Monthly Archives: March 2009

What’s on the way?


Oregon Is Indian Country Exhibit: April 2, 2009 through April 26, 2009

Learn about Oregon’s Native American heritage with Oregon Is Indian Country, a traveling exhibit produced by the Oregon Historical Society in partnership with Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

Oregon Is Indian Country represents a groundbreaking project bringing all nine Oregon tribes together to present information never-before-assembled in one exhibit on contemporary indigenous cultures. Oregon’s Indian traditions will be illuminated by many art forms including native voices, historical artifacts, photographs and more, producing a powerful exhibition. Oregon Is Indian Country is currently scheduled for showing in several museums throughout the northwest, including The Valley Library!

To read more about the exhibit, visit the Oregon Is Indian Country website.

To inquire about hosting the exhibit at your museum or library, call 503.222.1741.

What happened last month?

More new finding aids means more information online!

The following 3 finding aids for OSU Archives collections were prepared in March 2009. They have been loaded to the NWDA finding aids database and have a PDF on the OSU archives’ website and a catalog record in the OSU Libraries’ catalog, Summit, and Worldcat. One of these is for a collection acquired in 2008; the other two (2) are for collections for which there was previously no information available online. We now have 384 finding aids in NWDA.

Frodsham, Harold, Photographs, 1922 (P 271)

**Note: All of the images are available online in the Oregon Explorer Digital Collection of historic photographs.

Hatfield Marine Science Center Photographs, 1965-1997

Rose Bowl Football Game Scrapbooks, 1940-1942

Celebrating the Women of OSU

moving-dorm.jpg Women's Basketball, 1898

Over the last 3 weeks, we’ve written blog posts on the 15 women featured in the “OSU Archives Celebrates International Women’s Day” set in our Flickr Commons account (+ 2 bonus posts about Ida Kerr and Harriet Moore).

You can learn more about IWD on the “International Women’s day 2009” page.

You can see the images we chose on our osu.commons IWD set page. You can also view all the IWD images in the Commons on this page.
You can learn more about the Women’s Center at OSU by visiting them online or in person (they are in the Benton Annex, adjacent to the Valley Library). They have a great “Women in Herstory and Education” section on their Resources page.

You can learn more about sources of U.S. and global women’s history on “Women’s History,” a site developed and maintained by the Women’s Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Also check out their “Archival Sites for Women’s Studies” page.

We’re back on track and ready for researchers!

arch-map-sign.jpgWelcome to spring, that glorious time when grass is green, birds are singing, and flowers bloom — though the first day of spring term is starting off on a cloudy note …

This is a reminder that the University Archives is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm during the academic year. You’ll find Maps & Microforms reference service at our desk Monday through Thursday from 9am to 9p, Friday 9am to 5p, Saturday 1pm to 5pm, and Sunday 1pm to 9pm.

For those times when our desk is closed, please visit the 2nd floor reference desk for assistance. If you are online and wanting to know more about how to find items or work the machines on the 3rd floor, please check out our “Instructions & Tours” page on Flickr.

Back where we started: Back to the beginning of the OSU Archives

harriet-moore.jpg harriet-moore-3.jpg harriet-moore-2.jpg

It seems fitting that the last post to celebrate some of the women of OSU would be one for Harriet Moore, the first University Archivist. Actually, there’s no need for a new post — we’ve written about her before (March 2007, to be precise)! But people have a way of researching, and if they didn’t keep thinking, digging, and writing about the past archives would be a pretty sad place …

And Moore was dedicated to preserving and sharing our history. You’ll find her name on articles about Benton County, her research in historic timelines of the Willamette Valley, her quotes in the details of homes in the Oregon Inventory of Historic Places. She was thorough, exact, and passionate.
Read Theresa Hogue’s article “A love of graveyards unearths lost history,” October 2008, to learn more about Moore’s work with the Winema Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Check out the Benton County Historical Society page “Applegate Trail South: Corvallis to Yoncalla,” part of the A Chronology of the Old Oregon-California Trail series, for a timeline compiled by Moore and Kenneth Munford.

Thanks Mrs. Kidder!

Ida Kidder in Wickermobile Wickermobile parked in front of campus building Women with the

Fortunately, though we have written blog posts for all the women pictured in our “OSU Archives Celebrates International Women’s Day March 8th!” set in Flickr Commons, there are still a couple of important ladies worth mentioning… Who could exclude Mrs. Ida A. Kidder, the beloved first librarian at Oregon State College?

Larry Landis, University Archivist, wrote a great piece on the establishment of OSU’s Library for the OSU Alumni Association, which includes details on the coming of Kidder in 1908. It is worth the read to learn even more!

In 1899, when the first non-student college librarian, Arthur J. Stimpson, was appointed there were 3,000 books and 5,000 pamphlets and bulletins listed in the college catalog. During his two years as librarian, Stimpson adopted the Dewey decimal system for cataloging books and improved the system for loaning books. Lewis W. Oren and R. J. Nichols proceeded Stimpson, running the library from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and averaging a daily circulation of 25 books. And then came Ida Kidder! In July 1908, Kidder was appointed as OAC’s first professionally trained librarian; her arrival marked a period of unparalleled growth.

After her husband’s death, Kidder entered library school at the University of Illinois and received her degree in 1906 at the age of 51. Six months after assuming her position as head librarian, Kidder compiled a report for president William Jasper Kerr on the “present condition” of the college library. She noted 7,180 general and reference books, 5,000 government documents, and 10,000 pamphlets. At that time, the reading room was housed on the second floor of the Administration Building (Benton Hall) and could accommodate 108 students, while two other rooms held the library’s actual collection.

Kidder led a twelve year period of growth unmatched in the library’s history: the library’s holdings increased several fold, its staff increased from one position to nine, and Kidder both planned and oversaw the construction of a new 57,000 square-foot library building. This construction was well-timed, by 1912 the library occupied the entire second floor and chairs in the reading room were hard to come by!

The OAC Board of Regents successfully lobbied the 1917 Oregon Legislative Assembly for $158,000 to construct the new library building. Designed by Portland architect John V. Bennes, the building boasted space for the book collection, as well as a large reading room, library offices, three departments, and the college museum. The building was ready in the fall of 1918, and because of the wartime labor shortage, moving was a group effort. Faculty of all ranks and students all pitched in to move the library collection from the Administration Building to the new building, using a wooden causeway built between the buildings. The last books were moved in on October 30, 1918. Appropriately, it was named Kidder Hall in 1963.

During Kidder’s tenure, the library maintained a balanced general collection of books, but also developed notable collections in agriculture, home economics, and the history of horticulture. At the time of her death the library was a depository for federal publications, subscribed to several hundred periodicals, received the transactions of several hundred learned and technological societies, and maintained a large reference collection. And look where we are today …

Kidder experienced health problems later in her life and began using an electric cart (affectionately dubbed the Wickermobile) to get around on campus. You’ll see several shots of this cart at the top of this post. Ida Kidder died in Corvallis on February 28, 1920. We thank Ida Kidder for all her work!

Beautiful images, complex histories, missing details…

woman-tipi-children.jpg indian-chiefs-tipis.jpg woman-entrance-tipi.jpg

This is another image that tells a story; unfortunately, we can only guess the plot.

Here’s what we know: the picture was taken by Benjamin Gifford around 1900. It’s likely that it was taken in Eastern Oregon, probably at the Pendleton Round-up.

Benjamin was well-known for his images of Native Americans, scenic views of the Columbia River and the Columbia River Highway, and views of central Oregon and Portland areas, publishing Art Work of Oregon in 1900 and a view book entitled Snap Shots on the Columbia in 1902.

You can read more about the Giffords on the collection page and see a list of Benjamin Gifford’s images on the finding aid for the photo collection.

You can see images taken by Ralph Gifford when he was stationed on Whiddy Island, Ireland, by visiting our osu.archives Flickr set.

And, as always, if you know more tell us!

Ruth Namuro and John Garman, the life in autochrome

In the humblest of opinions, this is one of the most stunning photos we have. The colors, details, simplicity, and peace are incredible. What do we know about the subject, Ruth Namuro? Not much, which is a shame because there is a undoubtedly a back-story to the image we see here. Instead, we’ll focus on John Garman, the photographer.

Here’s the condensed version of what you’ll find on the John Garman biography page, which accompanies a great online exhibit of some of his other photographs.

John Garman was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1896, though his family moved to Portland when he was two. After graduating from Benson Polytechnic High School in 1916, Garman enrolled at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). According to an oral history interview with Garman, he and a friend made a bicycle trip from Portland to Corvallis in 1917, where they enrolled at OAC. The funny part of the story is that they had intended to travel to Eugene to enroll at the University of Oregon, but the two decided that they had traveled far enough for that trip. Though for those who’ve ridden the rest of the way, the trip down Hwy 99 from Corvallis to Eugene can be quite beautiful …

He began his studies in Electrical Engineering, specializing in telephony, though he also an accomplished musician (the b flat clarinet being his instrument of choice. However, as life often does, Garman took a detour after his first year at OAC: he entered the Army and was sent to service in WWI. While enlisted, he served as an instructor, training recruits in basic marching and drill. Really, it was lucky for all of us who enjoy his photography that he enlisted, because it was in the Army that Garman picked up his camera. Although he had been given a camera as a child, he didn’t take a serious interest in photography until an Army friend reintroduced him to it while they were in camp.

After WWI, he returned to OAC and began taking elective courses in photography from R.W. Uphoff, was involved in some of the early work on synchronous flash devices, and some early work in commercial applications of color photography. He was also a member of the OAC band and orchestra, manager of the band his junior and senior years, and a member of Kappa Kappa Psi (the Music honors society). In the meantime, Garman continued his studies in electrical engineering, founding the OAC chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering honors society, and serving as the first president of OAC’s chapter. He graduated with a B.S. in Physics, with honors, in 1922.

After graduation, Garman spent the summer working for the Western Electric Co. in their telephony division. He returned to OAC as a part-time instructor in Engineering. R. W. Uphoff left OAC that year to pursue his own photography, and  Garman was hired in September 1923 to replace him as instructor of Photography in the Physics Department — this was a position he held until his retirement in 1966. Garman concentrated on the practical aspects of photography, believing the purpose of photography was “to make accurate and usable records of how things worked, and how they were built, and what they were for, and how they were adapted to their use …”

Without this practical-minded approach to photography, OSU might never have created its Photographic Services. Because of his photography talents, Garman had become well-known and sought after by the OAC faculty. It was Garman, working with Ed Yunker, who created the Photo Services in 1924 when they realized that their work taking pictures for other departments was interfering with their ability to do the work for which the college had actually hired them.

As an instructor, John Garman didn’t simply teach students how to point a camera at something and push a button; he insisted that his students understand the optics of a camera, the geometry of using lenses and of composition, and the chemistry of films and printing processes. He said this of of photography: “Processes are being continually changed and improved and if you don’t have a basic understanding of them the first change licks you. So, we found it advisable to teach people basic understandings of photography. Not, just training.”

He retired in 1966, after 45 years of teaching photography; however, in 1969, when the decision was made to move the instruction of photography to the Art Department, Garman was the natural choice to help the new caretakers of photography set up classes and labs — so he returned…

It wasn’t all electrical engineering and pictures: in 1925, Garman married Florence Goff, and they had three children. Garman passed away in November of 1989.

Listen up!

A snapshot of Zelda Feike Rodenwold: How did she become the “housewife’s friend”?

What do we know about Zelda Rodenwold, first director of women’s programs at KOAC? If only you could all read the “Who’s Who in the Faculty Series: Radio Station KOAC” piece on Mrs. Rodenwold from the Archives’ Memorabelia Collection … It’s a late 1930s gem!

Rodenwold, born Zelda Feike, known from teaching women how to make “the best of a little and get the best return from the things they have,” was beloved for her work as the director of the the home economics extension radio programs. She was born in Iowa in 1897 and worked most of her life in the schools (student and teacher). Her family moved to Granite, Oklahoma in 1911, where she studied shorthand and typing, a skill that helped her pay her way through liberal arts courses at Drake University by working as a secretary. Her parents moved to Portland, Oregon, and Rodenwold followed in 1914. She traveled down the Valley, registering at OAC (OSU) in the fall of 1916 in the home economics program.

She was a member of the Chi chapter of Delta Zeta, one of the founding members of their Zeta Chi local, its president, and later the first president of Delta Zeta. Again, using those typing and shorthand skills, she paid her college expenses by doing office work, waiting tables at Waldo Hall, and serving as a student correspondent for the Oregon Journal. She was the first woman editor at the Barometer, member of the Scribe, Omicron Nu national home economics honor society, and Forum (which later became Phi Kappa Phi national scholastic society). And, in her spare time, she was president of Waldo Hall. She graduated in 1919 with a BA.

Though she had planned to be a teacher, after graduation she was asked by Ava Milam to work as the secretary for the School of Home Ec, a position she accepted and held for two years before moving on to another one as the secretary of the Alumni Association. There, shocked that there wasn’t an alumni magazine, she established a monthly paper called “OAC Alumnus.

She was married in 1924 to a fellow OAC employee, Ben Rodenwold (assistant professor of Animal Husbandry). After marrying Rodenwold, she gave up her position as a secretary, but remained editor of the magazine, which became known as Oregon State Monthly. She did free-lance writing and had stories published in Sunset, Forecast, Practical Home Economics, Pacific Northwest Magazine, and School Life.

In 1928, her husband received a year leave, so they both returned to Iowa State College to pursue masters of science degrees. With her advanced degree in Household Administration in hand, Zelda Rodenwold returned OAC and to writing, publishing several educational booklets for the college’s editor, ET Reed. Then, in 1930, she began broadcasting “Aunt Sammy’s Chats,” a 15 minute piece on home economics work on KOAC. As Aunt Sammy became more and more popular, the program was lengthened to 45 minutes, with Rodenwold in charge of planning, writing, and answering all her own fan mail.

That year Claribel Nye, state home economics extension specialist, asked her to serve as the state specialist in home managements. She accepted, but finding her heart in radio, she resigned after two years to become the director of home economics radio programs at KOAC.

Did you know? KOAC is now Oregon Public Broadcasting, aka OPB? And that they maintained their OSU studios until the spring of 2009, broadcasting all nightly programs from campus? Learn more about OPB and KOAC in the OSU Archives’ collection guide for KOAC or by checking out this Wikipedia article.