Monthly Archives: July 2009

New US Archivist Nominated

President Obama will nominate David S. Ferriero to become the United States Archivist, according to a White House spokesman.

Mr. Ferriero currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries. Before his position at NYPL, Ferriero worked as the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. He succeeds Professor Allen Weinstein, who resigned as Archivist last December.

Why is this position so important? As the country’s top archivist, he would oversee the activities of the National Archives and Records Administration, including the release of government documents, like presidential papers. And, to quote Al Kamen, “The archivist job has become something of a lightning rod for controversy, particularly as various agencies and administrations press for keeping their records secret for decades despite strong pressures from historians and the public to declassify as much information as soon as possible.” To learn more, both the Washington Post and NY Times Caucus blog both have great pieces on the nomination.

“Meet Phineas Gage… Or how Flickr changed our life”

This is a great story that shows the importance of listening to our users AND the power of Flickr…

We’ve heard the story: a railroad worker is impaled with a spike in his head and lives. “Phineas Gage influenced 19th-century thinking about the brain and the localization of its functions, and was perhaps the first case suggesting that damage to specific regions of the brain might affect personality and behavior.

This story begins with photo collectors Jack and Beverly Wilgus and an unusual dageurreotype they acquired over thirty years ago. They posted images from their collections on Flickr, uploading one in December 2007 they called “Daguerreotype – One Eyed Man with Harpoon.” One comment by one user, in December 2008, changed that title and gave us the only picture of Phineas Gage (it is not the one in this post because reproduction rights are restricted). A Flickr user said “maybe you found a photo of Phineas Gage?” and the rest is history — which you can read more about on their web site “Meet Phineas Gage.”

We travel, you travel, they travel…

Yes, it’s that time of year when we pull out the virtual suitcases! The OSU Archives is taking a trip this summer via our Flickr Commons set “Take a Trip: Traveling and touring with the Visual Instruction Lantern Slides Collection,” and the bloggers at indicommons posted today on “Traveling Photography” from the New York Public Library’s “Japan / Kimbei Kusakabe” set.

And while you are there, also check out the set “Photochrom Travel View” from the Library of Congress and the blog post “Taking In Museums Through the Flickr Commons.”

Any other gems you’ve seen? Leave a comment and let us know!

The State of Black Oregon

Urban League of Portland

The Urban League of Portland released The State of Black Oregon on Monday July 27, 2009.

Want to know more about the event? Check out the Urban League of Portland site.

Want to read the report? Check out the State of Black Oregon site.

Comments or questions about The State of Black Oregon? Voice your opinion on the Urban League of Portland Blog.

Want to know more about the Urban League records in the OSU Archives? Check out our collection guide.

And yes, there is a Flickr set of images from Urban League events!

Moreland Hall

For those of you who keep track of our traditional Flickr account (osu.archives), you may have noticed that we released a new collection of photographs on Friday.  Donated by OSU’s English Department, this new collection focuses on Moreland Hall.  First, we would like to thank the English Department for this Flickr specific donation.  Next, we would like to issue a call to other departments across campus for photographs of their department and facilities.  If you would like to have images from/of your department added to our account, it’s as easy as emailing us and submitting the images.  Let’s work together to document history as it happens with a new generation of building images and campus scenes.

Shasta and Sunset Routes

We’re releasing a new set on the Flickr Commons.  It’s a great look at some of the places along the Shasta and Sunset Routes.  Here’s a look at one of the photos.  Check out our Flickr Commons account on Wednesday, 15 July to see the rest!

Image Title: Palace of Fine Arts-San Francisco, California

Original Format: Lantern slides

Original Collection: Visual Instruction Department Lantern Slides

Item Number: P217:set 023 025

Restrictions: Permission to use must be obtained from the OSU Archives.

Click here for further information or a high resolution copy of this image.

Click here to view The Best of the Archives.

Click here to view Oregon State University’s other digital collections.

We’re happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons; however, certain restrictions on high quality reproductions of the original physical version may apply. To read more about what “no known restrictions” means, please visit the OSU Archives website.

Finding Aids

The following 8 finding aids for OSU Archives collections were completed or updated in June 2009. They have been loaded to the NWDA finding aids database and have a PDF on the OSU Archives’ website. MARC records for all of the collection s are available through the OSU Libraries’ Catalog, Summit Navigator, and Worldcat. Four of these collections were received in 2008; two are collections for which there was previously no information available online.

Most of these are new finding aids; one (for the Mesang Collection) is an update of an existing finding aid.

These include a finding aid for an historic map collection that may serve as a model for guides to other components of the historic map collection.

Bryant, William C., Collection, 1902-1905

Counseling and Psychological Services Records, 1965-2007 (RG 157)

Green, John W., Papers, 1919-1973

Mesang, Ted, Collection, 1925-1968

Newman Foundation of Oregon State University Records, 1962-2008

Oregon State University Alumni Oral History Collection, 2005-2008 (OH 13)

Starker, T.J., Collection, 1975-1982

Zobel, Donald B., Collection of Historic Forestry and Vegetation Maps, 1914-1989

The OSU Archives now has 409 finding aids in NWDA.

People and Places: Early “Oregon”

100-year-old Indian Woman astoria.jpg

We’re going back in time … The latest set in the “Take a Trip: Traveling and touring with the Visual Instruction Lantern Slides Collection” is dedicated to early Oregon images.

Our history is full of fascinating people and places: beautiful rivers, complicated relationships, and some great houses! This set is from the “Early Settlement of Oregon” lantern slide collection, though the land was certainly inhabited long before Oregon was named “Oregon,” boundary lines were drawn, and territorial governments were formed. The following quote (yes, the long one below…) comes from the lecture booklet that accompanied the slides, and although no exact date is given on the booklet, we can assume it was written in the 1920s or 1930s – it is an interesting look at the cultural and social assumptions and conceptions of the times.

“The earliest use of the word Oregon of which we have record was by Jonathan Carver who had, previous to the Revolutionary War, explored much territory westward from the Great Lakes. In 1778 he applied the name -Oregon- to the ‘River of the West’ and said that he had heard Indians living near the east slope of the Stony Mountains (Rockies) call the river by that name in 1766. In 1812, the poet Bryant, wrote: ‘The continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound Save his own lashings.’ The name was readily taken up and soon came to be applied to the vast region drained by the ‘River of the West,’ later the Columbia. When Oregon began to assume boundary lines, in the minds of Americans, it extended from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific and from about 42° North latitude, the northern boundary of Spanish America to 60°, the southern boundary of Russian America. These pictures emphasize a number of important people, places, and events in the settlement of Oregon.”

For a more 21st century history of Oregon, please visit these links: