About Us

The University’s rich heritage and research is reflected in our great archival collections, and we are thrilled to give you a peek! Hopefully, you’ll like what you see and will want to know more … Or you might find out that you already know more and want to share … In either case, please contact us with questions, ideas, or information at scarc@oregonstate.edu.

So what’s our history? 

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center was formed in 2011 with the merger of the Oregon State University Archives and the OSU Libraries Special Collections. The Oregon State University Archives was founded in 1961 with the intention of acquiring and preserving historical materials relating to the University. The department was expanded in 1966 to include one of the first records management programs of its kind. After several locational and organizational changes, the University Archives joined the University Libraries on September 1, 2000. A quarter century after the University Archives opened its doors, the OSU Libraries Special Collections was established as a repository for the University’s growing rare book and manuscript collections and officially received its first major accession that same year. Over the following twenty-five years, the department grew to include a score of collections documenting the life and work of scientists and historians.

Today, the Special Collections & Archives Research Center spans the 3rd and 5th floors of the Valley Library, housing more than 1,000 archival collections and tens of thousands of rare books and fine bindings. SCARC is committed to promoting public access to the department’s holdings through tours, educational opportunities, and community outreach and continues to support and develop a robust, publicly-available web presence including Oregon Explorer, theUniversity History portal, and Linus Pauling Online, among other resources.

Learn more on our official “About Us” page!

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