OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU Libraries establishes Special Collections & Archives Research Center

10/21/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Libraries is combining two of its most popular research resources to make access to the university’s extensive array of archives and historical collections easier for users.

University Archives and Special Collections are merging as part of a reorganization and realignment that OSU Libraries began this summer. The merger will create a space that integrates the rich resources within Special Collections and Archives into OSU's teaching and research mission, providing scholars, students and other users with valuable exposure to primary sources of information.

The resulting Special Collections & Archives Research Center will be directed by Larry Landis, who had led University Archives.

“I am excited by the merger because it will create a new and much stronger program based on the strengths of the two existing departments,” Landis said. “We will be creating additional opportunities for high achieving students at OSU to work with primary source materials in a variety of ways.

“We are revising the processes with how we acquire, work with, and make available collections,” Landis said, “and we will create opportunities for students to work with those collections through work as student assistants and interns.”  

The work will encompass a variety of areas – including performing basic preservation work, creating digital collections or digital interpretive sites, and assisting researchers.

Combining archives and special collections will also create a single place where researchers can find primary source information, which will streamline the process for students and faculty. 

Among some of the highlights of the new Special Collections and Archives Research Center are:

Additionally there is a special focus on multicultural archives and natural resource-related collections.

Archives holds the papers of many OSU faculty, administrators and alumni, including Francois Gilfillan (longtime dean of Science and acting president in 1941-42), herbarium curator Helen Gilkey, longtime dean of Home Economics Ava Milam, and James C. Howland and Fred Merryfield, founders of CH2M-HILL.

The extensive holdings of photographs, moving images and oral history collections also document OSU – and the state of Oregon – throughout their respective histories.

The new research center also brings together the papers of numerous OSU faculty who carry the title of Distinguished Professor.

The center is recruiting nationally for a history of science collections librarian who will lead the ongoing development of its world-class history of science collections as well as its rare book holdings.