Monthly Archives: November 2013

Friday Feature (on a Wednesday): Chris McQuilkin’s work as a Resident Scholar

Thanks to SCARC student Geoff Somnitz for this great post on one of our resident scholars!

Chris McQuilkin, a master’s candidate at the University of Oregon, recently completed a term as Resident Scholar in the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center. During his term in residence, McQuilkin explored the organization, methods and ideology of the Agricultural Extension Service of land-grant colleges in the United States served as a model for US technical assistance programs in the early Cold War, and became important tools of foreign policy in that conflict. Specifically, he focused on two OSU alumni, Elvin Duerst and Wallace Kadderly, and their assistance activities in Latin America.

After the conclusion of the Second World War, U.S. foreign policy makers had to consider the role of U.S. foreign aid in European rebuilding efforts and the wider world. The debate that followed culminated in the Marshall Plan in 1948. The following year, President Truman expanded the range of foreign aid to include technical help to “underdeveloped areas” across the globe. This was laid out as the Point Four plan in his 1949 inaugural address. The origin of this plan began as a continuation of work that the U.S. had begun in the region through the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (IIAA) in 1942. Truman created the Technical Cooperation Administration to carry out the Point Four Program in 1950, and the IIAA became the TCA’s Latin American branch.

Paraguay had been one of the first countries to ask for aid from the IIAA. Albion Patterson, the chief of IIAA, would later describe Paraguay as an “excellent laboratory” for the Point Four program it was among the least developed in Latin America. Elvin Duerst arrived in Paraguay in 1948 as an economic advisor for IIAA, and began to work for the servicio (“bureau”). The servicio, the main unit for IIAA in each country, was jointly run by IIAA and the country’s government. The servicio’s role differed based on the different requests for assistance. McQuilkin focused mainly on the servicio’s agricultural aid efforts in Paraguay. Duerst worked on the issue of unequal distribution of arable land and settler colonies designed to alleviate it. After the success of the two sample colonies, Duerst pushed for wider implementation of the policy. He then proposed the idea of “demonstration farms” to teach farmers modern agricultural skills. The long-term goal of the servicio in Paraguay was to make the agricultural industry competitive in the global market. Duerst proposed that this could be possible by linking the servicio’s research and demonstrations sections and by organizing similar to the form of U.S. land grant colleges.

In the early 1950’s, Duerst proposed an exchange program to bring Paraguayan farmers to the U.S. to study agriculture and economics. Exchange programs such as this became one of the most observable and substantial effects of technical assistance programs such as IIAA.

The U.S. invested so much effort in Latin America during this period because of the looming threat of Communism. The U.S. State Department regarded the issue of mutual security and American authority in the Western Hemisphere as extremely important and cultivated as many allies as it could get in Latin America. Duerst was promoted and left Paraguay for IIAA’s Washington office. He dealt with government aid budgets for Latin America and managed finances for single projects. He continued this through President Eisenhower and Kennedy’s different versions of IIAA and the Foreign Operations Administration and continued to help aid Latin America.

In 1955, Wallace Kadderly came to Latin America to begin his work. In contrast to Duerst’s economic and agricultural expertise, Kadderly’s skill was in education and information, specifically in radio and media. Wallace Kadderly was a former KOAC (Oregon Agricultural College’s radio station) staff member who started working for the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Science (IAIAS), a branch of the Organization of American States, in 1955. His position there was Editor-in-Chief of the Scientific Communications Service. His job had him travelling regularly. He was in Latin America from 1955 to 1958, going across the region to tour information services and discussing and figuring out how to expand them. He frequently used cheap and portable ways to educate agricultural workers and the most commonly used tool was the Magic Box. It consisted of teaching supplies and materials that could be assembled cheaply and easily from resources on hand. Using tools such as the Magic Box, IIAA workers made a curriculum that had three principles; simplicity, directness, and efficiency.

In Kadderly’s travels, he summarized each visit with a short “Field Trip Report” that covered what he had done at each place. Each followed the basic format of listing the purpose of his visit, the people he had encountered, and a concise outline of his activities. He also worked planning several conferences that discussed media (such as radio, newspapers, and magazines) and their relationships to the agricultural extension service. Kadderly worked to spread the work of servicios through a regional magazine that was first published and released by the IAIAS in 1956. He served as chief editor of Extension en Las Americas for the first year of publication, and then returned to the United States in 1958.

Also in that year the IIAA dissolved and Elvin Duerst continued to work for the parent agency, the ICA (International Cooperation Administration). Three years later, Duerst began working for an agency formed by President Kennedy, the Agency for International Development (USAID). He was assigned an economic advisor position with the Regional Office for Central America and Panama (ROCAP) to conduct economic studies on nations in Central America. He returned to Washington D.C. in 1964 to attend a conference on rural development. It discussed ways for better coordination among the land-grant and aid organizations in conceiving and implementing projects. They also made the suggestion to make a definitive policy about the role of land-grant colleges in technical assistance, with the creation of an advisory committee to oversee the relationship. The conference also emphasized the importance of the relationship between land-grant colleges and technical assistance agencies since the introduction of technical aid by President Truman in 1949. Since then, people such as Kadderly and Duerst have been recruited from land-grant colleges to federal aid agencies, but until the 1964 conference, there had been no coordinated effort between the two.

The Resident Scholar Program offers stipends of up to $2,500 for visiting researchers wishing to use SCARC’s collections.  Applications for 2014-15 scholars will be solicited beginning in January.  For more on the program, please see


Friday Feature: John Ringle: 50 Years of Nuclear Power

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center is pleased to announce the release of the papers of John C. Ringle, a long-time member of OSU’s nuclear engineering program. This collection represents not only the research and teaching efforts of Ringle, but the history of nuclear science at OSU and the evolution of nuclear power in the United States over the last fifty years.

John C. Ringle

John Ringle’s career in nuclear science began in 1959 with one of the most outrageous projects ever conceived. As a doctoral candidate in UC Berkeley’s nuclear engineering program, Ringle took a position with the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California. There he was assigned to Project Pluto, a program to develop a nuclear-powered cruise missile capable of delivering more than a dozen hydrogen bombs to a target. He spent two summers designing a calorimetric power computer to measure the power output of the Tory-IIA, Pluto’s stripped down reactor/jet engine, before moving on to other project s in 1960. Pluto continued for four more years before the top brass realized it was too loud, too fast, and too dirty to use.

A memo pertaining to Project Pluto.

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1964, Ringle accepted an offer to join the graduate faculty at Oregon State University’s nuclear engineering program. At OSU, Ringle’s interests diverged significantly from the likes of Project Pluto. He became deeply interested in the implications of nuclear energy as a replacement for conventional power sources. Much of his research focused on the environmental impact of reactors, their economic advantages, and the disposal of radioactive waste. He also served as Assistant Reactor Administrator and oversaw the final construction of OSU’s TRIGA reactor and the operation of both the TRIGA and AGN-201 reactors.

Promotional brochure for Nuclear Energy concentration

Promotional flyer, 1965-66

Promotional flyer, 1969-1970

His attention, however, wasn’t strictly limited to research and experimentation. Ringle also kept a finger firmly on the pulse of public policy. He carefully watched local politics for pro- and anti-nuclear legislation, maintained contacts with members of the nuclear power industry, and amassed an impressive collection newsclippings documenting all things nuclear in the Pacific Northwest. Ringle also participated actively in public discourse on the issue of nuclear power. He confronted nuclear energy critics via letters to the editor and op-ed pieces and encouraged the public to explore nuclear power as a solution to the coming energy crisis. He also found other ways to work with the public. He oversaw a summer course on radioactive waste for high school teachers in the 1990s and worked with foreign students—particularly TaiPower employees—to create safe and efficient nuclear power programs abroad.

Ringle was also instrumental in helping OSU’s nuclear engineering program weather the anti-nuclear politics of the 1980s and ‘90s. His efforts to bring in and engage students in programs like the OSU student chapter of the American Nuclear Society helped bolster the department’s ranks during a time of recession within the field. He also maintained a robust teaching schedule, conducting courses in reactor operation, nuclear engineering, radiation safety, and applied physics.

In 1980, Ringle accepted the position of Assistant Dean, and then Associate Dean, of the OSU Graduate School where he oversaw the growth of OSU’s graduate programs. John Ringle is now Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering & Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University.

The John C. Ringle Papers are a tremendous resource for researchers interested in nuclear science and engineering education, radiation research, and the controversy surrounding nuclear power in the United States (specifically the Pacific Northwest) and abroad. The Ringle Papers and other related materials are available for access 8:30AM-5:00PM Monday through Friday at the Special Collection & Archives Research Center. For questions about the Ringle Papers or other holdings, please contact us at

Contributed by Trevor Sandgathe

Friday Feature: OSU Football Display in the University Suite at Reser!

Thanks Mike for this post!

A little more than a week before the start of the 2013 OSU football season, SCARC received two very important research requests, almost simultaneously. Images of OSU’s football history and related research were requested for two very important venues at Reser Stadium. What a fantastic opportunity for SCARC to provide OSU alumni and special University guests a glimpse into our century of football pride.

Kelly DiChristina with OSU Event Planning was redecorating the University Suite on the upper level. She wanted to include a gallery of photographs and memorabilia highlighting significant points in OSU history. The football program at Oregon State began in 1893-94 and SCARC has significant holdings that fit the bill.

That same day, Nicole Markel, Assistant Athletic Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship contacted us saying she wanted to install a display on the second level Founders Loge as well. This venue is filled with active alumni at our home games and she was looking to upgrade two display shelves at either end of the space. Again, important football images would be the center piece of the installation.

Megan Guerre was already in the process of creating a finding aid for our Football Photograph (P004) collection, so our research was already off to a good start. Megan and I searched through SCARC’s holdings for important photographs that would tell the story of OSU Football. Using various collections, including our Memorabilia Collection, Harriet’s Collection and Alumni Photographs, we identified about fifty of the “best of the best.”

Along with photographs, we included football programs from all three of OSU’s Rose Bowl appearances, as well as some other colorful and historic programs from early OAC vs. U of O games. These programs highlighted some important points in OSU history such as the 1928 NYU vs. OAC game played in Yankee Stadium. We also provided some vintage photographs of prior football stadiums on campus, Bell Field and Parker Stadium. Benny the Beaver images were also featured.

We wanted to illustrate some of the highpoints of OSU football history. The 1907 Pacific Coast Champion team photograph, the OAC “Iron Men” of 1933, and a wonderful color photograph of the 1967 “Giant Killers” were provided, along with many more images.

At present, both installations are in place at Reser.  There is still some work to be done on both displays, but they are truly spectacular. Reception to the exhibits has
been fantastic. Alumni and guests have crowded around the photo displays at each game, experiencing OSU’s long football history through images with descriptive captions (provided by Megan and Myself).  Nicole Markel told us that Ken Austin and his family viewed the display at the opening game of the season. Ken’s grand children were shown the image of him in costume – “Look, your grandpa was Benny the Beaver!”

The Reser Football History project is something for SCARC to be proud of. Megan and I were honored to provide assistance in these important displays. We really felt like we were serving our college in a special way.
Both of these venues at Reser Stadium are showplaces of Beaver pride and are viewed by important alumni and guests of OSU.  Special plaques recognizing SCARC for providing materials are displayed prominently, another feather in our cap!

Find the rest of the pictures from Mike and Megan’s adventure on Flickr.

Dad’s Weekend, the report

We had another successful open house last weekend! Approximately 100 people stopped by to enjoy a display of campus and football history memorabilia and view some vintage videos. Dads (and moms) and undergrads spent some quality time in the Archives throughout the day.

Did you know Dad’s Weekend started in 1933 making this the 80th Anniversary? I’ll admit that we didn’t know either when we planned the day, but now we regret not buying cake!

Super SCARC student worker Mike D. reported that

one of the highlights of the day for me was to experience young OSU Freshmen connecting with their Beaver heritage. No matter what school they were a part of, Mechanical Engineering, Oceanography, or the ever popular: “undecided,” these students learned that there is something for everyone in our collections. The day proved that you don’t need to be a stodgy old history researcher to darken our doors. I’m confident that these new students will be back in the archives throughout their college career at OSU.

Truth be told, it was our collection of Beaver yearbooks that received an extra rigorous workout that day — particularly the issues from the 1980s. Dads browsed and relived their college days through the pages and photographs, sharing stories with all of us.  Mike appreciated hearing  (more than once) “you had hair then!” It was gratifying to see all of the dads connecting with their kids through Beaver history!

Yearbooks and Barometers and Memorabilia… How we loved sharing it… The display of OSU history sparked many questions throughout the day. We all told the story of the First Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges, to interested alumni and students.  I concur with Mike’s “note to self” to read up on early OAC history, re-read the 1862 Morrill Act, and spend some time with our Land Grant documents.

Mike has a “box of goodies” he pulls out for these events that is full of historic ephemera like a rook cap (which was a green beanie worn by all freshmen boys) and a rook bible from 1926. Mike spent a lot time talking with one student, a member of the oldest sorority houses on campus Alpha Chi Omega, and her dad. The students was enthralled by the history of freshmen at OAC in the early days and spent over an hour reading the rook bible, finally finding the name of the original student owner. Then she wanted to actually “find” him, so she and her father poured through yearbooks trying to find information on this OAC student from days of yore. It was gratifying to see a young student taking such a personal interest in her campus history.

Larry spent a lot of time sharing his vast knowledge of university history. He’s elbow deep in a pictorial history of OSU, so it’s certainly fresh in his mind! He also had an interesting visit with one of the mothers, a caregiver for Douglas Strain (our reading room bears his name) at the end of his life. Tiah spent time with a father and daughter who were searching for poetry written by their grandfather in an early OAC yearbook. They got a little distracted by other fun finds, but were able to catch this bit of family on our Bookeye scanner. The final visitor was the Student Station Manager from KOAC — who was so excited about our holdings of her station’s early history! She plans to use our collections to find old KOAC photographs to use in recruiting new students, returning as an actual researcher to dig into the history of our radio station. KOAC, by the way, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year! Mike says “yay! More cake!”

The SCARC Dad’s Weekend open house was memorable in many ways. The event was highlighted by the sheer volume of interested families who came through our doors from 10:00am to 2:00 (and later…), and the genuine engagement and interaction we experienced from all who attended.

We were all exhausted but in a good way!

Friday Feature: the Oregon Archives Month 2013 debrief

Wow, what a month. Oregon Archives Month at OSU was a great mix of activities and opportunities for connecting with the community.

Good Morning America, 1988

Karl McCreary started off the month with a film showing on the 8th. He arranged for the transfer of several “films from the VHS vault,” including one of Benny and Bernice Beaver celebrating on the Memorial Union steps in 1988, former library director Rodney Waldren talking about the McDonald Room in 1984, and the always mysterious “Mr. Wizard.” These films aren’t online yet, but you can view them in our reading room (8:30 – 5:00, Monday – Friday).


Next on the docket was an event hosted in our reading room celebrating the 50th anniversary of Linus Pauling’s Nobel Peace Prize. History of Science Doctoral Student Linda Richards hosted a session on peace crane folding and early arrivals were able to explore some of our collections. Richards also gave an introduction to the panel featuring Tim Naftali, Jacob Darwin Hamblin, Christopher McKnight Nichols, and Joseph Orosco.  It was well-attended and Mina Carson took pictures you can find on Flickr (thanks to her for the one above). History of Science librarian Anne Bahde says “this is definitely something we’d will do again.”

We took a bit of a break before launching into back-to-back events to highlight the new Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives. The first was a fun Saturday afternoon brewery crawl, history lecture, and showings of both the documentary Oregon Brewed and all the Hopstories mini-documentaries. You can read about it and find great pictures on our Tumblr blog. A few days later we hosted the 8th annual Taste of the ‘Chives, our historic recipe cooking event, and you can read about that on our Tumblr blog as well. This year we featured recipes cooked with beer or beer ingredients. You can imagine how aromatic that was! Check out the KBVR news piece (check minute 3:15 for us).

Our final event was a celebration of OSU (and OSC) alumni during Homecoming Weekend. We held an open house and film showing on the 26th before the big game against Stanford. While the game was a bit of a bummer, the visitors weren’t! Student Mike Dicianna wrote up a nice blog post about the event and included some fun pictures of what our staff are calling “The Super Alums.”

I send out my thanks to all who attended and gratitude for all those who helped make it happen. It takes a lot of work to promote, organize, and host events like this, but I am lucky to work with a talented and engaged bunch of people who love sharing out history stories.

Remember you can see lots of event pictures in our Flickr sets.