Category Archives: Special Collections

Have you heard? Roald Hoffmann is the 2012 Pauling Legacy Award Winner

“Indigo – A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science and Culture,” free public lecture by Dr. Roald Hoffmann

“Indigo – A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science and Culture,” free public lecture by Dr. Roald Hoffmann

Today marks the 111th anniversary of Linus Pauling’s birth and what better way to mark the occasion than by announcing the recipient of an award named after Dr. Pauling?

Dr. Roald Hoffmann, chemist, educator, author and Nobel laureate, is the seventh person to be given the Linus Pauling Legacy Award, which is granted every other year to an individual who has achieved in an area once of interest to Linus Pauling.  The award is sponsored by the Oregon State University Libraries. You can read more about Dr. Hoffmann on the Pauling Blog “Roald Hoffmann is the 2012 Pauling Legacy Award Winner.”

As part of the celebration marking Hoffmann’s acceptance of the decoration, he will be delivering a free public lecture in Portland, OR.  Seating is limited and we suggest that individuals or groups interested in attending reserve seats.  To do so, please contact the Special Collections & Archives Research Center at or 541-737-2075.

What: “Indigo – A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science and Culture,” free public lecture by Dr. Roald Hoffmann

WhereEmbassy Suites Hotel – Colonel Lindbergh Room, 319 SW Pine Street, Portland, Oregon

When: Thursday April 19th, 8:00 PM

Treasures of the McDonald Collection: an online exhibit

Loose leaf from a Gregorian chant book, 1400s.

Loose leaf from a Gregorian chant book, 1400s.

Take a break this weekend and peruse one of OSU’s oldest and most intriguing resources with the OSU Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives Research Center’s newest exhibit “Treasures of the McDonald Collection.”

The Mary McDonald Rare Book and Manuscript Collection provides the Oregon State University community with access to a wide range of rare and valuable manuscripts, books, and prints. The McDonald Collection contains items from both the sciences and humanities collected by Mary McDonald and Oregon State University for their historical significance and craftsmanship. This exhibit makes available the collection’s most striking items through a narrative history of the evolution of text production from approximately 3000 BCE to the 20th century and features examples from many of the world’s most important intellectual and technological advances in printing.

Want to know more? Click through and read up!

“Now That’s Chemistry! The Love Story of Ava Helen and Linus Pauling”

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling early in their courtship (photo courtesy OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center)

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling early in their courtship (photo courtesy OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center)

One of Oregon State University’s most enduring stories of romance is that of the life-long love between Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and his wife, Ava Helen, who met while Pauling was teaching at OSU…

Mina Carson, an associate professor of history, will discuss some of the richer aspects of the Pauling love story on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, Feb. 14) when the OSU Women’s Network presents “Now that’s chemistry! The love story of Ava Helen and Linus Pauling.”

Want to learn more? Read the Friday February 10th Life@OSU story “Valentine’s Day event focuses on romance between Ava Helen and Linus Pauling.”

Where? Linus Pauling Center, Room 402

When? 12:00-1:30

History, plus a movie for lunch? Sure!

OPB's Oregon Experience, "Linus Pauling"

OPB's Oregon Experience, "Linus Pauling"

Join us to watch the fabulous Oregon Public Broadcasting “Oregon Experience” documentary on Linus Pauling, an amazing man and native Oregonian. You’ll learn fascinating facts about OSU alumnus and Nobel Prize winning chemist and peace activist Linus Pauling in this new film about his life, including a look at Pauling’s childhood in Portland and a great story about rowing carboys of chemicals across the Willamette River to conduct chemistry experiments at home!

You might just spot someone you know — OSU luminaries such as Cliff Mead, Chris Petersen, and Mina Carson are featured.

When & Where? Wednesday Oct 19th, noon-1:00pm (Willamette East Room — 3rd Floor of Valley Library)

McDonald Rare Book Collection Tour!

Wilson Room Collection

Wilson Room Collection

Get a peek at OSU’s oldest and rarest volumes in this tour of the Library’s fascinating McDonald Rare Book Collection. Trevor Sandgathe of Special Collections will show off this unique collection that includes cuneiform tablets, incunabula, and fine bindings.

When and where?

  • Wednesday, October 26  from 2:00-3:00 in Special Collections

It’s Oregon Archives Month, celebrate with a story!

Linus Pauling, circa 1905

Linus Pauling, circa 1905

Learn about the amazing legacy of documentation from alumnus Linus Pauling and other gems in the OSU Library’s Special Collections. Chris Petersen of Special Collections will be your guide to the diverse and fascinating Pauling Collection, which illuminates the brilliance, creativity, and conviction of the Nobel- Prize winning Chemistry professor.

When & where? Wednesday, October 5 from 2:00-3:00 in Special Collections (5th floor, The Valley Library).

Cookies in the Quad

thinking karyle dvd
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Valley Library remodel!

Look how far we’ve come…

2009 marks the 10th anniversary of a major remodel on the 1963 Kerr Library building. In 1999, the $47 million 3-year renovation project was complete and building was re-named after the Valley family, generous library donors. This project was also the first OSU building campaign and all the funding was from matched grants or donations with over 5,000 individual donors and a pledge of $1 million in fees from the student body.

Yesterday we mixed cookies, historic pictures, and a lot of gratitude to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Valley Library remodel project with a new Flickr set. We’ve put up a set of historic images of the Kerr/Valley Library, including some great shots of the construction during the big remodel in the late 1990s. And, because it’s a “then & now” set, we added images of the Cookies in the Library Quad party on May 28th.

Fun Facts:

  • We added 147,000 square feet in new space and renovated 189,000 square feet.
  • The new library included 210,360 bricks, 650,000 squares of sheetrock, and 100 miles of voice/data cable.
  • The bamboo flooring in Special Collections is from Central Northern China. It is a giant timber bamboo and grows 40 feet in the first year.
  • Because of Oregon’s Percent for Public Art Program, $270,000 funded 80 different artists and 130 pieces, which are all on display in the library.
  • 977 workers were employed on the project.
  • Groundbreaking occurred in 1996 and the dedication was on May 28, 1999.

Check it out!

Ava Helen Miller Pauling: Linus Pauling’s Greatest Discovery

Ava Helen Pauling
Ava Helen Miller was born the tenth of twelve children on a farm near Oregon City, Oregon on December 24, 1903. After graduating from Salem High School, she attended Oregon Agricultural College, where she met Linus Pauling in 1922, her teacher in a chemistry course for home economics students, though an undergraduate himself. A shy twenty-one year old, Linus had quickly learned that to earn the respect of his classes he would need to establish his authority by asking tough questions and holding high expectations of his pupils. And so it was that on the first day of the term, Pauling “stood at the front of the room” and asked, “‘Will you tell me what you know about ammonium hydroxide, Miss…’ (I then looked at my class book and selected one of twenty-five names at random) ‘…Miller?’ As it turned out, Ms. Miller knew quite a bit about ammonium hydroxide. Two years later Ava Helen and Linus were married and living in Pasadena, California, where Linus eventually distinguished himself as among the greatest scientists in human history.

By assuming the responsibilities of their home life and four children, Ava Helen enabled Linus to spend his time immersed in scientific study. Perhaps more importantly however, it was Ava Helen who persuaded Linus to devote half of his time to the pursuit of world peace. Horrified by the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the close of World War II, Ava Helen successfully convinced her husband that if he did not contribute his fame and intellect to the burgeoning anti-nuclear movement, there may soon cease to be a world in which he could pursue his primary passion – that of scientific research and discovery.

Together, Linus and Ava Helen worked tirelessly on behalf of numerous peace, civil liberties and women’s rights causes. Most significantly, the Paulings organized the Appeal to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, a petition signed by approximately 9,000 scientists when submitted to the United Nations in 1958.

In 1961, Ava Helen and Linus arranged the Oslo Conference Against the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, a symposium on the prevention of further development of nuclear weapons. Sixty scientists from fifteen countries attended. The conference’s recommendations were essentially identical to the nuclear nonproliferation policies announced by President John F. Kennedy the next year – a landmark achievement which garnered Linus Pauling his second Nobel Prize, for Peace, in 1963. In accepting the prize, Linus was quick to point out the major contributions made to the petition effort by his wife, noting that “In the fight for peace and against oppression, she has been my constant and courageous companion and coworker. On her behalf, as well as my own, I express my thanks.” In addition to inspiring her husband’s humanitarian causes, Ava Helen was closely involved with several peace and civil liberties organizations herself. For three years, she served as National Vice-President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was a board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union for seven years and a lifelong member of Women Strike for Peace. In various capacities, Ava Helen likewise traveled throughout the world giving lectures on peace and human rights. On one notable occasion in 1964, she delivered an address to an audience of over 100,000 people at a peace rally in Athens, Greece.

Among the several awards that Ava Helen Pauling received are: the Janice Holland Award of the Pennsylvania chapter of Women Strike for Peace, an honorary doctorate (Doctor of World Peace) from San Gabriel College, and the Ralph Atkinson Award of the Monterey County Chapter of the ACLU. This last honor reads: “…to Ava Helen Pauling, who spoke out against the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942… challenged the inquisitorial committees of Congress in the 1950s and 1960s… and has actively supported the ACLU and its programs for half a century.”

Ava Helen passed away on October 7, 1981. She and Linus Pauling shared fifty-nine remarkable years together. Whenever asked what his greatest discovery was, Linus always replied, “My wife.”