Author Archives: dvoraka

February 2019 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

SCARC completed 10 new or updated finding aids in February 2019.  The following is a list and a little information about what we accomplished.  You will see a beer theme for this month!

These finalized finding aids are available through the Archives West finding aids database, and the OSUL discovery system (a.k.a. “the catalog”). These 39 guides represent  ~87 cubic feet of physical materials and 41+ Gbytes of electronic records and include ~2800 photographs.

All of these materials are now available to researchers.

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

Herman T. Bohlman Photograph Collection, circa 1890 – 1928 (P 202)

p202-bicyclesb-600wThe Herman T. Bohlman Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Bohlman documenting bird species and his travels, primarily in the Pacific Northwest.  Bohlman was a lifelong friend and collaborator of renowned ornithologist, naturalist, and conservationist William L. Finley.   Many of the photographs are available online in the Oregon Digital collection Reuniting Finley and Bohlman.

Robert Daly Beer Publication Collection, 1978-2004 (MSS Daly)

daly-600wThe Robert Daly Beer Publication Collection is comprised of publications collected by Robert Daly about beer brewing, as well as guides to different varieties of beer found in the U.S. and worldwide. Included among the publications are several issues of the Oregon Brew Crew newsletter, which Daly edited.


Friendship Internationale Scrapbook, 1964-1977 (MSS FriendsInt)

mss-chatterclub-scrapbook-600wThe Friendship Internationale Scrapbook documents the programs and activities offered by this organization for the wives of male international students and staff as well as single international female students and staff at Oregon State University.  The organization was founded in 1964 as the Chatter Club and was active until 1979, when it merged with another organization to form Crossroads International.

Hop Research Council Records, 1943-2009 (MSS HRC)

hrc-600wThe Hop Research Council Records document its support of hops research projects. Much of the collection pertains to the development of new hop varieties and the management of hop diseases such as powdery mildew. The Hop Research Council was formed in 1979 to fund hop research by soliciting and providing funds for scientific investigation and research related to the agricultural production of quality hops in the United States.

Kenneth C. Minnick Papers, 1945-2000 (MSS Minnick)

p46-296-minnick-600wThe Kenneth C. Minnick Papers document Minnick’s career as the Benton County 4-H Extension Agent from 1947 to 1974 and his establishment of the roadside clean-up program in Benton County in the late 1960s.  Minnick earned B.S. (1939) and M.Ag. (1954) degrees from Oregon State College.


New Collections:

Denny Conn Papers, 1998-2017 (MSS Conn)

headshot2 0815Denny Conn is a homebrewer, author, educator, and advisor in the Oregon brewing community. The Denny Conn Papers is an all electronic collection and consists of born-digital materials (.mp3, video, documents) and items digitized by Conn. These materials document Conn’s work, including documentation related to Conn’s two books Experimental Homebrewing: Mad Science in the Pursuit of Great Beer (2014) and Homebrew All-Stars: Top Homebrewers Share Their Best Techniques and Recipes (2016).

Bonnie B. Hall Botanical Prints, 1989-2003 (MSS HallB)

b-hall-flags_newBonnie B. Hall Botanical Prints consist of serigraphic screen prints created by Bonnie Hall, a scientific illustrator and artist.  Hall was well known, particularly for her botanical prints and was a scientific illustrator for the Department of Entomology at Oregon State University from 1963 -1993.

Zoller Hop Company Records, 1900-2006 (MSS Zoller)

zoller hop farm imageThe Zoller Hop Company Records consists of records and materials created and assembled throughout the first half of the 20th century. The collection contains records of business operations: correspondence and management files, photographs of fields and community events, and digitized versions of two films.  The Zoller Hop Company was located in Independence, Oregon, the “Hop Capital of the World’ during the first half of the 20th century. The company was later owned by Donal MacCarthy and the name was changed to “D.P. MacCarthy & Son.”  The two films have been digitized and are available online: “Spring hop field operations and fall harvest,” 1931 and “Harvesting and processing,” 1945.

Updated Guides:

William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1955 (MSS Finley)

mssfinley-birds-cap-600wThe William L. Finley Papers document the wildlife conservation work of Finley and his wife Irene, and the photography work of Herman T. Bohlman, who worked with Finley in the first decade of the 20th century. Finley was a photographer, filmmaker, and author who wrote and lectured extensively on wildlife conservation issues. The collection includes published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs, and motion picture films.  Manuscript items and photographs from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital. All of the films held in the collection are also available online.

Thomas B. Searcy Collection, 1889-2013 (MSS Searcy)

mss-searcy-600wThe Thomas B. Searcy Collection documents the land in Sherman County, Oregon, homesteaded by Thomas B. Searcy in 1889; Searcy’s financial interactions with the Moro Grain Growers Association and the Pacific Co-operative Wool Growers Association; and the Searcy family.

Oregon’s Lost Flax Industry – Part 2

This blog post, part two of two, highlights the recent work done by Rachel Lilley, Public Services Assistant in processing the Oregon Flax Fiber Collection and Oregon Custom Weavers Guild Linen Research Notebook, both of which are housed in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center.

This post is contributed by SCARC student archivist Hannah Lawson, a chemistry major with a passion for art, conservation, and preserving history.

Joan Patterson

Joan Patterson

The flax industry held a particular importance to Oregon State University. As one of the leading land grant universities, agriculture was a primary focus of OSU research, and naturally that included flax growing and processing. The impressive Home Economics and Extension Services programs offered at the time extended that research towards the textile applications of the flax fiber. Joan Patterson, a professor specializing in textile design and home furnishings, revolutionized a weaving process for linens that resulted in beautiful, clean textiles that could be used for upholstery. In a newspaper article titled, “Flax has a Future”, Patterson’s linen designs are described as revolutionary. When describing her vision for the future of fiber flax, Patterson’s enthusiasm for the product clearly shows through: “…Its eternal beauty, its exquisite feel, can’t help but make me believe it will find its way into American homes.”

Patterson’s hand woven patterns and techniques nearly landed her a multi-million dollar deal with Chevy automobiles. Unfortunately, while Patterson was featured in multiple magazines and newspapers for her fine linen patterns, the deal eventually fell through, due in part to the financial youth of the Chevy company at the time.

Jesse Harmond

Jesse Harmond

Another important contributor to the research of flax processing and production was Jesse Harmond, who came to OSC from the US Department of Agriculture. While at OSC, Harmond was involved with the design and manufacturing of new mechanical machines for processing flax fibers. Harmond released several publications on these machines, some of which mechanically deseeded flax, aided in harvesting flax, or dried extracted flax fibers. In one of these publications, Harmond acknowledges that the future of the flax industry hinged on the mechanization of flax processing.

Flax puller

Flax puller

Marilinn Fabric

Marilinn Fabric

Additionally, Jesse Harmond was the force behind the creation of a linen-wool fabric he called ‘Marilinn’, named after Marion County, where the linen originated, and Linn County, where the wool originated. The Marilinn fabric was yet another attempt to expand the commercial market for Oregon flax and linens. The combination of 80% wool and 20% flax made a fabric which was soft yet strong, and had better colorfastness, or the ability to retain dye colors, which linen alone did not.

Harmond and Patterson formed Oregon Custom Weavers, a company that specialized in the production of fine linens made from Oregon flax. Their hopes were to expand their business to a national market. Unfortunately for Jesse Harmond and Joan Patterson, their research was concurrent with the beginning of the end for commercial flax growing in Oregon.

The flax industry in Oregon reached its’ peak during World War II, when flax and linen were deemed essential war products. Oregon was once home to 14 different flax processing plants, and over 18,000 acres of flax crops. However, the removal of farm subsidies in the post-war years, as well as the introduction and expansion of new synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon in the early 20th century, were devastating blows to the once booming industry. The labor-intensive nature of flax production and processing prevented the industry from becoming an essential portion of modern Oregon agriculture, despite the efforts made to revive it at Oregon State University through Joan Patterson, Jesse Harmond, and many others. While Patterson and Harmond’s reports and research were promising – and Patterson’s linen products extremely well-received, the languishing flax industry proved to be too great of a hurdle to cross. Flax production was unable to match the demand for linens and yarns that Patterson’s designs created.

Joan Patterson weaving

Joan Patterson weaving

Today, Oregon flax maintains an important part of Oregon’s history and the history of Oregon State University. Independent farmers in Oregon still produce flax, both for its use as a textile and for its benefits as a healthy food product for livestock and humans. The Oregon Fiber Flax Collection in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center houses a rare array of flax yarns and products, a humble glimpse at what once was a signature product in Oregon agriculture and craft.


Tobin, LA. A history and analysis of the Oregon linen industry. Oregon State University, 1960.


Oregon’s Lost Flax Industry – Part 1

This blog post, part one of two, highlights the Oregon Flax Fiber Collection and the Oregon Custom Weavers Guild Linen Research Notebook at the Special Collections and Archives Research Center, which were recently processed by Public Services Assistant Rachel Lilley. Stay tuned next week for the full story of flax fiber in Oregon.

This post is contributed by SCARC student archivist Hannah Lawson, a chemistry major with a passion for art, conservation, and preserving history.

man showing flax 1926

Man showing flax, 1926

The flax fiber is durable, soft, and breathable – great for a multitude of textile applications, including paint canvas, sails, and clothing. These are all made from linen, which is the general term for any fabric that is made from woven flax. Flax is one of the oldest known plants specifically cultivated for use as a textile – modern technology and analytical methods show us that linen was used to wrap mummies in Egyptian tombs as early as 3000 BCE. The fiber itself is extracted from the bast, or the woody stem of the flax plant. It is primarily composed of the polysaccharide cellulose, which allows the fiber to be hydrophilic, or water-absorptive, which aids the breathability of flax as linen. The rigid structure, which comes from the cement-like lignin and crystalline molecular form, gives flax fiber excellent strength – it can be 2-3 times stronger than other cellulosic fibers, such as cotton. The recyclability of the natural fiber and the ability to use the entire plant during processing made flax an extremely economical fiber in early agriculture.

In The United States, flax production flourished for decades in the North, in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. But with the advent of the cotton gin, which made cotton farming vastly more profitable and efficient, the flax industry saw a sharp decline in those areas.

women wigwaming flax

Women wigwaming flax

But while flax production fell in most areas of the country, it flourished in the state of Oregon, where the well-drained Willamette Valley soil and temperate climate were perfect for growing high quality flax. Oregon flax, which was noted by explorers Merriweather Lewis and William Clark during their 1804 expedition to be superior to flax grown in other parts of the United States, quickly became renowned for its finer texture, longer fiber strands, and lustrous finish. Samples of Oregon flax and its products (linen upholstery, linseed, and yarns) were recognized repeatedly by World Fairs and various expositions. In 1876, a farmer in Marion County was awarded a bronze medal and a certificate of merit for his flax exhibition in the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. This brought immense attention to Oregon flax, but the industry still faced international competition. Countries like Russia and Belgium were normally the top competitors for flax distribution, but during the chaos of both World Wars, the international flax market was halted. Oregon flax was able to take the spotlight.


Tobin, LA. A history and analysis of the Oregon linen industry. Oregon State University, 1960.

The OSU Libraries and Press Community Interviewing Project

This post is an interview conducted with Tyger Gruber.  Tyger collected oral histories as part of the Oregon State University Libraries and Press Community Interviewing Project. The project seeks to build community and reduce silos within OSULP by capturing the stories of those who work for the organization. A secondary ambition of the project is to document institutional history for use by future researchers.

A little bit about Tyger:  Hey, I’m a 21-year-old Kinesiology major at OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Science. I released an album (Too Busy Dreaming To Fall Asleep), published a novel (Just A Page Away), and am currently writing my second feature screenplay. Aside from my position at SCARC, I work for a researcher/professor at OSU, helping with his projects and work with Jackson Street Youth Shelter. In my free time, I love to play Go (also known as Baduk), Badminton, Starcraft, and anything that involves strategy with a large skill cap. When it boils down to it, I love to learn, grow, and apply the skills I’ve cultivated. I am getting married to my lovely spouse, and after college I have no clue what I’ll be doing with my life. Possibly travel, possibly work, possibly fight for the rights of the proletariat. It’s up in the air. I’m grateful to be alive and surrounded by fresh air, clean water, and loving people. To anyone reading this, if I only have a few sentences to impact your life, I’d say to keep in mind that a raindrop never feels responsible for the flood, remember that your money and attention as a consumer shapes the world, and to do your best to promote good and ignore evil. We judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions, so be kind and give people the benefit of doubt. Spend time cherishing those around you, be kind on yourself, and do the best you can. Nobody’s going to make it out alive and the dinosaurs are only remembered for their bones, so let go of your mistakes and enjoy the time you’ve got. My favorite quote is by a writer on his deathbed and it goes something like “My whole life I knew that everyone died someday, but in the back of my head I always thought I’d be the exception.” In other words, everyone thinks their internal monologue is the most vivid and their story the greatest, so let people have their time. Lift others up and enjoy your own achievements. Lastly, in the words of Desiderata (my favorite poem, read it if you have the time), “Be yourself.”

Tell me a little bit about the project and what interested you in this job?
The project is the brainchild of Chris Peterson, who wanted to capture what life was like in 2018 as an OSU Valley Library worker; and I think he accomplished what he set out to. I was interested in the job because it meant I got to apply my knowledge and love for audio engineering and recording, along with meeting new people and listening to their stories. 
Had you done oral histories before?
I had not, but now I have! 
What surprised you about the interviews you conducted for the project?
The first dozen people I interviewed would refer to people I’ve never met in their interviews, but as they progressed I was pleasantly surprised to interview the people previously mentioned, and hear them talk about people I’ve already met. It quickly became an interconnected web of people with a common goal that all helped shape each other’s lives for the better.
What did you learn about interviewing?
Interviewing is a skill that requires time to become comfortable with. This involves making the interviewee feel as comfortable talking to you and the microphone as possible, speaking as clearly as possible and rolling with the punches when they mention something out of the ordinary that would be useful to have further information on. I learned that interviewing is an art that I would like to learn more about.
How did you select interviewees?
Chris Peterson selected interviewees based upon their connection to The Valley Library.
How did you prepare?
I prepared by memorizing the questions so they would feel and sound more natural during the interview, and with retired folks, I would read over their Vita so I would know which direction to steer the interview in.
What were some of the issues you encountered in conducting the oral histories?
There were a few blunders on my part. During one interview, the recorder didn’t start and a couple minutes in I had to ask to restart the interview. Another time the entire interview file got corrupted and nearly had to be redone, but luckily was recovered. There were a few times when planning went out the door and rescheduling had to happen, but overall it went smooth and the vast majority of interviews were wonderful.
What were some of the things you learned in the course of conducting the interviews?
I learned that people’s stories are even more diverse than I used to conceive. That every workplace is a web of lives connected by various encounters. And that there’s quite a lot of history in the present.
How did the interviews shift your perspective? 
The interviews shifted my perspective on libraries. They are not what they’re made out to be in movies and stories, but rather workplaces filled with individuals motivated toward a common goal.

Interested in learning more or listening to the oral histories?  Check out the project’s page

This initiative is a product of the Oral History Program at the Special Collections and Archives Research CenterOregon State University Libraries.

January 2019 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

SCARC completed 7 new or updated finding aids in January 2019.  The 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, our Archon finding aids interface, and the OSUL discovery system (a.k.a. “the catalog”).

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

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Oral History Collection, 1996-1998 (OH 028)

oh28-600wThis collection is comprised of interviews with U.S. Forest Service employees, Oregon State University faculty, and other individuals involved with the creation, development, and use of the H.J> Andrews Experimental Forest, which is located in the west-central Oregon Cascades.  The interviews were conducted by historian Max Geier in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the forest’s designation and were used in the writing of Geier’s book, Necessary Work: Discovering Old Forests, New Outlooks, and Community on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, 1948-2000.  All of the collection’s microcassettes have been migrated to digital format and the raw audio of most of these recorded interviews is available online.

Oregon Custom Weavers Guild Linen Research Notebook, 1950 (MSS OCWG)

mss-ocwg-600wThis notebook documents textile research done by Oregon Custom Weavers Guild founds, Jesse E. Harmond and Joan Patterson.  The collection is comprised of a notebook containing samples of Oregon linen subjected to various strength, fading, and shrinkage tests; and tow linen color samples of different linear densities.

Oregon Fiber Flax Collection, 1940-2001 (MSS ORFiberFlax)

fx-52-8-39-600wCollected by Nancy Arthur Hoskins, a weaving instructor and author on textiles, in the course of her own research on flax, this collection documents the processing, marketing and use of Oregon-grown fiber flax and the work of Joan Patterson, Professor of Clothing , Textiles, and Related Arts and Jesse E. Harmond, USDA agricultural engineer and head of Small Seed Harvesting and Processing Investigations at Oregon State College.  The collection is comprised of correspondence, publications, reports, photographs, notes, news clippings, and artifacts.

Gerald W. Williams Electronic Records, 1985-2008 (MSS WilliamsGElectronic)

DSCF1904These records include images, word processing files, PowerPoint presentations, and other electronic formats that chronicle Williams’s research interests and scholarly productivity during his years working as a historian and sociologists for the U.S. Forest Service.  The entire collection is born-digital and is available upon patron request or for use in the SCARC reading room.  Included are materials documenting the history of the Forest Service as well as various national forests across the United States.  The collection likewise reflects Williams’s involvement in historical outreach activities and events, his interest in forest fire policy, and his study of editorial cartoons as historical sources.  Biographical date and professional documents detailing Williams’s work over time are included as well.

New Collections:

Hop Growers of America Records. 1956-2004 (MSS HGA)

usa hopsThe Hop Growers of America Records document the functioning of the organization, which was established in 1956 to create a healthier and more efficient United States hops industry.  The bulk of the collection consists of meeting minutes and reports, including crop statistics.

William J. Ripple Papers, 1927-2014 (MSS Ripple)

Ripple2010The Ripple Papers consist of materials collected and generated by William J. Ripple, Professor of Forest Ecosystems and Society.  The collection consists primarily of reference materials on landscape ecology and trophic cascades as well as over 100 of Ripple’s publications.

Noreen and Harriett Watts Camp Fire Girls Collection, 1917-1985 (MSS CampFireGirls)

Law of the Camp Fire GirlsThis collection documents the activities, membership, and organizational structure of a Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls troop headquartered in Burbank California.  The bulk of the collection is comprised of two scrapbooks assembled by Noreen Watts and Harriett Watts, her mother and “guardian” of her daughter’s troop.  Financial records for a Camp Fire Girls troop in Portland, Oregon in 1917-1919 are also part of the collection.

December 2018 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

SCARC completed 8 new or updated finding aids in December 2018.  Following is a list and a little information about what we accomplished.  You will see that materials from a couple of these collections are available online.  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.
  • Five  of the guides are for new collections received in 2013-2017.

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

David Little Photograph Collection, 1903-1905 (P 126)

p103-little-portrait-600wThese photographs were assembled by David Charles Little, a student at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) from 1900 to 1905.  The collection documents student life at OAC in the early 1900s and includes images of the OAC Cadet Corps, student athletes, other students, and athletics staff.  All of the images in the collection are available online in Oregon Digital.

University Advancement Videotapes, 1983-2006 (FV 210)

fvp210-universityadvancement-600wThe University Advancement Videotapes include promotional videos and public service announcements in draft and completed forms, as well as compilations of raw footage collected to support the creation of these items.  Many of the projects described in the collection were created by a Portland-based advertising and marketing firm – Cappelli, Miles, Woltz and Kelly.  The collection also includes recordings of news snippets and external productions that are in some way related to OSU.  Several items from this collection have been digitized made available online.

G. Burton Wood Papers, 1908-1987 (MSS Wood)

hc1199-600wThese materials document Wood’s professional work as the Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1966 to 1975 and as an agricultural economist.  The collection includes trip and meeting files, speeches, and reference materials.  G. Burton Wood was a faculty member in agricultural economics at Oregon State University from 1951 until his retirement in 1975.


New Collections:

Cooke Family Letters, 1867-1956 (MSS CookeFamily)

Family search_Joseph William Cooke_croppedThis collection consists of more than 100 letters written by members of the Herman Wilhelm Cooke family – an Oregon family who migrated to the Pacific Northwest in 1880.



William H. Maas Scrapbook, 1911-1943 (MSS Maas)

William H. MaasThe William H. Maas Scrapbook is comprised of newspaper clippings documenting the career and related activities of Sergeant William Henry Maas of the Portland, Oregon police force between 1911 and 1943.  Specifically, the clippings document such topics as notable crimes and fires in and around Portland, scandals within the Portland city police force and government, police force benefits and labor issues, Prohibition raids, and the policing of Japanese-Americans during World War II.  William Maas was born in Michigan in 1880; he lived and worked in Portland until his death in 1943.

Mary Margaret Smith-Watson Sewing Books, 1910-1955 (MSS SmithWatson)

MaryMargaret Schmitt_Yearbook 1942_Page_1These sewing books contain course notes for clothing and textile classes, clothing patterns, and fabric and stitch samples.  Mary Margaret graduated from Oregon State College with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1942.


TRiO Student Support Services Records, 1976-2015 (RG 277)

TRIO-imageThese records include grant proposals, reports, committee records, and other materials that document the establishment and ongoing development of TRiO and related programs.  TRiO Student Support Services was established with the intent to provide students with academic growth and development opportunities, assist students with basic college requirements, and serve to motivate students toward successful completion of their post-secondary education.

Ujima Education Office Records, 1995-2013 (RG 266)

RG266-Ujima-BrochureThese records document the administration, event programming, and student outreach efforts of the Ujima Education Office at Oregon State University.  The collection contains documents assembled by Earlean Wilson Huey during her time as coordinator of the Office.  Established in 1997 to increase retention and recruitment of African American students at OSU, the office served a mainstay of African American identity and community at Oregon State for nearly two decades.

November 2018 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

These finalized finding aids are available through the Archives West finding aids database, our Archon finding aids interface, and the library catalog.

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

Agricultural and Resource Economics Department Motion Picture Films and Videotapes, 1954-1994 (FV 245)

p218-sg4-0824-600wThese moving images consist primarily of film reels documenting the cultivation, harvest and processing of apples, cherries, peaches and pears among many other crops.  The collection also contains a smaller number of videotaped lectures delivered by OSU faculty and other regional experts participating in “Economics and the Endangered Species Act,” a seminar course offered in Winter 1994.

Fisheries and Wildlife Department Films and Videotapes, 1934-2001 (FV 243)

mc-fisheriesandwildlife-600wThis collection consists primarily of distance learning course videos offered by the Oregon State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department and taught by its faculty.  The collection also includes 7 motion picture films dating from the 1930s-1950s documenting the Albany Fish Hatchery, the Salmon River, and other locations within the forests and along the coastline of the Pacific Northwest.

Libraries Moving Images, 1960-2012 (FV 083)

hc75b-600wThis collection consists of videotapes, DVDs, motion picture films and other recording formats that document library milestones, events and services, and provide insight into the people, programs and collections that have been crucial to the Kerr and Valley Libraries’ missions since the early 1960s.  In addition to tutorials produced for the benefit of students and faculty, the collection includes several items created with donor audiences in mind.  Much of the collection has been migrated to digital format and a subset of these materials is available online.

Sphinx Society Records, 1909-2006 (MSS Sphinx)

Plaque_Full shotThe Sphinx Society Records consist of correspondence, an historical essay, membership lists and “yearbooks,” a large wooden plaque with members’ names, photographs, and procedural information regarding initiation rituals.  This honorary, and largely secretive, senior male students society was founded in 1909 and dissolved in 1969.

Collection that was a component of the Gerald Williams Collection:  

Kinsey Brothers Photographs (P 309)

Men in front of a building, 1914The Kinsey Brothers Photographs consist of both mounted and unmounted photographic prints reflecting the logging industry.  Clark and Darius Kinsey began working as photographers in the late 19th century, finishing their respective careers in the mid-1940s.  Both made significant contributions to photographing the Pacific Northwest, especially the Spruce Production Division and Civilian Conservation Corps life.  The collection consists of  40 images.

University Publications:  

Graduate Catalogs, 1963-2002 (PUB 489)

PUB489-001These publications document graduate programs at Oregon State University and provide guidance to graduate students and graduate faculty.  A formal graduate program was established at Oregon State College in 1933 and the Graduate School was formed in 1946.

New Collection:

Tom Gabel Collection of Oregon State Athletics Photographs, 1916-2000 (P 336)

P336-101This collection of 294 photographs consists primarily of portraits of Oregon State athletes and coaches as well as action shots of football and basketball games.  Also includes are images of Oregon State baseball, track and field, and rowing, as well as Athletic Department staff and Olympic skier Jean Saubert.  The items were assembled by Tom Gabel, an Oregon native who has collected sports-related photographs for many years.

Oregon Archives Month Recap

After the whirlwind of activity that we packed into October, everyone here at the OSU Special Collections and Archives are now taking naps.  With our five events for Oregon Archives Month finished up, we just wore ourselves out!  A big thanks to NWA for Oregon Archives Month funding to help with craft supplies, food, and coffee for these events! 

Here’s a recap:     

IMG-7210We showcased our Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives in an open house (Oct 3rdhighlighting hops history documented in oral histories, photographs, homebrew club newsletters, industry periodicals, and art from breweries throughout the state.   
reception (17th) for our exhibit “Women’s Words, Women’s Work” informed many Folks about the history of women at OSU.   
Throughout the month of October, we featured a different vintage dog photo from our collections every day for followers of our Instagram account. #DOGADAY   
image002Glitter in the Archives (Oct. 26th) event, where creative energies envisioned expressions of queer/trans identities in the OSU community. For this year we had a very fun collaboration with the OSU Craft Center (more supplies!) and the promise of a ‘Zine to be developed from the art that was created. Stay tuned!    
A lunchtime showing of films (Oct 12th) of OSU and Corvallis from the 1980s brought nostalgia and astonishment to a packed room in seeing aerial views of campus (circa 1983), the 1987 Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show, and footage from the First Da Vinci Days festival in 1989.
IMG_4967For the Great Beaver Bake-Off (Oct 31st), our continuing annual celebration of historic recipes, 9 cooks brought 13 different kinds of baked goodies for sampling. Most of the recipes were drawn from the OSU Folk Club Cookbook and
the Oregon State Fair Cookbook. According to our voting white board, the zucchini cheddar bread and lemon squares were clear favorites, while I thought the apfelkunken was a visual stunner, and the chocolate beet cake had a surprising flavor (couldn’t be beet!).   

October 2018 Guide Additions to SCARC Collections

We completed seven new or updated finding aids in October 2018.  The 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 our website.

  • Three of the guides are for collections that were only minimally described and are now fully processed.
  • Two of the guides are for collections within our student affairs collections initiative.
  • One of the guides is for a component of the University Publications (PUBS).
  • One of the guides is an update to reflect current descriptive practice.
  • These 7 guides represent  ~20 cubic feet of physical materials and 3 Gbytes of electronic records and include 255 photographs.

All of these materials are now available to researchers (with restrictions for some materials).   Several of the collections have materials available online in Oregon Digital (see links below).

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

p065-case-600wReva Buell Photograph Collection, 1902-1904 (P 065)

This collection consists of 14 mounted photographic prints depicting Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) scenes, buildings, and student groups.  Reva Buell attended OAC in 1900-1904. Images from this collection are available online in Oregon Digital.

hc0882-bexell-hall-600wClass Sessions Photograph Collection, 1907-1961 (P 047)

These photographs depict Oregon State University students and faculty in classroom settings and engaged in various learning activities in the early to mid-1900s.  Classes pictured include farm mechanics, pharmacy, business, engineering, and home economics.  Images from this collection are available online in Oregon Digital.

hc0417-600wMaud Wilson Papers, 1917-1965 (MSS WilsonM)

The Maud Wilson Papers document Wilson’s research in housing design and improvements in efficiency that could result from planning and design, especially in rural settings.  Wilson was the first full time researcher in home economics at Oregon Agricultural College.  Several of her publications are available online in ScholarsArchive@OSU.

Collections within the Student Affairs Initiative:  

Image from the 2007 Matriculation SlideshowGreek Life Office Records, 1918-2015 (RG 223)

These records document the administration, regulation, and support services provided for the fraternity and sorority community at Oregon State University.  The Greek Life Office was established in 1998.  This collection includes 3.14 Gbytes of born-digital (electronic) records).

p57-3718-plageman-600wStudent Health Services Records, 1929-2015 (RG 023)

The Student Health Services records document the administration and provision of health services to Oregon State University students.  The records address a variety of health and medical topics such as communicable diseases, vaccinations, patient privacy, and medical records.   Student Health Services was established at Oregon Agricultural College in 1916.

Finding aids that have been updated to reflect current descriptive practice:   

p130-6-grass-seed-600wFarm Crops Department Photographs, 1919-1961 (P 130)

These images illustrate the research activities of the Farm Crops Department and includes photographs of crop production, the use agricultural machinery, and department faculty. All of the images in the collection are available online in Oregon Digital.

University Publications:  

student_handbook_1949-1950Student Handbooks, 1894-1996 (PUB 010-23a)

The Student Handbooks (also known as Rook Guides, Rook Handbooks, or Rook Bibles) provided an introduction to incoming first-year students about Oregon State University, especially history and traditions, social regulations and expectations, student activities and services, and academic policies and procedures.   Most of the handbooks are available online in Oregon Digital.

In Our Care, Part 2

This second post of a two part series is contributed by Valeria Dávila Gronros, a digitization technician at the Digital Production Unit of the Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center. She is an Argentinean photographer, filmmaker, digital films restorer, and a recent graduate with a BA in Cinema Studies from the Universidad del Cine of Buenos Aires.

Every year on October 27th, archives worldwide join together to celebrate the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, with activities not only raising awareness of the importance of audiovisual archives and the vulnerability of this heritage, but also acknowledging the work of the heritage institutions that protect it. Honoring this cause, with this year’s theme “Your Story Is Moving”, we join this wave by sharing the second part of the “In Our Care” KOAC-TV films preservation project.

Be kind, rewind

Inspecting a film on the rewinder.

Inspecting a film on the rewinder.

In the previous blog post about the first part of this project, I explained the films inspection process and findings, and announced the upcoming instance which comprised the cleaning, repairing, and rehousing of the films. Now I completed this last instance, I will share the process below.

Cleaning, repairing, and rehousing the “In Our Care” KOAC-TV films

For cleaning, repairing, and rehousing the films I used the following elements:


  1. 16mm film projector;
  2. Splicer and splicing tape;
  3. Anti-static brushes;
  4. Blank leader;
  5. Cores;
  6. Polypropylene film cans.

1. Rewinding, cleaning, and transferring to cores:  

Having a 16mm film projector at the Library, I used it to automatically rewind each of 35 films. This allowed me to dry-clean the films (as shown below, with two faced anti-static brushes) while they were rewinding.

Cleaning a film while rewinding.

Cleaning a film while rewinding.

The films stored on projection reels were properly transferred to cores also at this point. This way I made sure to have all the films on cores, starting at the beginning, and winded up with the film base side up thus protecting the emulsion.

A film originally stored on a projection reel, transferred to a core.

A film originally stored on a projection reel, transferred to a core.


2. Repairing and preparing for rehousing:  

After I had the films cleaned and rewound, I removed old tape residues, repaired broken perforations, and replaced old splices for new ones using the splicer. At this point, I also added blank leader at the head and/or tail of all films that were lacking it, for their protection, and replaced leaders showing decay signs for new ones in order to prevent any damage or contamination on the films. During this process, I transferred all information written on the old leaders to the new ones.  

Yellowed leader, affected by oxide residues, vs. a new one; the attachment of the new leader to the film with the splicer.

Yellowed leader, affected by oxide residues, vs. a new one; the attachment of the new leader to the film with the splicer.

Some films were loosely wound up, and showed signs of “spoking”, a particular curl caused by the storage environment relative humidity and by acetate base decay; besides keeping from now on better control of the relative humidity conditions, in order to prevent further deformation of those films over time, I tightened them up firmly once rewound.

A film reel showing signs of “spoking”; the same film reel once transferred to a core and tightly wound up.

A film reel showing signs of “spoking”; the same film reel once transferred to a core and tightly wound up.

3. Rehousing:  

Finally, I rehoused the films from the metal cans, some severely rusty, to the vented, polypropylene ones. I made sure to house one film per can and into cans according to each of the films sizes. Also, of transferring to the new cans all documents stored with them in the original cans.

Some original metal cans piled up; the same pile of films once rehoused to polypropylene cans.

Some original metal cans piled up; the same pile of films once rehoused to polypropylene cans.

Having more cans than before, and available space in the storage facility, I added one more box to the equation in order to have all films stored horizontally inside them, as it is recommended.


Like did while inspecting the films, I documented my findings throughout the entire process on a spreadsheet in the cloud. I also made photographic records, including the ones I am using in this article.

Box/Item/Title/Originally had leader/Leader was added/Originally on core/Transferred to core/Cleaned/Repaired/Rehoused/Notes

Box/Item/Title/Originally had leader/Leader was added/Originally on core/Transferred to core/Cleaned/Repaired/Rehoused/Notes


For more information on audiovisual preservation please refer to UNESCO’s “Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images”, available in English, Spanish, and French.