Monthly Archives: June 2013

Friday Feature: John L. Robbins Photograph Collection

What’s not to love about a photo collection that has photographs, contact prints, and negatives?

Collections archivist Karl McCreary shared a new box of goodies (that’s a “new accession” to archival-types), photographs taken by alumnus and Beaver Yearbook contributor John L. Robbins while he was at OSU. Included are pictures of football games, concerts by musicians and comedians, oceanographic research, a  speech by a civil rights activist Julian Bond, the Turtle Derby, basketball games, track and field events, carnival rides at night, classroom shots, and views of campus. Among the performers featured include Pat Paulsen, Carlos Santana, Donovan, The 5th Dimension, Mason Williams, Jonathan Winters, and the Rascals.

This latest addition will join the rest of the 700+ we already have from Robbins’ time at OSU in the John L. Robbins Photographs Collection (1968-1971). However, for those anxious to take a look, hold tight a bit longer because Karl is still in those final stages of the accessioning process and these new items aren’t quite ready for prime time.

Feature from last Friday: Alumni Reunion

Last Friday students from days of yore descended on campus to celebrate their students days at OSU — okay, all but one class is likely to still remember it as OSC…

June 7th and 8th the classes 1963, 1958, 1953, 1948, & 1943 came to campus to relive their student experience, as well as learn what’s going on at OSU today. They took tours, listened to panel discussions about contemporary campus life and research, and they looked at old stuff!

Collections Archivist Karl McCreary has been providing archival materials to enrich their reunion experience since he started in 2000. Mostly, he provides publications like the Fusser Guide, student handbooks, club pubs (Annual Cruise from the College of Forestry), and the campus paper the Barometer. But this year he decided to check out the event himself — and he invited his archival friends!

Tiah & Karl in the class of 1958 alumni gift cart!

We were especially interested in a “Then & Now” panel session with current students and alumni comparing and contrasting their campus experiences. We heard about the cost of college, thoughts on what makes this a special place, thoughts on drinking and the bad behavior of football fans, and future plans of soon-to-be grads.

So what was happening when they were here?

  • In 1963 the “new” Kerr Library building was completed and McNary Hall (a residence hall) opened.
  • In 1958 the School of Forestry, in conjunction with the Swedish Royal College of Forestry, sponsored a Swedish-American Forestry Conference in Stockholm. There were 207 international students from 36 different countries.
  • In 1953 the new football facility, Parker Stadium, (now Reser Stadium) was dedicated on October 24; after its grandstands were removed, Bell Field was used for track & field. Azalea House (women’s co-operative housing) opened in September. It was named for Azalea Sager, a former State Home Economics Leader with the Extension Service, who was “instrumental in promoting interest and obtaining the necessary funds for building and furnishing the house.”
  • In 1948 Sackett Hall (residence hall) was completed and the Adair Tract (6200 acres) was acquired for research and teaching by the Schools of Forestry and Agriculture (this later became known as the Dunn Forest).
  • Finally, in 1943 the school celebrated its 75th year after dedication as a state college. Enrollment was 4,743 (summer-660), there were 611 degrees conferred, and the library collection tallied up to 193,479 volumes!

It was a party!

Oregon Agricultural College alumni who graduated in 1904-1907 returned to campus in June, 1926. The objects of interest at this reunion tent are “old time pictures and mementos” — sound familiar?

Friday Feature: new digital collection!

Last week we opened a new exhibit on the 5th floor, a wonderful selection of reproductions of the glass plate negatives in the Benjamin Gifford collection. This week we’re pleased to announce the release of a new digital collection with photographs from the whole Gifford family!

New digital collection: photographs taken by four Gifford Family photographers

The Gifford Photographic Collection consists primarily of photographs taken by the four Gifford Family photographers: Ralph I. Gifford; his father, Benjamin A. Gifford; his wife, Wanda Gifford; and their son, Ben L. Gifford.

The Gifford Family’s photographic work began around 1890, when Benjamin A. Gifford moved to Portland, and continued into the 1950s. The collection documents Oregon landmarks and scenic views on the Oregon coast and in the Cascade Mountains, Willamette Valley, and central and eastern Oregon; agriculture in Oregon; and Native Americans, especially of the Columbia Plateau.

The tourism film The New Oregon Trail in the Ralph I. Gifford Motion Pictures (SG 3) section is one of my favorites. The production was supervised and edited by Harold Bradley Say, photographed by Ralph I. Gifford, and distributed by Castle Films. The 16 mm Kodachrome color film, with soundtrack, is approximately 22 minutes long (800 feet) and is also available for viewing online. It consists of footage of scenic and recreational attractions in Oregon and strongly emphasizes the moderate climate (read: not rainy climate) we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest, strongly promoting sport and commercial fishing on the Oregon Coast and in Oregon rivers, streams, and lakes. Of special note are scenes of Native Americans fishing at Celilo Falls, state parks throughout Oregon, highways and bridges (especially on the Oregon Coast), Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge, and the Pendleton Round-Up. Much of the footage in this film is similar to still photographs taken by Ralph I. Gifford.