Category Archives: Finding Aids

Driven by curiosity?

Guide to the Oregon Community Surveys, 1925-1936

Another great collection level finding aid just waiting for a researcher interested in playing a history detective!

This very rich, albeit very small measuring in at a 1/2 cubic foot, collection has scads of data about 4 small communities in Oregon. The Oregon Community Surveys consist of data and narrative summaries documenting the schools, churches, social organizations, and economic status of the rural communities of Clatskanie, Condon, Cottage Grove, and Riddle, Oregon.

Why is this collection worth looking at? Data for the Oregon Community Surveys was compiled in 1925, 1930, and 1936, with the latter being done by C.S. Hoffman, Assistant State Supervisor of Rural Research, under the auspices of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Works Progress Administration. But what makes this really great is the historical detail you get about these communities in the early part of the last century.

Each survey includes information about the demographics of the community. Predictably, this includes the total population, but it also provides incredible information about the number of individuals identified as “native born,” “foreign born,” and “negroes;” the number and type of farms and agricultural cooperatives; the types of industries and businesses; the names of influential individuals in the community; the medical services available; and information about charities, crime, social activities, and civic organizations.

You’ll also find extensive information about the community’s schools, including information about enrollment, facilities, the library and equipment, teachers, and school clubs and organizations. You’ll also find detailed information about each church in the community, with data on the church facilities, finances, membership, and religious education programs. Finally, the surveys also include narrative summaries and comments written by the surveyors.

The provenance and custodial history are unclear, hence the call for a sleuth, but we’d love you to dive into the box!

Curious about the images in this post? You’ll find many, many more of the great pictures of Oregon’s rural communities in our digital collections, especially the image-heavy and delightfully robust Gerald W. Williams Collection

And while we have your research interest piqued …

Make sure to check out the Rural Communities Explorer, an Oregon Explorer digital library portal that “provides public access to reliable and up-to-date social, demographic, economic, and environmental information about Oregon’s rural counties and communities.”

Horner Museum Oral History Collection

Fabulous new collection guide now available online! Horner Museum Oral History Collection 1964-1992

We love it when Elizabeth N. describes something as the “granddaddy of them all” for our oral history collections … not one to use superlatives lightly, when Elizabeth does use one, she means it!

So why is this so special?

The Horner Museum Oral History Collection consists of approximately 290 oral history interviews conducted or assembled by the Horner Museum. The run the gamut, covering a variety of topics including the OSU campus community and development of academic departments, Corvallis and Benton County, the diversification of a “resource-based economy” in Bend and Deschutes County, Native Americans and other ethnic minorities in the region, and the establishment of the CH2M Hill engineering firm.

For those of you who like the numbers, this collection is 17.75 cubic feet, including 681 audiocassettes and 200 photographs — yes, that’s 34 boxes worth. And for those of you who delight in details, there is a preliminary container list available (linked from the collection guide).

Want to know more? Elizabeth has written a wonderful background history for the collection, including more about on the physical details and other related collections for companion research projects.

Interested in where the physical artifacts found their home?

You can find the contents of the Horner Museum in Philomath at the Benton County Historical Society and Museum.

Great Cities and Gobs of Glaciers!

Great cities, gobs of glaciers, and a whole bunch of new collection guides? Must be another busy couple of weeks of work in the OSU Archives.

Since we always start with Flickr, this week we’ll kick off with fabulous finding aids. Lots of fun collections you can now read about online, including the Oregon State University Historical Motion Picture Films from 1921 to 1969, a Put Up the Gates Campaign Scrapbook from 1940, and 60 fabulous images added to the Women’s Athletics Photograph Collection from 1899 to 1958. See them all here.

And what about our tremendous travels? Two opposite extremes over the past couple of weeks, from Great Cities of the World to Great Gobs of Glaciers of the Globe.

In the Great Cities of the World set you can see the streets of Cairo, Chicago, and Calcutta.

And are you curious to see the Androssy Strasse in Budapest at the turn of the last century? Or the beautiful bridges in Osaka and the Danube Canal in Vienna?

And Prague, glorious Prague

And Leningrad, lovely Leningrad

And, of course, Paris!

And if you want an assignment, can you figure out which cities have changed their names since the early part of the 20th century? And why didn’t the Visual Instruction Department instructors include Corvallis, Oregon?

Not content sticking to a continent, the Gosh Golly — Gobs of Glaciers! set travels around the globe showing off shots of glaciers!

From floating icebergs to glacial scratches, maps of yore to cave-like crevasses?

And what about those lovely colorful pictures of picaresque lodges or stately train stations?

And a big bump?

Enjoy them all!

Don’t just sit there!

Want to watch a movie? Take a trip? Do some research? There are plenty of things going on in the OSU Archives this month! In addition to the general buzz around exciting summer projects, we’re all a flutter over lazy, gorgeous summer days … Check out what we’ve been up to!

More new sets in Flickr Commons! We’ve been to Australia & Ireland over the past couple of weeks (care of the Visual Instruction Lantern Slide Collection, of course), with lots of gorgeous historical shots from both sides of the equator.

We’ve also had several films transferred to DVD for your viewing pleasure!

  • Gotta Start Somewhere: Minorities in Mass Media; An OSU Workshop, 1973 (FV P 119) This film was part of a program to train minority students for jobs in radio, television, or print media. It included in-class training at OSU, as well as off-site internships.
  • Nothin’ Comes Easy, 1974 (FV P 119) This film looks at services for minority students at OSU in the early 1970s, including the Educational Opportunities Program. It features footage of minority students describing their experiences and academic programs at OSU (engineering, forestry, pharmacy, etc.).
  • Hail to OSC, circa 1945 (FV P048:030) This is a 37-minute color silent film, which includes footage of academic programs as well as various student activities. The date in the finding aid dates it at 1960 … but it is much earlier than that – probably 1940s.You can listen online to a 1953 version by the Oregon State College Glee Club or a 1950 version by the Oregon State College Mens’ Choir.

Finally, we can’t ignore our 12 fabulous new finding aids for June! Included are another collection of moving images in the Media Services Moving Images, 1957-2002 (FV P 119) records; the Records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Corvallis Branch, 1971-1974; the Pacific Northwest Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection, 1992-2009; the President’s Office Photographs, 1923-1998 (P 092); and the Voices of Oregon State University Oral History Collection, 1995-2010 (OH 09).

March Finding Aids

Rain, rain, go away — and bring us some new finding aids!

Click here to read about the new collection guides created in March. Of special note this month are the early student records included in the Administrative Council Records, oral histories conducted in the 1950s with students and faculty affiliated with Oregon State as early as the 1890s is the History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings, and the Long-Range Planning Conference Reports for Oregon counties.

Finding aid fury

Elizabeth Nielsen, Senior Staff Archivist and generally fast & furious finding aid creator, has compiled her “best of” / status report list for the state of the Archives’ world at the end of 2009. It is an impressive thing to read!

Here are a few highlights:

  • 944 total collections in the Archives. This includes 173 record groups (RG); 458 manuscript collections; 244 photo collections; 43 moving image collections; and 15 oral history collections.
  • 464 collections represented in the NWDA finding aids database. More than half of the RGs (61%), MSS (53%), moving images (79%), and oral histories (67%) are reflected in NWDA.
  • 73 preliminary collection-level descriptions. This is an increase of almost 30 since Jan 2009. They will probably continue to grow at this rate (or higher) as we continue to receive large new collections and the number of undescribed collections that are large.
  • 257 collections with no information online (other than perhaps a collection title). This is a reduction from 308 in Jan 2009 and is approaching only a quarter of the total collections. This number includes 8 scrapbooks and photo albums. She is plowing through this at a breakneck pace to work on these and hope to zero-out the scrapbooks/albums category during 2010. The components of our collections that are “least well represented” online are the photograph (51%) and oral history (33%) collections — although both have improved since Jan 2009. She keeps whittling away at these collections by preparing collection-level finding aids (final for small collections and preliminary for larger ones).

Finding Aids

The following 9 finding aids for OSU Archives collections were completed or updated in July 2009. They have been loaded to the NWDA finding aids database and have a PDF on the OSU Archives’ website. MARC records for all of the collections are available through the OSU Libraries’ Catalog, Summit Navigator, and Worldcat. One of the collections was received in 2009; four are for collections for which there was previously no information available online. The OSU Archives now has 418 finding aids in NWDA.

Most of these are new finding aids; one (for the Technology Educators of Oregon Records) is an update of an existing finding aid.

A Dairy Program for Oregon Scrapbook, 1929

Graham, Robert D., Papers, 1903-1973

Home Economics, College of, Oral Histories, 1968-1985 (OH 11)

Home Economics, College of, Motion Picture Films and Videotapes, 1950-1998 (FV P 044)

Landscape Architecture Department Records, 1932-1982 (RG 089)

Rodman, Wilma M., Photograph Collection, 1950-1974 (P 147)

Science, College of, Videotapes, 1991-1997 (FV P 084)

Technology Educators of Oregon Records, 1954-2001

Walls, Robert B., Collection, 1916-1974

Finding Aids

The following 8 finding aids for OSU Archives collections were completed or updated in June 2009. They have been loaded to the NWDA finding aids database and have a PDF on the OSU Archives’ website. MARC records for all of the collection s are available through the OSU Libraries’ Catalog, Summit Navigator, and Worldcat. Four of these collections were received in 2008; two are collections for which there was previously no information available online.

Most of these are new finding aids; one (for the Mesang Collection) is an update of an existing finding aid.

These include a finding aid for an historic map collection that may serve as a model for guides to other components of the historic map collection.

Bryant, William C., Collection, 1902-1905

Counseling and Psychological Services Records, 1965-2007 (RG 157)

Green, John W., Papers, 1919-1973

Mesang, Ted, Collection, 1925-1968

Newman Foundation of Oregon State University Records, 1962-2008

Oregon State University Alumni Oral History Collection, 2005-2008 (OH 13)

Starker, T.J., Collection, 1975-1982

Zobel, Donald B., Collection of Historic Forestry and Vegetation Maps, 1914-1989

The OSU Archives now has 409 finding aids in NWDA.