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.

Pearl Spears Gray: OSU’s Director of Affirmative Action 1973-1987

Thanks to Mary Williams, SCARC student worker for this post on Dr. Pearl Spears Gray!

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Pearl Spears Gray, born August 19, 1945 in Selma, Alabama, worked with OSU as an instructor for the Education Department for the Portland Urban Teach Education Program and the Affirmative Action Director from the years 1973 to 1987.  Her time at the school allowed for great strides in the Affirmative Action program, and aided Oregon State in becoming a more diverse and inclusive campus.

Dr. Gray was born in Alabama but grew up and went to high school in Washington D.C. After graduating she attended Wilberforce University for her undergrad then Antioch Putney University, where she got her Master’s in Secondary Education with an emphasis on African American history. Dr. Gray then went on to teach government, history and sociology at different high schools in the Washington D.C. area from the years of 1968 to 1973. In 1969. She received a grant from Rockefeller Family fund to study at different African universities  such as University College Cape Coast, along with Ghana and University of Ibadan. During this time she met her then husband, Eddie Gray, and had two children, Don and David Gray.

She came to work for Oregon State University as an instructor for the Portland Urban Teaching program in 1973.  This program was a “cooperative effort between the OSU school of Education and the Portland public schools to train minority students in education for teach in urban schools”. After three years, Dr. Gray decided to move to Corvallis and take the position as Affirmative Action officer, where at the time there were 250 African American students. In an article from the Oregon Stater she states, “I view this office as a service to the university…we can broaden the awareness of the university population about what is discriminatory. We can be a source of information, a force of change, and in integral part of this university in terms of developing programs that speak to the needs of women and minorities.” Through her hard work and dedication she the Black Journal placed her on a list called “100 Most Influential Friends” in 1977. Around this same time, she began to create a report for Oregon State’s compliance with Title IX and found that there were some shortcomings in the athletic department, requiring that they change their department to be more inclusive.

During this time Dr. Gray was also working to complete her PhD. Between 1976-1979 she took multiple courses including Statistical Methods, Historiography, Anthropology of Africa, and Adv. Cultural Anthropology Reading & Conference. In 1985, she completed and presented her thesis African-American Folkloric Form and Function in Segregated One-Room Schools, earning her a PhD in Philosophy in Educational Foundations at Oregon State University.

In 1986, Dr. Gray was appointed as ACE Fellow, and was selected to spend most of her fellowship at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Oregon State granted her a two year leave in order to fulfill her fellowship, but she ultimately decides to take position offered to her as Associate Provost for Policy and Assistant to the President at the University of Virginia in 1987.

Dr. Pearl Spears Grey was and extremely active advocate for diversity in academia. During her career she was a part of Delta Sigma Theta and “instrumental in beginning a new chapter…at OSU”, a part of African Heritage Studies Association, National Council for Social Science, Associate for the Study of Negro Life & History, Daughter of Isis, Order of the Eastern Star, Urban League of R.I. (board member), and served on the Governor’s Commission on Black Affairs. She pushed Oregon State University to open the doors to those who were not originally given the opportunity and allowed them to feel accepted on a predominately white campus.

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.

Jeanne Dost, Economics, and Women at OSU

Thanks to SCARC student Mary Williams for this post on Jeanne Dost, who among many other things was a Professor of Economics and Director of Women’s Center AND Director of Women Studies. 

Cover of "The Birth of the Women's Center," MSS MC 57.20: Dost, Jeanne, 1990.

Cover of “The Birth of the Women’s Center,” MSS MC 57.20: Dost, Jeanne, 1990.

Born in Walla Walla, Washington on August 12, 1929, Jeanne Dost is well known as the warrior at the front lines of women’s rights in the state of Oregon’s universities. She spent most of her career fighting for her rights on Oregon State’s campus opening up opportunities for all women entering the world of academia.  Dr. Dost came to OSU in 1967 as a part-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and was given the title of Professor Emeritus when she retired in 1991 after helping to start the Women Studies program and Women’s center.

Jeanne and Frank Dost married in 1950 after meeting at Washington State University where she completed her undergraduate degree in Economics.  From there the two moved to Massachusetts for Dr. Dost to complete her A.M. in Economics at Harvard University between the years if 1951 and 1953.  Once obtaining her graduate degree, Dr. Dost continued to work for her PhD at the same university, which she completed six years after her A.M. Between the years of 1953 to 1959, she worked as a Research Assistant at Harvard, an Instructor in Economics at Kansas State, and gave birth to her two children Karen, 1955, and Frederick, 1959. Finally, the family found their way to the Pacific Northwest when Dr. Dost acquired as position as an instructor at Washington State University in Economics.     

The Dost’s ultimately came to Oregon State University when they were both offered positions in their field of academia, but Dr. Dost was only hired as a part-time instructor for Introductory Economics.  This differed highly from her other at WSU, where she recalls teaching graduate level courses. From the years 1967 to 1972 she attempted to be hired in a full-time position as an Associate Professor for Economics.  In 1969, the opportunity arose when a position opened up for a full-time Associate Professor in Regional and Urban Economics, which she focused on when study for her PhD at Harvard. With multiple years of experience, involvement in different committees, and a vast education background, it was easy to assume that she would get the job. To her dismay, Dr. Dost was passed up for a man who was completing his Master’s degree in economics, and only after he decided to pass on the offer she was offered the position at part-time.  After this she began to research the treatment of female faculty for University of Oregon, Oregon State, and Portland State, to see if this was a common flow in Oregon’s academia. She returned with dismal results which showed how widespread this epidemics was. For Jeanne Dost, this was blatant sex discrimination and she voiced her opinion, to which she was fired soon after.

She formerly filed a complaint about the ordeal with Oregon State’s Faculty Review and Appeals Committee, the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and Oregon’s Bureau of Labor Civil Rights Division.  Oregon State’s Faculty Review and Appeals Committee found to no discrimination based on sex but rather on personality, claiming that she was considered “pushy” from others in the department, meaning they felt nothing needed to be down. In late 1971 though, the Bureau of Labor Civil Rights deemed it as obvious sex discrimination and highly recommended they hire Dr. Dost as a full-time Associate Professor with tenure. Six months later she was hired in that role but without tenure.

After this experience Dr. Dost knew there needed to a change on campus, she and colleagues advocated for the Women’s Center which opened the academic year of 1972-1973. In August 1973 she and the OSU President, were about able to create a position for her as Director of Women’s Center and Director of Women Studies. From there she pushed for the much needed change by making the Women Studies program grow so much that by 1978, a student could gain a graduate degree in the program.

Dr. Dost continued to make change on Oregon State’s campus until her retirement as Emeritus Professor in 1991.  Although she continued to be involved, her experiences left Jeanne Dost with a bad taste in her mouth when it came to OSU.  She decided to remove herself from the university completely, offering all of her works to the Archives at the University of Oregon.  After her retirement, she and her husband Frank moved to the British Columbia for about four years but finally settled into a home in Freeland, Washington around 1995.  During her retirement she wrote the book Women: Two Decades of Discovery where she examined the wage gap and other economic disparities between the sexes. Dr. Jeanne Dost passed away in 2012 from Leukemia and Alzheimers and is survived but her loving family, Frank, Karen and Frederick.

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.


Citations:

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

https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9019s737q

 

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.


Citations:

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

https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9019s737q

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.

“Catching Birds with a Camera” ~ the OHS exhibit comes to OSU

osu-finley-exhibit-poster

We are so excited to be hosting the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) exhibit “Catching Birds with a Camera: Finley, Bohlman and the Photographs That Launched Oregon’s Conservation Movement” from February – July 2019!

OHS curated and hosted the exhibit in 2018 as an extension of a joint grant project between OHS and SCARC. During 2016-2017, both institutions collaborated on the project “Reuniting Finley and Bohlman” to make more than 40 years of photographs, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, and other materials created by William Finley, Irene Finley, and Herman Bohlman available online. The digitization effort allows the collection, which is physically divided between the OHS and SCARC to be united in its entirety for researchers and conservationists to access online. Included in the project are nearly 7,000 images and over 8,000 pages of manuscript materials that are available at digitalcollections.ohs.org and oregondigital.org/sets/finley-bohlman

William L. Finley’s interest in wildlife conservation began when he and his boyhood friend, Herman T. Bohlman, began photographing birds around Oregon at the turn of the twentieth century. Photos and manuscripts by noted conservationist William L. Finley, his wife Irene, and Herman T. Bohlman helped in establishing wildlife refuges in Oregon. The photographs include Finley and Bohlman’s trips to Malheur Lake, the Klamath Lakes, and Three Arch Rocks on the Oregon coast – and, these photographs played a key role in President Theodore Roosevelt’s decision to create wildlife refuges at those locations. A fourth wildlife refuge in Corvallis was named in honor of William Finley. More information about Finley can be found on The Oregon Encyclopedia

In addition, the project included a public lecture tour, “On the Road with Finley and Bohlman,” in which the exhibit curator and OHS’s digital services librarian, Laura Cray, gave a lecture series in various locations across the state. A recording of one of the lectures, along with a panel discussion and Q&A featuring Bob Sallinger, Tom McAllister, and Worth Mathewson, can be found online via OHS’s website “On the Road with Finley and Bohlman: Portland” In addition, Cray wrote an article for the Oregon Historical Quarterly “Finding Finley: Reuniting the Works of Naturalist William L. Finley through Digital Collaboration”

If you stop by SCARC and have interest in checking out our collections, be sure to review:

Also, we’ve blogged quite a bit about Finley’s work, so be sure to peruse our many Speaking of History blog posts about Finley

And now, photos of the exhibit!

2019-FinleyExhibit-001

2019-FinleyExhibit-002

2019-FinleyExhibit-0032019-FinleyExhibit-004

2019-FinleyExhibit-005

2019-FinleyExhibit-006

The “Getting Our Goat” video is available online – a very well spent 15 minutes of your time if you ask us.

Plus, we have a mini-display just outside the main exhibit cases…

2019-FinleyExhibit-007

We hope you stop by in the coming months to view the exhibit!

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.

Lois Sather McGill ~ the Food Science and Technology change maker!

Thanks to SCARC student worker Mary Williams for this blog post!

Sather in 1947, President's Office Photographs (P092:0522)

Sather in 1947, President’s Office Photographs (P092:0522)

Lois Sather McGill, born Lois Ann Young, was born in 1923 in Wilsonville, Oregon. During her long career at Oregon State University, Sather McGill started and ran the food testing program, wrote or co-wrote over 50 technical papers from her studies, paved a path for women in the Department of Food Sciences and Technology, and maintained a strong connection to the scientific community in her involvement with multiple committees.

At the time of her retirement she was given the title of Emeritus Professor and recognized as major contributor to the Department she dedicated nearly forty years to.

From the years 1941-1945 Sather McGill studied for a B.S. in Home Economics and was hired as an Instructor and Research Assistant for the Department of Food Sciences and Technology right after graduating, making her the first woman to be hired in the program. Her job was to “set up a sensory evaluation program” at Oregon State University, and by 1946 she had the program up and running. During her time in this position, Sather McGill helped to conduct flavor tests and research various case studies in taste. She chose to leave three years later in order to dedicate her time to “family matters.”

On September 1, 1946, Sather McGill married her first husband, Glenn V. Sather. The couple had three children between the years of 1948 and 1952 named Alan, Ronald, and Larry. At this point, Sather McGill chose to stay at home and “devoted [herself] mainly to family responsibilities.” After the birth of her third child, Larry, she resumed her position at Oregon State University as Instructor and Research Assistant as a replacement for Ruth M. Smith. After rejoining the faculty in 1953, Sather McGill remained at the university until her retirement.

Two years after rejoining the Department of Food Sciences and Technology, Sather McGill was given the position of Assistant Professor. Within her first year back in charge of the Flavorium, or food testing panel, it had grown to nearly 100-200 faculty or staff judges. The program was also given its own specific building along with expanded kitchen facilities and flavor booths. She began to focus much of her research on frozen packaging, with special attention to recipes for green beans and other produce.

Lois Sather at a food research meeting, 1958. Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection (P 020)

Lois Sather at a food research meeting, 1958. Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection (P020:1627)

In the April of 1966, Sather McGill’s husband, Glenn V. Sather, passed away, leaving her with three sons at the ages of about eighteen, sixteen, and fourteen. She married her second husband, Thomas E. McGill on August 10, 1969 who had three sons of his own, Patrick, Timothy and Dennis. Together they had a family of six children all varying in age.

From 1963 to 1972, she held the position of Associate Professor and earned the title of Professor of Food Science and Technology in 1973, which she maintained until her retirement. During her career, Sather McGill had been a part of flavor studies, took part in of 50 published technical papers, developed multiple dried fruit and vegetable recipes, and researched the factors that influence consumers preferences for beef.

While working at Oregon State she was extremely involved in multiple programs, both on campus and within the community, often earning her recognition for her work. In April of 1971, she was named as one of Corvallis’ Women of Achievement, and in May she was named “Employee of the Year” by the faculty chapter of the Oregon State Employees Association. She was a recognized member of National Institute of Food Technologies, and was in 1983 was elected as a Fellow after having held every office in the Oregon Section of the institute. Sather McGill was also a part of American Home Economics Association; American Dairy Science Association; American Society for Testing Materials; Sigma Xi, Science Honorary; Corvallis Chamber of Commerce; Altrusa; Century Club; Eastern Star; and the Kappa Delta Sorority.

In her 1983 retirement announcement, Sather McGill was described as having “an important role in the development of the curriculum, in developing [the] internship program and has been the leader for [the] undergraduate advising program.” In that same year she was offered the title of Emeritus Professor and was later honored with Earl Price Award of Excellence for Student Advising. After her retirement, she continued to be involved in the department and in 1989 was recognized as Early Contributor in Sensory Evaluation by Committee E-18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials & Products, ASTM.

Mina McDaniel was hired to replace Sather McGill. Listen to or read McDaniel’s oral history online.