Category Archives: Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Karl & Mike’s Excellent Adventure – Part Deux

Mike and Karl took another road trip this week, to the far ends of the earth. Okay, really just to the Oregon coast. Mike wrote up this post about their trip — enjoy!

A popular misconception is that archivists spend their days cooped up with dusty old documents and a box of file folders. This may hold some truth, but occasionally a road trip is in order.

Tasked with retrieving the personal papers of Dr. Paul R. Elliker, a famous professor from the Bacteriology Department at Oregon State College, SCARC’s Karl McCreary and Mike Dicianna set out on another “most excellent adventure” to pick up papers being donated by Beth Elliker (see left).  The bonus was they were located in the town of Otter Rock, on the beautiful Oregon Coast!

Dr. Elliker built a wonderful retreat for his family in Otter Rock, retiring there in the early 1980s. Just a few blocks from Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park, the views from this property were spectacular and Elliker spent his final years working in an office that overlooked the Pacific surf.  Currently, his grand-daughter, who is a writer, has been using this office. She finally had to move into a back bedroom, facing a blank wall, to get anything accomplished! It is not difficult to imagine why…

Paul Elliker was born in 1911 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. He received his B.S. (1934), M.S. (1935), and Ph.D. (1937) degrees in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty of Purdue University’s Dairy Husbandry Department in 1940. During the years 1944-1945 Elliker served at Fort Detrick, Maryland in the United State Army’s Bio warfare Group. In 1947, he was appointed a member of the faculty in the Bacteriology Department at Oregon State College. He taught at Oregon State until his retirement in 1976, serving as department chair from 1952-1976. His areas of research included germicides, bacterial viruses, aerobiology, nutrition of lactic acid bacteria, and psychrophilic bacteria.

This biographical note from the current “MSS Elliker” collection only begins to describe the life of this man. What we found was thirty boxes of his passions; research, travel, collaboration with other scientists, and most importantly—CHEESE!  The doctor’s papers included a treasure trove of his personal research notes, course materials, and speeches (Beth called them his “cheese talks”). We also found a vast amount of research data on bacteriology, sanitation, and dairy practices. Manuscripts of his books and journal articles, with his personal notes will be of great interest to researchers in this field.  The Elliker collection is currently small, 1.2 cubic feet, and only contains a representative sample of Dr. Elliker’s work. We now will have a much more complete picture of his research with this addition: we have his thoughts, words and interests.

All in all, this road trip was a huge success! SCARC obtained an important collection of one of OSU’s most prominent scientist and educators — 30 boxes of documents, teaching materials, and some great scrapbooks will be added to the “MSS Elliker” collection over the next few months.  So researchers looking for information about bacteriology, food science and sanitation, and of course… CHEESE will have the opportunity to spend hours of quality time in Dr. Elliker’s papers.

Here we see Karl contemplating the accession process for Paul Elliker’s papers.

Of course it didn’t hurt that the acquisition was located in one of the most beautiful locales on earth, and on a spectacular day full of sunshine and good history!

With our “Chive Van” filled, it behooved us to take a short break and see if the Pacific Ocean was still there! And indeed, it was.

Friday Feature: new treasures now described online

The arrangers and describers in SCARC were busy during October and November writing up finding aids (guides to collections)! The following is a list of the 15 finding aids for SCARC collections that were completed during October and November 2013. All are available through the NWDA finding aids database and on the SCARC collections page.

This batch consists primarily of “new” collections (10) that were received in 2012 or 2013. Maps, faculty, and alumni really shine in these new additions.

The National Forests in Oregon Maps collection consists of maps of all the national forests in Oregon, prepared by the U.S. Forest Service. It includes maps of the entire forests, regional maps depicting all the forests in Oregon, some Ranger District maps, and maps of the wilderness areas and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The collection includes 375 maps.

The maps in the Oregon Park Sites and Timber Reserves Maps collection depict park sites acquired for the State of Oregon by the Oregon State Highway Commission as well as lands acquired for the Blue Mountain and Wallowa Timber Reserves in northeastern Oregon. Most are large scale and include many details of property lines, roads, streams, land features, and county boundaries. The collection includes 59 maps.

The Lehi F. Hintze Geological Reconnaissance Maps of Oregon collection consists of 117 geologic maps were prepared and assembled by Hintze and document the geology for much of the state of Oregon. Lehi Ferdinand Hintze was a faculty member in the Oregon State College Geology Department from 1949 to 1955.

The maps in the Oregon State Highway Division Maps of Oregon Cities and Towns collection depict street and roads, political boundaries, public structures, and some landscape features for 230 municipalities in Oregon. Included are 521 maps.

The Denis P. Lavender Papers reflect the forestry research conducted by Denis P. Lavender at Oregon State University and the University of British Columbia, especially pertaining to conifer seedlings and reforestation. Lavender earned his MS and Ph.D. degrees in forestry at Oregon State University in the late 1950s and early 1960s and then became a Professor of Forest Science until 1984. In 1985-1992, he was head of the Forest Science Department at the University of British Columbia. The collection includes 300 photographs.

Also related to forestry, the Doryce J. McDonald Papers were assembled and generated by McDonald in the course of two internship projects with the Horner Museum pertaining to the history of forestry. Doryce McDonald completed an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Oregon State University in 1995. This collection includes 161 photographs and 2 computer disks.

The Oregon and Washington Offshore Oil Exploration Research Records were assembled by Robert S. Yeats, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Oregon State, and document oil exploration offshore of Oregon and Washington in the 1960s. Of special note is an article that includes a brief historical summary of oil and gas exploration in western Oregon and Washington through the 1960s.

The William G. Pearcy Papers document his research, honors and awards, and interactions with colleagues and collaborators. Pearcy was a Professor of Oceanography at Oregon State University from 1960 until his retirement in 1990. As a biological oceanographer, he studied the ocean ecology of Pacific salmon. The collection includes one photograph.

The John C. Ringle Papers document his career as a professor of nuclear engineering at Oregon State University, the history and development of OSU’s nuclear engineering program, and the controversial issue of the nuclear power in the United States during the 20th century. Ringle joined the faculty in the OSU Department of Nuclear Engineering in 1966 and was Assistant Reactor Administrator from 1966 to 1980. The collection includes about 40 photographs and a small quantity of born-digital materials. This guide includes a detailed list of the collection contents. More about the collection is available in this blog post:

The Dona Dinsdale (MSS Dinsdale) and Beverly J. Leach (MSS Leach) collections consist of materials created and assembled during their student years at Oregon State College

Also added this month…

The Wesley Ross Memoir of World War II consists of personal remembrances and research conducted by Wesley Ross on the activities of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion.  Ross attended Oregon State College form 1938 to 1943 and earned a BS degree in electrical engineering.

The single issues of newspapers in the Collection of Historical Newspaper Issues collection were separated from the McDonald Rare Book Collection to form a separate collection. Included are items printed in Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Siberia, and the United States. Areas of emphasis include U.S. military serials, newspapers from the northeastern and northwestern United States, and materials published in the 1910s. The online guide includes an item-level list for the collection.

These Oregon State University History Students Association Records document the activities and programs of the student organization for students majoring in history at Oregon State University.

Friday Feature (on a Wednesday): Chris McQuilkin’s work as a Resident Scholar

Thanks to SCARC student Geoff Somnitz for this great post on one of our resident scholars!

Chris McQuilkin, a master’s candidate at the University of Oregon, recently completed a term as Resident Scholar in the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center. During his term in residence, McQuilkin explored the organization, methods and ideology of the Agricultural Extension Service of land-grant colleges in the United States served as a model for US technical assistance programs in the early Cold War, and became important tools of foreign policy in that conflict. Specifically, he focused on two OSU alumni, Elvin Duerst and Wallace Kadderly, and their assistance activities in Latin America.

After the conclusion of the Second World War, U.S. foreign policy makers had to consider the role of U.S. foreign aid in European rebuilding efforts and the wider world. The debate that followed culminated in the Marshall Plan in 1948. The following year, President Truman expanded the range of foreign aid to include technical help to “underdeveloped areas” across the globe. This was laid out as the Point Four plan in his 1949 inaugural address. The origin of this plan began as a continuation of work that the U.S. had begun in the region through the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (IIAA) in 1942. Truman created the Technical Cooperation Administration to carry out the Point Four Program in 1950, and the IIAA became the TCA’s Latin American branch.

Paraguay had been one of the first countries to ask for aid from the IIAA. Albion Patterson, the chief of IIAA, would later describe Paraguay as an “excellent laboratory” for the Point Four program it was among the least developed in Latin America. Elvin Duerst arrived in Paraguay in 1948 as an economic advisor for IIAA, and began to work for the servicio (“bureau”). The servicio, the main unit for IIAA in each country, was jointly run by IIAA and the country’s government. The servicio’s role differed based on the different requests for assistance. McQuilkin focused mainly on the servicio’s agricultural aid efforts in Paraguay. Duerst worked on the issue of unequal distribution of arable land and settler colonies designed to alleviate it. After the success of the two sample colonies, Duerst pushed for wider implementation of the policy. He then proposed the idea of “demonstration farms” to teach farmers modern agricultural skills. The long-term goal of the servicio in Paraguay was to make the agricultural industry competitive in the global market. Duerst proposed that this could be possible by linking the servicio’s research and demonstrations sections and by organizing similar to the form of U.S. land grant colleges.

In the early 1950’s, Duerst proposed an exchange program to bring Paraguayan farmers to the U.S. to study agriculture and economics. Exchange programs such as this became one of the most observable and substantial effects of technical assistance programs such as IIAA.

The U.S. invested so much effort in Latin America during this period because of the looming threat of Communism. The U.S. State Department regarded the issue of mutual security and American authority in the Western Hemisphere as extremely important and cultivated as many allies as it could get in Latin America. Duerst was promoted and left Paraguay for IIAA’s Washington office. He dealt with government aid budgets for Latin America and managed finances for single projects. He continued this through President Eisenhower and Kennedy’s different versions of IIAA and the Foreign Operations Administration and continued to help aid Latin America.

In 1955, Wallace Kadderly came to Latin America to begin his work. In contrast to Duerst’s economic and agricultural expertise, Kadderly’s skill was in education and information, specifically in radio and media. Wallace Kadderly was a former KOAC (Oregon Agricultural College’s radio station) staff member who started working for the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Science (IAIAS), a branch of the Organization of American States, in 1955. His position there was Editor-in-Chief of the Scientific Communications Service. His job had him travelling regularly. He was in Latin America from 1955 to 1958, going across the region to tour information services and discussing and figuring out how to expand them. He frequently used cheap and portable ways to educate agricultural workers and the most commonly used tool was the Magic Box. It consisted of teaching supplies and materials that could be assembled cheaply and easily from resources on hand. Using tools such as the Magic Box, IIAA workers made a curriculum that had three principles; simplicity, directness, and efficiency.

In Kadderly’s travels, he summarized each visit with a short “Field Trip Report” that covered what he had done at each place. Each followed the basic format of listing the purpose of his visit, the people he had encountered, and a concise outline of his activities. He also worked planning several conferences that discussed media (such as radio, newspapers, and magazines) and their relationships to the agricultural extension service. Kadderly worked to spread the work of servicios through a regional magazine that was first published and released by the IAIAS in 1956. He served as chief editor of Extension en Las Americas for the first year of publication, and then returned to the United States in 1958.

Also in that year the IIAA dissolved and Elvin Duerst continued to work for the parent agency, the ICA (International Cooperation Administration). Three years later, Duerst began working for an agency formed by President Kennedy, the Agency for International Development (USAID). He was assigned an economic advisor position with the Regional Office for Central America and Panama (ROCAP) to conduct economic studies on nations in Central America. He returned to Washington D.C. in 1964 to attend a conference on rural development. It discussed ways for better coordination among the land-grant and aid organizations in conceiving and implementing projects. They also made the suggestion to make a definitive policy about the role of land-grant colleges in technical assistance, with the creation of an advisory committee to oversee the relationship. The conference also emphasized the importance of the relationship between land-grant colleges and technical assistance agencies since the introduction of technical aid by President Truman in 1949. Since then, people such as Kadderly and Duerst have been recruited from land-grant colleges to federal aid agencies, but until the 1964 conference, there had been no coordinated effort between the two.

The Resident Scholar Program offers stipends of up to $2,500 for visiting researchers wishing to use SCARC’s collections.  Applications for 2014-15 scholars will be solicited beginning in January.  For more on the program, please see


Friday Feature: OSU Football Display in the University Suite at Reser!

Thanks Mike for this post!

A little more than a week before the start of the 2013 OSU football season, SCARC received two very important research requests, almost simultaneously. Images of OSU’s football history and related research were requested for two very important venues at Reser Stadium. What a fantastic opportunity for SCARC to provide OSU alumni and special University guests a glimpse into our century of football pride.

Kelly DiChristina with OSU Event Planning was redecorating the University Suite on the upper level. She wanted to include a gallery of photographs and memorabilia highlighting significant points in OSU history. The football program at Oregon State began in 1893-94 and SCARC has significant holdings that fit the bill.

That same day, Nicole Markel, Assistant Athletic Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship contacted us saying she wanted to install a display on the second level Founders Loge as well. This venue is filled with active alumni at our home games and she was looking to upgrade two display shelves at either end of the space. Again, important football images would be the center piece of the installation.

Megan Guerre was already in the process of creating a finding aid for our Football Photograph (P004) collection, so our research was already off to a good start. Megan and I searched through SCARC’s holdings for important photographs that would tell the story of OSU Football. Using various collections, including our Memorabilia Collection, Harriet’s Collection and Alumni Photographs, we identified about fifty of the “best of the best.”

Along with photographs, we included football programs from all three of OSU’s Rose Bowl appearances, as well as some other colorful and historic programs from early OAC vs. U of O games. These programs highlighted some important points in OSU history such as the 1928 NYU vs. OAC game played in Yankee Stadium. We also provided some vintage photographs of prior football stadiums on campus, Bell Field and Parker Stadium. Benny the Beaver images were also featured.

We wanted to illustrate some of the highpoints of OSU football history. The 1907 Pacific Coast Champion team photograph, the OAC “Iron Men” of 1933, and a wonderful color photograph of the 1967 “Giant Killers” were provided, along with many more images.

At present, both installations are in place at Reser.  There is still some work to be done on both displays, but they are truly spectacular. Reception to the exhibits has
been fantastic. Alumni and guests have crowded around the photo displays at each game, experiencing OSU’s long football history through images with descriptive captions (provided by Megan and Myself).  Nicole Markel told us that Ken Austin and his family viewed the display at the opening game of the season. Ken’s grand children were shown the image of him in costume – “Look, your grandpa was Benny the Beaver!”

The Reser Football History project is something for SCARC to be proud of. Megan and I were honored to provide assistance in these important displays. We really felt like we were serving our college in a special way.
Both of these venues at Reser Stadium are showplaces of Beaver pride and are viewed by important alumni and guests of OSU.  Special plaques recognizing SCARC for providing materials are displayed prominently, another feather in our cap!

Find the rest of the pictures from Mike and Megan’s adventure on Flickr.

Dad’s Weekend, the report

We had another successful open house last weekend! Approximately 100 people stopped by to enjoy a display of campus and football history memorabilia and view some vintage videos. Dads (and moms) and undergrads spent some quality time in the Archives throughout the day.

Did you know Dad’s Weekend started in 1933 making this the 80th Anniversary? I’ll admit that we didn’t know either when we planned the day, but now we regret not buying cake!

Super SCARC student worker Mike D. reported that

one of the highlights of the day for me was to experience young OSU Freshmen connecting with their Beaver heritage. No matter what school they were a part of, Mechanical Engineering, Oceanography, or the ever popular: “undecided,” these students learned that there is something for everyone in our collections. The day proved that you don’t need to be a stodgy old history researcher to darken our doors. I’m confident that these new students will be back in the archives throughout their college career at OSU.

Truth be told, it was our collection of Beaver yearbooks that received an extra rigorous workout that day — particularly the issues from the 1980s. Dads browsed and relived their college days through the pages and photographs, sharing stories with all of us.  Mike appreciated hearing  (more than once) “you had hair then!” It was gratifying to see all of the dads connecting with their kids through Beaver history!

Yearbooks and Barometers and Memorabilia… How we loved sharing it… The display of OSU history sparked many questions throughout the day. We all told the story of the First Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges, to interested alumni and students.  I concur with Mike’s “note to self” to read up on early OAC history, re-read the 1862 Morrill Act, and spend some time with our Land Grant documents.

Mike has a “box of goodies” he pulls out for these events that is full of historic ephemera like a rook cap (which was a green beanie worn by all freshmen boys) and a rook bible from 1926. Mike spent a lot time talking with one student, a member of the oldest sorority houses on campus Alpha Chi Omega, and her dad. The students was enthralled by the history of freshmen at OAC in the early days and spent over an hour reading the rook bible, finally finding the name of the original student owner. Then she wanted to actually “find” him, so she and her father poured through yearbooks trying to find information on this OAC student from days of yore. It was gratifying to see a young student taking such a personal interest in her campus history.

Larry spent a lot of time sharing his vast knowledge of university history. He’s elbow deep in a pictorial history of OSU, so it’s certainly fresh in his mind! He also had an interesting visit with one of the mothers, a caregiver for Douglas Strain (our reading room bears his name) at the end of his life. Tiah spent time with a father and daughter who were searching for poetry written by their grandfather in an early OAC yearbook. They got a little distracted by other fun finds, but were able to catch this bit of family on our Bookeye scanner. The final visitor was the Student Station Manager from KOAC — who was so excited about our holdings of her station’s early history! She plans to use our collections to find old KOAC photographs to use in recruiting new students, returning as an actual researcher to dig into the history of our radio station. KOAC, by the way, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year! Mike says “yay! More cake!”

The SCARC Dad’s Weekend open house was memorable in many ways. The event was highlighted by the sheer volume of interested families who came through our doors from 10:00am to 2:00 (and later…), and the genuine engagement and interaction we experienced from all who attended.

We were all exhausted but in a good way!

Friday Feature: the Oregon Archives Month 2013 debrief

Wow, what a month. Oregon Archives Month at OSU was a great mix of activities and opportunities for connecting with the community.

Good Morning America, 1988

Karl McCreary started off the month with a film showing on the 8th. He arranged for the transfer of several “films from the VHS vault,” including one of Benny and Bernice Beaver celebrating on the Memorial Union steps in 1988, former library director Rodney Waldren talking about the McDonald Room in 1984, and the always mysterious “Mr. Wizard.” These films aren’t online yet, but you can view them in our reading room (8:30 – 5:00, Monday – Friday).


Next on the docket was an event hosted in our reading room celebrating the 50th anniversary of Linus Pauling’s Nobel Peace Prize. History of Science Doctoral Student Linda Richards hosted a session on peace crane folding and early arrivals were able to explore some of our collections. Richards also gave an introduction to the panel featuring Tim Naftali, Jacob Darwin Hamblin, Christopher McKnight Nichols, and Joseph Orosco.  It was well-attended and Mina Carson took pictures you can find on Flickr (thanks to her for the one above). History of Science librarian Anne Bahde says “this is definitely something we’d will do again.”

We took a bit of a break before launching into back-to-back events to highlight the new Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives. The first was a fun Saturday afternoon brewery crawl, history lecture, and showings of both the documentary Oregon Brewed and all the Hopstories mini-documentaries. You can read about it and find great pictures on our Tumblr blog. A few days later we hosted the 8th annual Taste of the ‘Chives, our historic recipe cooking event, and you can read about that on our Tumblr blog as well. This year we featured recipes cooked with beer or beer ingredients. You can imagine how aromatic that was! Check out the KBVR news piece (check minute 3:15 for us).

Our final event was a celebration of OSU (and OSC) alumni during Homecoming Weekend. We held an open house and film showing on the 26th before the big game against Stanford. While the game was a bit of a bummer, the visitors weren’t! Student Mike Dicianna wrote up a nice blog post about the event and included some fun pictures of what our staff are calling “The Super Alums.”

I send out my thanks to all who attended and gratitude for all those who helped make it happen. It takes a lot of work to promote, organize, and host events like this, but I am lucky to work with a talented and engaged bunch of people who love sharing out history stories.

Remember you can see lots of event pictures in our Flickr sets.

Friday Feature: a new photo of the finial

Weatherford Hall – New Photo of the Tower Finial! Super student researcher Mike Dicianna has given us another fun post about OSU history.

One of the most iconic buildings on the Oregon State campus is Weatherford Hall. Completed in 1928 as part of a massive building program began by Oregon Agricultural College President William Jasper Kerr, the new dormitory would house 344 male students for the growing institution. The newly completed building cost $460,000 – including furnishings! The university financed the huge project by means of a bond issue that was retired gradually with usage fees paid by the men who lived in the dorm. The residence hall wings were named after Austin T. Buxton, Daniel V. Poling, Thomas J. Cauthorn, and Curtis L. Hawley. From the beginning, the men of these dorms were known as “independents,” that is not affiliated with the fraternities on campus. Watch a video history of this picturesque building on YouTube.

Weatherford Hall served as a dormitory and focal point for the university for many years, but time was not kind to the stately building. Leaks destroyed plaster in the interior, wiring and plumbing became dated and dangerous, and the building was deemed unsafe. The dorm closed at the end of the 1993-94 school year. In 1997, a renovation of the historic dorm was planned, and Weatherford reopened in 2004 as the new home of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

Recently, a donor called SCARC with a question about a photograph from her grandfather, Lloyd Bonney’s estate with a possible connection with OSU. Nan Harrison, of Springfield, Oregon described a photograph of her grandfather with the new “copper finial to be placed on the new O.A.C. Dormitory, Corvallis, Ore.” The copper finial was manufactured by Strobel & Miller Metal Works, of Eugene, Oregon. Nan agreed to send SCARC the original photograph and negative to include in our collection.

My first thought was it possibly could have been the decoration for the first men’s dorm, Cauthorn Hall (now Fairbanks) dating just before the turn of the century. Upon receiving an initial scan of the photo, I could tell it was later than 1892, but where could this finial have been installed? Searching through SCARC’s collection of historic O.A.C. photographs, the huge copper finial revealed itself! The tower of the new dormitory, Weatherford Hall sported the beautiful creation. The date of the photograph was confirmed as 1928!

This one photograph enhances our collection of Weatherford Hall in a special way. There are a few construction images from 1928, and numerous photos throughout Weatherford’s eighty-five year history, but this individual detail shot of the finial is a true find. As a thank you to our donor Nan and her family, I spent some time restoring the old photo digitally. Removing cracks and stains, the original “patina” of the photograph was retained, and a high resolution copy was made available to the family.

Sometimes it is the small things that excite an archivist. This single photograph revealed a part of OSU history that has been undocumented in our collections. Weatherford Hall was built exclusively by Oregon sub-contractors during 1928, something the Architect firm of Bennes & Herzog was proud to feature. And now, through this donation of a single photograph, the firm of Strobel & Miller of Eugene can be documented as part of this achievement. The photograph is available for researchers in Harriet’s Collection (HC), at OSU Special Collections & Archive Research Center.

Friday Feature: new finding aids for student and sports collections

You may not give much thought to the tremendous amount of work that goes into describing collections and putting that information online. Not being the one who works at that end of the archival workflow in SCARC, I can tell you that the staff and students are hard at work!

Participants at Phi Delta Theta barn dance (1950s), from MSS Choate.

You may also not give much thought to the steady stream of materials we are lucky enough to receive each week. We have alumni, department staff, and many others who are looking out for collections that would make great additions as we work to document the history of our university. I wanted to share a sampling of the collection guides that SCARC staff have updated or created over the past couple of months. Though these fall in the “students” and “sports” categories, because that’s what on my mind these days with the new school year and exciting football season, there are many more gems that now have new guides!

One thing to note: you’ll see two links and may wonder why… We have guides on our SCARC site, but also in the Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), a database of collections from around the northwest. If you are interested in a topic or person, and want to see if there are other research possibilities in our region, NWDA is a great place to explore.

From the Football Photograph Colection

Football Photograph Collection, 1894-2000 (P 004)

This collection consists of approximately 800 photographs of football games, practices, players, and coaches. Images of athletic facilities such as Bell Field and Parker Stadium are also included. An item-level list of the images, with links to those images that are available online, is part of this guide.

Arbuthnot, James G., Photograph Collection, 1909-1915 (P 191)

These photographs document Arbuthnot’s life and activities in and near Corvallis as well as Oregon Agricultural College athletic teams and sporting events. James G. Arbuthnot was Athletic Director from 1906 to 1918 and the coach of the wrestling team in 1911-1917 and 1920. The collection includes 318 photographs.

Smith-Western Co. Photographs of Oregon State College, c. 1955/56 (P 164)

This collection of 89 photographs consists of images (primarily negatives) of Oregon State College campus buildings and sorority and fraternity houses. The negatives were printed as postcards and sold in the College bookstore.

Lepper, Helen, Diary, 1938-1931 (MSS Lepper)

This diary documents the daily activities of Helen Marie Lepper during her student years at Oregon State College. She attended OSC from 1927 until 1930 and studied music.

Choate, Virgil L., Collection, 1953-1957 (MSS Choate)

The Choate Collection consists of ephemera and photographs assembled by Choate during his student years at Oregon State College. Virgil L. Choate earned a BS in Agricultural Education in 1958. The collection includes 25 photographs, primarily depicting activities of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Mason, Donald L., Photographs, 1915-1935 (P 290)

The Mason Photographs depict the Oregon State College foundry facilities, items made in the foundry, and students in foundry classes. Donald L. Mason earned a BS in Industrial Arts from Oregon State College in 1937 and was Foundry Instructor in the Industrial Arts Department until 1943. The collection includes 51 photographs.

Oviatt, May, Collection, 1903-1912 (MSS Oviatt)

This small collection documents Oviatt’s work as a public school teacher in Benton County (Oregon) and includes certificates and contracts. May Oviatt earned a BS in Household Science from Oregon Agricultural College in 1908.

Friday Feature: Hello, My Name Is…

Mike Dicianna gives us another fabulous feature this Friday — enjoy!

We have all worn these from time to time. They are usually scribbled on with a sharpie with your name, sort of readable, and maybe a title or hometown. By the end of the conference or event, these name tag stickers are usually torn off your jacket, folded in half and stuck in a pocket, only to be found months later…

VFW Encampment badge, 1938

Perhaps the “golden age” of name tags has gone the way of cheap convenience in recent times. SCARC’s recent accession of the Governor Douglas McKay collection (MSS McKay) contains a wealth of artifacts and ephemera that highlights the elegance of personal identification of decades past. Convention attendees of the 1930s and 40s would sport some of the most decorative nametags to their gatherings. These badges were something you kept as a remembrance of attending that special meeting, convention, or in McKay’s case – the 15th Annual VFW Encampment.

AFL Labor Convention, 1950

Douglas McKay was the 25th Governor of Oregon, 1949 through 1952. His political career dates back to the 1930s in Salem, Oregon where he was Mayor and State Senator.  All of these activities necessitated his attendance at meetings, special events and political conventions. The McKay artifacts represent this career in a tangible way.  Some of the name tags include his title, Governor, but most are simply typed with his name. And yes, no scribbled sharpie names, they were typed, on a good ole’ Underwood or Royal manual typewriter.

During World War I, McKay served with the American Expeditionary Forces (the US Army) in Europe, where he advanced to the rank of First Lieutenant.

American Legion 15th Annual, 1933

On October 4th, 1918, about a month before the end of WWI, he sustained severe injuries in battle to his leg, right arm and shoulder, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

His involvement with veteran’s groups in Oregon is represented in the collection through convention nametags. McKay was an active member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations. Badges from “encampments” during the 1930s were quite decorative, and became souvenirs of the events. Our collection contains examples from both of these groups.

I took the time to check the Webster’s definition of ephemera, and found it to be contradictory to a historian’s sensibilities:

ephem·era noun \i-ˈfe-mər-ə, -ˈfem-rə\ : things that are important or useful for only a short time : items that were not meant to have lasting value.

The value of the McKay artifacts to the researcher is only magnified by this rather depressing definition.  We are lucky to have these items in the collection. Ephemera can help to tell the story of a person’s life. Boxes of dusty old records or scrapbooks are important tools to all researchers, but pausing to experience a box of artifacts in a collection can bring the story to life. Granted, collections as rich as MSS McKay are not the archival norm, but when you find gold…mining is in order.

Friday Feature: WWII OSC “Yank” Collection to be featured at Adair History Day this Saturday

Mark your calendar, free up your Saturday. This Saturday (September 7th) the WWII-era OSC “Yank” Collection will be featured at the Adair History Day Mini Conference.  And guess what? There is a fabulous new Flickr set of Stock US Army Signal Corp photographs of Camp Adair 1943-44.

During the war, many OSC alumni served in all theaters, all over the globe. The OSC Yank was a quarterly newspaper sent to OSC servicemen from 1943 through 1945. Graduate students Mike Jager and Mike Dicianna will highlight this collection in a presentation about the war effort on campus and in the Corvallis community during WWII. But in advance of the event, Mike D. wrote this blog post as a teaser…

MSS Yank is one of our most poignant collections from the war years. Every letter tells a story, and each Yank issue is a window into what was happening at home and with Beaver alumni in service to their country.

Elaine Kollins Sewell and Jane Steagall, OSC graduates, wanted to provide their fellow Beavers with a little taste of home to boost morale. They published the first Yank as a 4-page newspaper-style Christmas greeting with news and gossip about OSC men and women in the service. They received many letters praising the publication and asking for more. It was expanded to 16 pages and published quarterly through November 1945. The collection includes this correspondence consisting of letters, telegrams, postcards, and V-mail. V-mail was a popular way to correspond with those serving overseas.
Participants at the presentation this weekend will have the opportunity to send their own “V-Mail” message to today’s Beaver military personnel on authentic WWII style V-Mail stationary.

A very special debut of a collection of Camp Adair photographs will also be presented on Saturday. These previously unseen images of the Adair Cantonment are part of SCARC’s new Governor Douglas McKay Collection. Last month, OSU brought the extensive collection of one of their famous alumni home to OSU. Douglas McKay was a 1918 Graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (and Student Body President) and a veteran of WWI.

McKay petitioned to re-enter the US Army when WWII broke out. He was reinstated as a Captain and was put in charge of the artillery range at Camp Adair. The collection of US Army Signal Corps images of life at the base during WWII was part of this new accession. Over 150 photographs surfaced in this vast collection. The majority of these images have never been seen here in the Willamette Valley history community before. This is an epic find! Adair historians will have the opportunity to research this sub-group of the MSS McKay collection when the entire collection has been processed. A representative sample of the new Adair photographs will be available as a slide show to whet the appetites of WWII Adair researchers.

The Mini-Conference will be held from 1:00 – 4:00pm at the Santiam Christian School, Mario & Alma Pastega Room, Library Building, 7220 NE Arnold Ave, Adair Village, OR. The event is sponsored by Adair Living History, Inc.