary to us!

Couple of children with hops baskets

It started as a leap of faith… Two years ago we were sure that the OSU Archives Flickr Commons project would give us a new way to interact with new users, a mine of limitless user-generated information about our photo collections, a fabulous history research resource for the OSU community … Did I mention that it would also ensure fame and fortune?

A lot of work, but oh so much fun.

What started off as a place for us to showcase “natural resources and forest history” has become a delightful nod to the hodgepodge of history and photographic treasures in our midst… So on our 2nd anniversary – sorry, our 2nd Commonsversary — we’re celebrating a couple years in the Flickrverse with a new set that is a few more than a couple dozen couples. Huh? “Couple of people doing stuff in the Commons” is a fun set of 30 images that show a couple of people doing a bunch of different stuff. It’s a great look at our eclectic collections! From the Best of the Archives, to the Oregon Multicultural Archives Collections, to the Gerald W. Williams Collection, it’s full of younger people, older people, romantic couples, laborers, dancers, and (of course) a lot of “standers.”

So we’ve loved traveling with you, logging with you, laughing with you. See for yourself! While you are there, make sure you spend some time and explore the rest.

Who knows what we’ll think of next?

The OSU Black Student Union Walkout of 1969

Black History Month Display

Class boycotts, rallies, a walkout — what was happening at OSU during winter term of 1969? In February of 1969 OSU’s head football coach Dee Andros told Fred Milton, a black athlete, to shave his facial hair. Milton’s refusal sparked a local controversy and ignited students to fight for their rights!

Want to know more? Come see the display in the Archives Reading Room and check out the Digital Collection in Flickr!

Want to learn more? Contact Oregon Multicultural Librarian Natalia Fernández at

Exhibit co-curated by OSU University Archives Student Workers Ingrid Ockert, Kelsey Ockert, and Daniel Pearson

Garden Art in Its Many Forms…

Arbor between orchard garden and rose garden

Bushy shrubs, pots of pansies, shade trees, and border of begonias may add splendor to the spring garden — but in the middle of the winter in Oregon we need four things:

  1. The clouds to break, even just for a moment.
  2. Pictures of bright, cheery, bountiful blooming gardens.
  3. Full-spectrum lamps.
  4. Garden art to add flair to the otherwise mossy and foggy landscape.

The clouds and light bulbs may be absent from the “Garden art in its many forms” set, but it is overflowing with flowers and chock full o’ art.