OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

libraries and information technology

Rare maps collection now available at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A collection of more than 1,000 rare maps depicting various regions of the globe from antiquity to the 20th century is now available for research at the Special Collections and Archives Research Center at Oregon State University’s Valley Library.

The William H. Galvani Rare Maps Collection is one of the largest map collections held at the library, and this cultural resource will support the research interests of students, professors, historians, literary scholars, military enthusiasts, geographers, cartographers and artists.

The broad temporal and geographical scope of the maps represents Galvani’s interests as a voracious private collector and will now serve to enhance learning and teaching opportunities.

Galvani, a Russian immigrant, worked in Oregon as a civil engineer and surveyor for the Northern Pacific Railway, and later served as the mayor of Seaside in the 1930s.  He was also a rare book collector and corresponded with Oregon State College dean F.A. Gilfillan, who was also a collector. In 1945, Galvani received an honorary doctorate of engineering, and later bequeathed his private library to Oregon State College. This gift included approximately 5,500 books and over 1,050 maps.

At the time of the donation, there was no map specialist at the college. The extensive collection has only recently been inventoried. The maps range in age from the late 1500s to the early 1900s.

"The maps in the Galvani collection tell so many stories across time and place,” said Larry Landis, director of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center at Valley Library. “Scholars and students from a wide range of fields, including history, geography and art, will discover a rich resource in this collection, and we’re excited to help researchers explore these cartographic treasures."

Predominantly focused on military history from the 18th and 19th centuries, the collection depicts the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the U.S. Civil War, the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Spanish-American War, and the Italian War of Independence. It also records the military and sociopolitical history of ancient Greece and Rome as well as topographical surveys of the Adirondacks, military surveys of Cuba, rail and telegraph lines in Africa, and Captain Cook’s circumnavigation route.  

Each item entry includes available information about the various map creators, such as the engraver, lithographer, cartographer, printer or publisher. The majority of the maps are not in English, so the addition of specific geographic location information will help researchers locate relevant maps within a given series.

The OSU Libraries enhance and support the university’s instructional and research programs with traditional and innovative services and collections. More info is at osulibrary.oregonstate.edu.

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412

Source: 

Anne Bahde, 541-737-2083, anne.bahde@oregonstate.edu

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OSU Press books named finalists for Oregon Book Awards

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three books published by the Oregon State University Press have been named finalists for the 29th annual Oregon Book Awards, which will be announced April 11 at the Portland Armory’s Gerding Theater.

The nominees include “Field Guide to Oregon Rivers,” by Tim Palmer of Port Orford, in general nonfiction; “Children and Other Wild Animals,” by Brian Doyle of Portland, and “Morning Light: Wild Flowers, Night Skies and Other Ordinary Joys of Oregon Country Life,” by Barbara Drake of Yamhill – both in the creative nonfiction category.

Another book with OSU ties also was nominated. David Biespiel, a poetry and English instructor at Oregon State, is a finalist in the general nonfiction category for his book, “A Long High Whistle.”

“The amazing slate of finalists this year is a testament to Oregon’s rich and vibrant literary community,” said Tom Booth, associate director of the OSU Press.

The Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships honor the state’s finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of fiction, drama, literary nonfiction, poetry, graphic literature and literature for young readers.

Ticket information for the award ceremony is available at brownpapertickets.com.

 

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Marty Brown, 541-737-3866, marty.brown@oregonstate.edu

OSU Press to publish book by Floyd McKay on Oregon activists, visionaries

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon has long been recognized throughout the nation as a progressive, “maverick” state, although a generation of citizens growing up in Oregon may not understand the origins of that reputation.

A new book by former journalist Floyd J. McKay, which will be published this April by the Oregon State University Press, helps illuminate why.

“Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State” recalls a rollicking political atmosphere from 1964 to 1986, when Oregon crafted and passed its landmark beach bill to ensure the protection of ocean beaches for public use. The state also introduced the nation’s first bottle bill after a heated battle, resulting in a deposit on certain beverage containers to encourage recycling.

The development of the Vietnam War also provided volatile material for public discourse and shaped the political views for U.S. Senators Wayne Morse and Mark Hatfield. The 1970s brought forth a new generation of activists in the Portland metro area.

Key figures in “Reporting the Oregon Story” are Tom McCall, elected Secretary of State in 1964, and Bob Straub, elected State Treasurer. Their political rivalry formed the backdrop for two of Oregon’s most transformative decades as they both fought for and lost – and eventually won – the governorship.

McKay had a front row seat, initially as a political reporter for The Oregon Statesman newspaper in Salem, and later as a news analyst for KGW-TV in Portland. For his work as a reporter and producer of documentaries, McKay won the DuPont-Columbia Broadcast Award, which is known informally as the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting.

The veteran journalist chronicled numerous political battles and emerging issues, including the successful efforts of activists to halt a highway that would be built on sand in Pacific City, and the panic-inducing frenzy of “Vortex,” the nation’s only state-sponsored rock festival. The out-of-town festival was designed to draw anti-war and anti-President Nixon protesters from disrupting the national American Legion Convention being held in Portland.

In his book, McKay recounts the issues, the players and the results of these events in a compelling, personal account.

“‘Reporting the Oregon Story’ will be relished by those who lived the history, and it will serve as a worthy introduction to Oregonians young and old who want a first-hand account of Oregon’s mid-20th-century political and legislative history,” said OSU Press marketing manager Marty Brown.

McKay has a Ph.D. in media history from the University of Washington and was a Nieman Fellow in journalism at Harvard University. He taught journalism at Western Washington University and lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Copies of “Reporting the Oregon Story” are available in bookstores, by calling 1-800-621-2736, or through ordering online at: http://osupress.oregonstate.edu

Floyd McKay will read from his work and sign books at the following appearances:

  • April 14, 7 p.m. – Powell’s Books in Portland (Hawthorne store);
  • April 16, 7 p.m. – Village Books, Bellingham, Washington;
  • May 18, 7:30 p.m. – Linfield College Library (Austin Reading room), McMinnville;
  • June 7, 7 p.m. – Oregon Historical Society, downtown Portland.
Story By: 
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Marty Brown, 541-737-3866, marty.brown@oregonstate.edu

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OSU Libraries forms sister relationship with Nigerian university library

CORVALLIS, Ore. -  Oregon State University Libraries has forged a connection with a university library in Nigeria that will make it one of only a small group of existing “sister” university library relationships.

The collaboration will take place with the Federal University of Agriculture’s Nimbe Adedipe Library, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. It will establish an ongoing collaboration between librarians and staff at both universities, including exchange of library staff, joint research activities, participation in virtual seminars and academic meetings, and the exchange of library materials and other information.

“There are many benefits for OSU Libraries to seek out an international sister library relationship,” said OSU librarian Laurie Bridges, the coordinator of the OSU side of the project. “It helps raise awareness of issues and needs facing libraries internationally, it helps us share techniques and technologies to solve problems, and it increases the information, resources, and expertise between both libraries. It also increases the diversity of interaction between professionals.”

Bridges said the initiative also meets one of Oregon State’s strategic goals, which is promoting international education, research and engagement.

The Federal University of Agriculture is a public university in Nigeria consisting of nine colleges, with about 60 percent of majors focused on agriculture. It has about 19,000 students.

"Myself and my colleagues are most excited about networking with our new friends and colleagues from Oregon State University Libraries," said Fehintola Nike Onifade, a librarian from Nigeria. "This will help us to track trends and keep up with changes in librarianship and information science. In fact we are hoping that the relationship will lead us to best practices in library and information science service delivery."

OSU officials have signed a formal letter of understanding with FUA, formalizing the relationship between the two universities. A small group will be formed within the library to start working on outreach and exchange possibilities with FUA. 

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Laurie Bridges, 541-737-8821

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New software will help OSU patrons access millions of books, articles

Oregon State University Libraries and Press will make it easier for patrons to utilize resources in academic libraries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho by providing them access to more than 9 million books, journal articles, and other materials.

Starting Dec. 1, OSU will transition to a new library system for finding books, articles and more. It also will change the way library staff acquire, catalog and circulate materials.  The 37 academic libraries of the Orbis Cascade Alliance Library Consortium, of which OSU is a member, are implementing this new system.

While transition to the new system begins over Thanksgiving break, a manual circulation system will be in place so users will still be able to check out materials. 

“A longer term advantage of the shared system is that the libraries will be able to share and streamline acquisitions, cataloging and resource sharing processes among the participating libraries,” said Cheryl Middleton, associate university librarian for learning and engagement. 

For example, each year a package of thousands of electronic books is purchased for all members of the alliance. Each of the 37 libraries has been responsible for adding catalog records for books into their local collections. With the new system, the records only have to be entered once and they’ll appear in the catalogs of every participating library, as well as a central catalog shared by the alliance, called Summit.

After OSU makes the transition, some things will look and work a little differently.

  • Users will see changes in how the 1Search search box works. They’ll be able to broaden their search beyond OSU’s collections to include materials from all of the libraries in the consortium. Or they can continue to limit a search to locate OSU items or journal articles only. The new search interface will search 9 million books and journal articles, audiovisual materials and more.
  • The current version of the library catalog will be going away and the functions of the old catalog will be rolled into 1Search.  
  • OSU's Interlibrary Loan and resource sharing services will remain the same; users will just access them from a different system. 
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Source: 

Cheryl Middleton, Cheryl.middleton@oregonstate.edu; 541-737-8527

OSU joins new education technology consortium

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has joined several leading research universities to create an education technology consortium called Unizin that will provide new ways to create and share digital educational content.

Unizin is a university-owned and operated national collaboration to provide a common infrastructure for educational content and empower faculty with a new suite of tools to create and share digital learning materials.

“As a founding member of the new Unizin consortium, Oregon State steps up to a leadership role nationwide to help guide the next generation digital learning,” said Lois Brooks, vice provost for Information  Services and chief information officer at OSU.

Oregon State has been involved in the development of the new Unizin consortium for the past year. Colorado State University, University of Florida, Indiana University and the University of Michigan signed on earlier this year. Now Oregon State, University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota join them as founding members of Unizin, to provide leadership in higher education for the new wave of digital learning technologies and strategies sweeping college campuses.

By the end of this year, Unizin founding membership is likely to grow with several additional leading research universities working toward full membership.

“That three more world-class institutions joined Unizin further validates our strategy and gives us the momentum to have greater impact on teaching and learning,” said Amin Qazi, chief executive officer of Unizin. “The participation of these institutions will greatly extend our reach and strengthen the services Unizin provides to its members.”

Under Unizin, OSU faculty will be able to create and share digital content with faculty at other Unizin institutions as well as universities around the world who subscribe to standards for open educational resources, giving students access to more and better digital course materials.

“Over the past few decades, higher education has been evolving from a traditional lecture format to more digital-based interactive learning,” said Dave King, OSU’s associate provost for Extended Campus. “The next step in that evolution is to provide richer digital material across a full spectrum of learning opportunities – credit courses, professional programs, open educational resources and especially important to OSU, Extension programs.

“Unizin helps us open the door to many people who otherwise would not have access to higher education.”

One faculty proponent for the move is Kevin Ahern, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics who already offers free online courses and books.

“What I like about Unizin is that it is a way for many more people across OSU to participate in sharing as I have done,” Ahern said. “Open Educational Resources is going to rapidly become the biggest movement in higher education and I am delighted to see OSU participate in this process. Unizin is a credible, meaningful effort that will benefit students across the country – and OSU is showing important leadership by joining the conversation.”

The lexicon of 21st-century education can be intimidating – MOOCs, badges, flipped classrooms, digital platforms, and professional short-courses. What they have in common is expanding the reach of higher education to meet the needs of students, industry, and other professionals.

This fall, for example, Oregon State is offering its first MOOC – massive open online course. Karen Thompson, an OSU education faculty member, is teaming with the Oregon Department of Education and Stanford University on a course to help K-12 teachers work better with English language learners in their classrooms to meet new standards. It is potentially open to thousands of educators throughout the country.

“The potential for these types of courses is enormous,” King said. “You could offer a course on climate change, or earthquake hazards, or watershed enhancement. It could be offered free, or it could be underwritten by an agency or organization, with universities maintaining both intellectual property and quality control.”

Through Unizin, faculty will also be able to analyze ways in which students best learn and tailor their courses accordingly. Access to these kinds of analytics is becoming a required management tool for universities which are focusing on improved learner and student success like Oregon State is under its newly revised strategic plan.

The technology revolution goes well beyond traditional distance learning, OSU officials say. Many OSU resident students take online courses as well, and creative faculty members are incorporating new technologies into their classroom lectures.

“Twenty years ago many of us were involved in the development of Internet2 to provide universities the network Internet access that has changed the trajectory toward success of higher education,” said Brooks. “Our collaborative approach to Unizin offers the same path toward success for digital and online learning. The potential to use technology to enhance the learning environment for all learners is enormous.”

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Source: 

Dave King, 541-737-3810, dave.king@oregonstate.edu;

Lois Brooks, 541-737-8247, lois.brooks@oregonstate.edu

Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 100-million-year old piece of amber has been discovered which reveals the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in a flowering plant – a cluster of 18 tiny flowers from the Cretaceous Period – with one of them in the process of making some new seeds for the next generation.

The perfectly-preserved scene, in a plant now extinct, is part of a portrait created in the mid-Cretaceous when flowering plants were changing the face of the Earth forever, adding beauty, biodiversity and food. It appears identical to the reproduction process that “angiosperms,” or flowering plants still use today.

Researchers from Oregon State University and Germany published their findings on the fossils in the Journal of the Botanical Institute of Texas.

The flowers themselves are in remarkable condition, as are many such plants and insects preserved for all time in amber. The flowing tree sap covered the specimens and then began the long process of turning into a fossilized, semi-precious gem. The flower cluster is one of the most complete ever found in amber and appeared at a time when many of the flowering plants were still quite small.

Even more remarkable is the microscopic image of pollen tubes growing out of two grains of pollen and penetrating the flower’s stigma, the receptive part of the female reproductive system. This sets the stage for fertilization of the egg and would begin the process of seed formation – had the reproductive act been completed.

“In Cretaceous flowers we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the OSU College of Science. “This is the beauty of amber fossils. They are preserved so rapidly after entering the resin that structures such as pollen grains and tubes can be detected with a microscope.”

The pollen of these flowers appeared to be sticky, Poinar said, suggesting it was carried by a pollinating insect, and adding further insights into the biodiversity and biology of life in this distant era. At that time much of the plant life was composed of conifers, ferns, mosses, and cycads.  During the Cretaceous, new lineages of mammals and birds were beginning to appear, along with the flowering plants. But dinosaurs still dominated the Earth.

“The evolution of flowering plants caused an enormous change in the biodiversity of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and subtropics,” Poinar said.

“New associations between these small flowering plants and various types of insects and other animal life resulted in the successful distribution and evolution of these plants through most of the world today,” he said. “It’s interesting that the mechanisms for reproduction that are still with us today had already been established some 100 million years ago.”

The fossils were discovered from amber mines in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The newly-described genus and species of flower was named Micropetasos burmensis.

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George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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OSU Press releases new book on wolves in Oregon

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The reappearance of wolves in Oregon and the impact this apex predator has on people from ranchers to conservationists to attorneys is the subject of a new book by the Oregon State University Press.

“Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country” was written by Aimee Lyn Eaton, a former science communicator at OSU who also has worked as a free-lance writer for the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications.

Eaton describes her experience in seeing wolves first-hand, and meeting many Oregonians most affected by their return. She takes the reader to the State Capitol in Salem, to town hall meetings in rural northeastern Oregon and beyond.

Tom Booth of the OSU Press said the book encourages “a deeper, multi-faceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.”

Four events are scheduled for the author in Portland and Corvallis next week:

  • Portland: A reading and signing event on Monday, Oct. 7, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s, 3723 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.;
  • Portland: A book signing session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, during the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference at the Airport Holiday Inn. More information on the conference is available at: www.pnba.org/show.htm
  • Corvallis: A reading and signing event on Tuesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at Grass Roots Books & Music, 227 S.W. 2nd St.;
  • Corvallis: A reading and signing event on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third floor of OSU’s Valley Library (bring you own lunch).

“Collared” is available in bookstores, online at http://osupress.oregonstate.edu, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-621-2736.

 

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Note to Journalists: Review copies of “Collared” are available by contacting Micki Reaman of The OSU Press at 541-737-4620.

About the OSU Press: The OSU Press plays a vital role in the cultural and literary life of the Pacific Northwest by providing readers with a better understanding of the region. The press specializes in scholarly and general interest books about the history, culture, literature, environment, and natural resources of the state and region.

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Micki Reaman, 541-737-4620

New exhibit at OSU’s Valley Library explores connections to forests

CORVALLIS, Ore. — People of the Pacific Northwest have deep and complicated connections with forests. Those connections are being explored in an exhibit called “Heartwood: Inquiry and Engagement with Pacific Northwest Forests,” at Oregon State University’s Valley Library. 

The exhibit is on display until October on the fifth floor of the Valley Library in the Special Collections and Archives Gallery. 

The exhibit is a joint effort of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center at the Valley Library, the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word.

Two threads run through the exhibit. One features various ways that people engage with forest: as habitat, provider, sanctuary, studio, laboratory and classroom. The other shows how these engagements have evolved over time. Early in U.S. history, the vast scale of the forests in what was called “the Oregon Country” contributed to a belief in the boundlessness of nature and its infinite exploitability. Since European settlers arrived here in the mid-19th century, the concept of forest management has changed due to legislation, litigation, forest planning, and other social processes and forces. 

“This has been a truly collaborative effort that allowed us to meld history, science and art into a meaningful display,” said Ruth Vondracek, natural resources archivist at OSU’s Valley Library. 

The exhibit features historic forest policy and management documents and maps, photographs by Bob Keefer and Tom Iraci, artwork by Debbie Kaspari, poetry by Jane Hirschfield and Alison Deming, materials from the Gerald W. Williams and James R. Sedell collections and much more.

The exhibit area is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday–Friday during the academic term and noon to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday during academic breaks. The library is located 201 S.W. Waldo Place on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

More information about the exhibit is available by emailing scarc@oregonstate.edu. The OSU Libraries enhance and support the university’s instructional and research programs with traditional and innovative services and collections. To learn more, visit http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu.

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Ruth Vondracek, 541-737-9273, ruth.vondracek@oregonstate.edu; scarc@oregonstate.edu

OSU Libraries to host the Western Waters Digital Library

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A digital collection of key archives related to water policy and environmental history in the western U.S. is being made available through Oregon State University’s Libraries and Press.

Oregon State began hosting the Western Waters Digital Library on March 1, which includes archival holdings from 29 participating institutes and libraries. Available resources include classic water literature, legal transcripts, maps, reports, personal papers, water project records, photographs, audio recordings, videos and other material.

The collection is online at http://westernwaters.org/. It was previously hosted by The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library.

“Western Waters is a terrific example of research libraries collaborating to share digital content,” said Faye A. Chadwell, the Donald and Delpha Campbell University Librarian and OSU Press Director.

“In this case, the content is focused on a critical issue for western states in the U.S. OSU Libraries and the Institute for Natural Resources are the perfect fit for Western Waters because of our joint successes providing natural resources content through Oregon Explorer’s tools.” 

The Western Waters Digital Library began as a collaborative regional project created by 12 research libraries from eight western states under the auspices of the Greater Western Library Alliance. Funding for this digital library has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Ruth Vondracek, 541-737-9273, ruth.vondracek@oregonstate.edu

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Archival photo 

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