Monthly Archives: December 2012

Friday Feature: Fashion

SCARC student worker Susanne was drawn into a new accession this week that was chock full of home design and fashion fun… The collection of alumna Dona Dinsdale Papers (1942-1947).

Coming to Oregon State College in 1943 from Portland, Dona Shirley Dinsdale majored in business with a focus on secretarial science. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1947 and her 0.75 cubic foot collection if full of materials created and collected by Dinsdale during her time as a student at Oregon State College. Mostly made up of course materials, class notes, and term papers, you’ll also find items such as circular letters, event programs, grade reports, newspaper clippings, receipts, student identification cards, publications, and a scrapbook. The latter is a treasure trove! Assembled by Dinsdale for a class in house furnishings, the scrapbook contains images clipped from magazines and samples of furniture fabric. Not to be forgotten, the publications she collected included Oregon Stater alumni magazines, copies of the Beaver Snuffer student monthly publication, and annual college fashion previews published by the Meier and Frank Company.

Why does she love these sorts of collections? Susanne says “I am not a fashionable person but looking at how fashion has changed (hopefully for the better) makes me feel fashionable. It is worth the smile and giggle.” She goes on to say that “somebody put a large amount of thought and care into designing a fashionable/stylish home (as seen in that scrapbook even down to the clothing swatches) that with the turning of the ever turning tide of trends most people would not want to be caught dead in. Fashion royalty soon turns to fashion victim with the steadily unchanging hands of time.”

Want to know more? We have plenty of collections for you to explore your inner designer!


Friday Feature: SCARC’s fabulous books!

You may know that we have great History of Science archival collections and great book collections, but do you know about our book collections?

Granta 16: Science.

I was reminded again this week of how awesome the “History of Science Books and Dissertations Collection, 1575-2002” and “History of Atomic Energy Collection, 1896-1991” are is as I watched our resident scholar pore over stacks of books in our reading room.

Cart full o’ books

The History of Science collection documents the development of science and technology within the past 150 years, with a particularly strong focus on quantum physics and chemistry. Highlights of the collection include Niels Bohr’s doctoral thesis; the first edition of Marie Curie’s Traite de Radioactivite; and the first and only edition of Avogadro’s Hypothesis.

  • How big is it? 237 linear feet — 2,512 items — and still growing!

The History of Atomic Energy Collection, containing more than 3,000 items, is a valuable resource for research on the development of nuclear technologies in the twentieth century. Highlights of the collection include the first published account of the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 by Nobel Prize winning physicist Henri Becquerel; writings on the Manhattan Project; materials concerning the congressional hearings of J. Robert Oppenheimer; and formerly classified government reports. Cultural aspects of the atomic age are also explored through fictional works, poetry, drama, and music.

  • How big is it? 231 linear feet — 3,108 items — and still growing!

If you don’t go through our Rare Books portal, you can find most of these books in the OSU Libraries’ online catalog. When you search for a title look for a location that says “Valley SpCol HistSci” or “ValleySpCol Atomic Energy” [see below for a visual aid].

Catalog record with “Valley SpCol HistSci” location

Friday Feature: Happy birthday to KOAC!

There’s a public radio station near and dear to our hearts at OSU — one that keeps many Oregonians well-informed and entertained — turns 90 today. The station that started life as KFDJ, then became KOAC, and then formed a major part of OPB was born on December 7, 1922. And so we say “here’s to their fabulous history” with a new Flickr set!

George Edmonston wrote a wonderful piece in 2009 on the history of KOAC on campus, taking us back to those early days when “[w]ireless communication came to OAC [Oregon Agricultural College] during the 1913-14 school year in a course taught by Dr. Willibald Weniger, head of the physics department and namesake of Weniger Hall.” It was in Dr. Weniger’s class “Wireless Telegraphy 222” that students built and operated a “spark-type transmitter.” After WWI, the class was turned over to Physics Professor Jacob Jordan, who built the radio transmitter for the College’s first 50-watt station as a lab experiment. That station became a central part of the campus (and eventually state) community.

In March of 1922, the OAC Extension Service had begun using the radio station KGW in Portland for educational broadcasts; fortunately for us, they moved back to our campus… Later that year, on December 7, 1922, OAC was granted a license to begin broadcasting the radio station KFDJ. The first formal broadcast (on January 23, 1923) featured music from the Corvallis High School band.

Three years later, in October 1925, the college radio service was officially dedicated. To make it even more official a “Broadcasting Schedule” leaflet was prepared and distributed to a selected list of radio receiver owners. It was at this same time that regular hours of broadcasting were established for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00; special broadcasts were also made for college convocations, athletic contests, and other events. The station soon became known as KOAC.

KOAC’s studios in Covell Hall opened with the completion of that building in 1928. Prior to that they had been in what is now Kearney Hall (Apperson at the time). Not content with just audio, KOAC-TV went on the air in 1957.

In 1981, OPB left the Department of Higher Education, becoming an independent state agency, and in 1988 OPB moved to a new facility on SW Macadam Avenue in Portland. However, most of KOAC’s radio operations were still located on campus until 2009, when all operations moved to Portland.

You can learn more about the history of KOAC in our web chronology at a KOAC Radio Milestones and Music, Markets, and Milestones: 75 Years of KOAC Radio. The 1972 history of KOAC, The Remembered Years is available in ScholarsArchive. You can also learn more about our historical materials pertaining to KOAC in the KOAC Records (RG015) and Jimmie Morris Collection in their online guides .

Want to know more? Check out the Wikipedia article on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Limited hours over the term break: December 10 – January 4.

Look out! SCARC will have limited public service desk hours over the term break.

Our reading room will have limited hours from December 10 to January 4. We will be open between 11:00 -5:00, Monday through Friday for archival research, excluding December 24th & 25th and January 1st.

Remember that you can find us online any time at or contact us via email at

Wondering about the picture? It is from the OSU Military Photograph Collection (P 002) and shows two USAF sergeants looking at radar screen with Santa and reindeer, circa 1960. This was a standard publicity stock photograph used for Christmas Eve reports showing Santa being picked up on military radar… (Yes, a much earlier version of NORAD Tracks Santa).

Best wishes for a safe, happy, and restful break!