Monthly Archives: November 2014

Back in time — what was it like in 2003?

These three women, all residents of the Oxford House Co-op, put together a small box of things they thought captured the spirit of the year.

We haven’t done much research on these three, but we do have a nice collection of materials in the Oxford House Records (1966-2014) that helps to tell the the story. You can learn more about other houses here too, because we have the records of several cooperative houses including the Dixon Lodge, the Maple Manor Cooperative House, and the Azalea House. 

We also know that this small box was found in a wall as they remodeled the building after the co-ops closed in June 2014, and then it ended up here with us last month to be labelled, described, and seen!

The box was certainly a snapshot of pop culture in the early 2000s, and you can see what was inside by scrolling down the post, but it also came with a 2 page letter from the three contributors. I’ve scanned the first page, but it’s a teaser because you’ll have to come in to read the whole thing.

After we’ve met their 22 year-old selves we learn more about their activities and life at Oxford House. For example:

We are also reminded of some high points for pop culture.

In addition to the above collage, there’s an US Weekly issue from April 2003 and a Barometer issue from June 6, 2003.

There are also three Bazooka Joe wrappers, which accessioning archivist Karl M has heard had meaning beyond being wrappers with comics…

So I ask you readers some simple questions. What would you put in a time capsule? What reflects the lives you live today and what would the things you collect show people 11 years from now? And because archivists love to document change over time, how have things changed on campus since 2003?

OSU yearbooks digitized & available online!

A nearly complete run of the OSU yearbooks have been digitized and are freely available online! The full text is keyword searchable and easy to use, so jump right in.

What will you find there? The OSU Yearbooks website began with the first yearbook produced by the school, titled The Hayseed and released in 1894. Every yearbook published between that date up to the 2012 edition is currently accessible on the website. The 2013 and 2014 Beaver yearbooks will be added soon. In total, 109 volumes are currently available without restriction.

The digital yearbooks collection is a major resource for investigations into the undergraduate experience at Oregon State University. Particularly in its earlier decades, the yearbook provided a detailed photographic and textual chronicle of student life and campus climate, revealing important insight into the evolution of cultural trends, attitudes, fashions and much more as Oregon State changed with the times. Research projects of many types will benefit from convenient online access to this rich collection.

The school yearbook has variously been titled The HayseedThe Orange and, since 1917, The Beaver. Two yearbooks were also published, in 1900 and 1905, as souvenir editions of The Barometer. The last ever edition of the Beaver yearbook was published in 2014.  Much more about the history of this hugely important publication is available in an introduction, “Hayseed-Orange-Beaver, 1894-2014” released on the OSU Yearbooks website.

How do you use it? The full text of this digital collection is keyword searchable, both across the collection and within an individual volume. Users looking for names of students, clubs or events recorded in the yearbooks will be able to locate information quickly and easily, simply by typing terms into a search box.  Online viewing of given volumes is also user-friendly: full-screen views and multiple page layouts are available, and users can “flip” through virtual pages with the click of a button.  The website also allows users to zoom into a page for easy reading.

Who did the work? All of this has been accomplished through the implementation of a new digital collections platform, called Hydra, which has been developed jointly by the Oregon State University Libraries & Press in collaboration with the University of Oregon Libraries.  The OSU Yearbooks website is itself the fruit of a collaboration between OSU Libraries & Press staff working in three of its divisions: the Digital Production Unit, Emerging Technologies and Services, and the Special Collections & Archives Research Center.