Daily Archives: February 16, 2017

Alice Kathryn Kidder and persimmon jam

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One of our library colleagues got curious when doing his work in ScholarsArchive after coming across this 1996 issue of The Messenger.

Because we work in a library we want to share, so he posted “Wondering who Alice Kathryn Kidder” was? Wish you had some of her persimmon jam right now? Check out page 10” on our All Library Slack channel and one of my archives colleagues replied with by pointing to the small collection we have of her photographs.

We put all sorts of helpful things in our guides, including “Biographical / Historical Notes.”

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1902, Alice Kathryn Kidder attended Oregon Agricultural College in 1920. Graduating in 1924, she taught elementary school in Ashland for a year before moving to California, where she continued to teach until 1952.

Active in alumni affairs, Kidder was a member of the OSU President’s Club and the Council of Regents until the 1990’s.

Andrew Kidder attended OAC from 1893 to 1896 and worked with the Department of Botany and Horticulture in the College greenhouses from 1891 to 1897. In addition to Alice, Andrew also had a son, who graduated from OAC in 1923.

Her legacy to the University has been recognized in the establishment of the Alice Kathryn Kidder Grand Foyer in the Valley Library.

And then I got curious and looked in the yearbook, which is how I found the picture above, and then I looked at the Alumni Magazine and got way too sucked in.

That’s how it works when you work with an archivist. You pull out a little thread and we can’t stop pulling the rest!

Food history guide update: learning about labor

A farm labor sign at one of the highway entrances to Medford, Oregon, was asking for farm laborers.

A farm labor sign at one of the highway entrances to Medford, Oregon, was asking for farm laborers.

The idea of labor supply is a fascinating one that is heavily connected with food supply. During WWII, you were serving your country whether you were on the front lines of the war, or back home working on a farm. All hands were on deck, and it’s fascinating to see especially here in Oregon. There were several farm labor camps in the surrounding area, and in the image you can see that they weren’t too picky about who was working. 

Fun fact (for myself): There were several farm labor camps in Coburg, Oregon – a place I drive through regularly to visit family in Eugene. After seeing the images, the layout of the town made absolute sense to me. There are several farms surrounding Coburg, and even more between Coburg and Corvallis. 

I plan on looking further into more local labor forces and seeing where laborers came from and the types of work they were used for. It will be exciting to see!Y

You can find this 1944 Medford farm labor sign picture online. Keep watching this blog for the March debut of the Food and Farming history guide.