SCARC’s collections include documentation of nearly all of the hundreds of the OSU Corvallis campus buildings, both existing and nonextant. Over the years, OSU has named buildings after numerous individuals, renamed buildings, and has reused the same name to name different structures. This causes a number of challenges affecting various areas of departmental functions including arrangement and description, metadata for digitized materials, and public services. SCARC decided to create an internship project for an “OSU Building Names Research Project intern” to be responsible for creating a comprehensive LibGuide of buildings and building names on the Corvallis campus.
OSU Building Histories LibGuide
We hired history student and class of 2019 graduate Lydia Parker, and over the course winter and spring terms 2019, and 160 hours of work, she:
- Read relevant portions of the books A School for the People by Larry Landis and The People’s School by Bill Robbins.
- Used existing inventories to compile a comprehensive inventory of all current OSU named buildings on the Corvallis campus, along with an inventory of all nonextant OSU named buildings.
- Used SCARC collections to determine all of the names that have been used for a given building.
- Created a LibGuide of buildings and building names on the Corvallis campus – this LibGuide includes textual information about each building, SCARC materials citations, building photographs, and campus maps.
- Created documentation of the process so that other interns and staff can continue with the project as needed.
- Wrote a blog post about her experiences with the project to publish online via SCARC social media (see below!).
Parker’s work will positively impact various areas of SCARC departmental functions including arrangement and description, metadata for digitized materials, and public services. The compiled list of information will assist with finding aid updates and metadata clean up. And, the LibGuide will more effectively expose SCARC resources to researchers working on class papers and theses, scholars studying various topics related to buildings’ histories, faculty and staff seeking information about Oregon State’s administrative history, as well as the broader OSU community wanting to learn more about local history.
SCARC was absolutely delighted with Parker’s work and though we wish she could continue working for us, we wish her many congratulations on her graduation!
“As a Corvallis native, the Oregon State University campus has always felt like a second home to me. When I entered into my first year of college, I doubted my decision to come to Oregon State. I thought I should have gone somewhere else, somewhere further away from home- but after working in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center, I am so glad I stayed here. I learned more about “my home” than I ever thought possible, and gained experience that will last with me for a lifetime.
In my freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, career, schooling, etc. I changed my major three times before realizing that the only classes I consistently received ‘A’s in were History courses. My junior year, I made the switch to History. This opened a world of opportunities for me. I learned how to research, how to read thoroughly, and how to write. My history classes were fun and challenging, and often forced me to think about things from an empathetic point of view that I never really had before. Dr. Trina Hogg, my professor for History of Africa and my History Capstone, told me that “The act of doing history is looking empathetically at the past.”
I see that empathy in the way the people at SCARC work, and how carefully every collection is taken care of so that this knowledge might be preserved for generations to come. I am thankful for their hard work, and for allowing me to be a part of the Oregon State Buildings history.
Working in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center opened my eyes to things I never knew about a town and a campus that I have called home for 24 years. I often found myself lost in mesmerizing old photographs and memoirs about how things used to be. I am part of the 150th class to graduate from Oregon State. My time in the archives gave me a special view into the history of our campus, and how things have changed so much in the past 1.5 centuries. Working for SCARC gave me a unique outlook, and puts my accomplishment as a graduating senior into perspective. I will forever be grateful for the time I spent working over the last two terms.
Moving forward, I will be applying to graduate school in Indigenous Studies, and hopefully pursuing a career in teaching or journalism. I know that the experience I gained working in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center, learning to search the archives, and feeling comfortable looking through special collections, will be a huge benefit in my future endeavors.
Thank you, SCARC!”
~ Lydia Parker, class of 2019