libraries and information technology

Oregon State University librarian is honored with national award

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Natalia Fernández, curator and archivist at Oregon State University Libraries and Press, was named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award from the American Library Association. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to garner this national honor. She is also the first librarian from Oregon to earn the award. 

Fernández received a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held on Nov. 30 in New York City. The ceremony was hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award with the New York Public Library and the New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award.

A nominator, who does not work at the OSU Libraries, noted that Fernández has led projects that have benefited hundreds of families in rural communities.

“Faculty across campus speak in glowing terms of Natalia’s breadth of knowledge about archival materials,” the nominator wrote, “and her expansive imagination in working with faculty to come up with creative and engaging materials and activities to help students understand and explore the complexities of history.”

Fernández is being recognized for her leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. She engages students from diverse backgrounds who have often felt excluded from library and archival spaces, and she uses outreach strategies to expand the boundaries of the library to reach underserved communities in rural Oregon.

Fernández also preserves and shares the histories of the LGBTQ community members in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, helping to foster socially just archives.

“I am so honored and grateful to my incredible colleagues and community partners for nominating me for this award,” Fernández said. “It is such a joy to collaborate with OSU’s and Oregon’s LGBTQIA and communities of color to empower them to preserve, share and celebrate their stories.”

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 , Daniel.moret@oregonstate.edu


Larry Landis, 541-737-0540, larry.landis@oregonstate.edu

Historic photos, documents of Oregon conservationists digitized, will tour the state

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University has collaborated on a digital project that is making 40 years of Oregon wildlife conservation photos and documents available to the general public.

The new digital collection features photographs and manuscripts by noted conservationist William L. Finley, his wife Irene and friend Herman T. Bohlman. Finley’s interest in wildlife conservation began when he and Bohlman, a boyhood friend, began photographing birds around Oregon at the turn of the 20th century. Together their work was crucial in helping establish wildlife refuges in Oregon.

The Oregon Historical Society’s Davies Family Research Library and Oregon State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Research Center worked together to digitize a large array of documents related to that work, including photographs, manuscripts, publications, correspondence and other materials. The project began in July 2016 and will be completed by June 30, 2017, and will include approximately 6,500 photographs and 8,600 pages of manuscript material.

In addition to the online collection, the work will be shown at lectures around Oregon in late April through early June.

The project, “Reuniting Finley and Bohlman,” is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its Library Services and Technology Act grant program. Many of the photographs and documents are already available on the project’s digital collection website at http://oregondigital.org/sets/finley-bohlman.

The photographs include Finley and Bohlman’s trips to Malheur Lake, the Klamath Lakes and Three Arch Rocks on the Oregon coast – and these photographs played a key role in President Theodore Roosevelt’s decision to create wildlife refuges at those locations.

The public lecture and slide presentation, “On the Road with Finley and Bohlman,” started in Burns, Oregon, on April 25 and will also be offered at these locations:

  • April 27 – Oregon Institute of Technology, College Union Auditorium, Klamath Falls, 7-8 p.m.
  • May 13 – Oregon State University, Valley Library’s Willamette Rooms, Corvallis, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • May 14 – Netarts Community Club, Oceanside, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • June 7 – Oregon Historical Society, Portland, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

More information about these lectures is available at http://www.ohs.org/finley

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412; daniel.moret@oregonstate.edu


Larry Landis, 541-737-0540; larry.landis@oregonstate.edu

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Bush-tit feeding young on top of cap

Half-grown Barn Owls

New exhibit focuses on the oral history tradition at OSU

Oral history is the subject of a new exhibit at OSU’s Valley Library, called “Catching Stories: The Oral History Tradition at Oregon State University.”

The work has been curated by library faculty of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center and mounted in the foyer of the library’s Douglas Strain Reading Room. The exhibit on the Valley Library’s fifth floor traces how oral history interviews have been collected on campus over time, as well as the major subject areas that OSU’s oral historians have emphasized through the decades.

Since 2011, faculty and staff have completed more than 400 oral history interviews, which are part of more than 30 processed oral history collections, with another half dozen collections currently being populated and described. The library has nearly 1,000 oral histories dating to 1949.

The exhibit is organized into five categories: Horner Museum; OSU’s upcoming 150th anniversary; Cultural Communities; History of Science; and Oregon Agriculture. It features text quotes, photos of people who have provided oral interviews, video clips, a selection of audio interviews, and vintage recording equipment loaned from the Benton County Historical Museum.

“We are grateful for the work our past colleagues did to record these stories and proud of the work we continue to do to document the voices of our communities and creators,” said library archivist Tiah Edmunson-Morton. “Our hope is that this exhibit inspires people to explore our collections or conduct their own interviews, but also to spend time talking with their families and friends about the lives they’ve led.” 

The current exhibit will be on display until March, and there will be events in conjunction with the exhibit during winter term. Many of the collections highlighted in this exhibit are available in digital form, either online or upon request. For links to collections that are online, visit http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/oralhistory.html


Chris Petersen, 503-737-2810

Talk addresses racial oppression and the internet

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A scholar with expertise on the Trayvon Martin case is examining the role of social media in creating a spectacle around news reports of African American deaths by members of law enforcement.  

Safiya Umoja Noble will give a public lecture called “Challenging Algorithms of Oppression: Black Annihilation and the Internet,” from 3:30-5 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Valley Library at Oregon State University. Noble is an assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, and her talk will be in the library’s second floor rotunda.

The circulation of surveillance videos and images of African Americans killed by law enforcement has been enhanced by the spectacle of new media. Noble builds upon her previously published research about Trayvon Martin in “The Black Scholar” and proposes that media spectacles are created by surveillance records to foster news ratings and advertising revenues at the expense of national conversations and public policy that address racial justice. In this talk, Noble will offer models of intervention through research and teaching, and talk about the importance of examining the consequences of information and technology projects.

She will also lead a workshop, “Field notes from Critical Information Studies (and What Can We Learn from Google Glass),” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 16. Those interested can register at http://bit.ly/2fmNIij

Umoja Noble is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She is currently working on a monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in search engines, and is the co-editor of two books: “The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online” and “Emotions, Technology and Design.”

Support for this event comes from OSU Libraries and Press, the College of Engineering, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the School for Language, Culture and Society, Queer Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Ethnic Studies.

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412


Lindsay Marlow, 541-737-2376

‘Photograph 51’ play to have live reading at OSU’s Valley Library

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The play “Photograph 51” will have a live reading at Oregon State University’s Valley Library at 7 p.m., Nov. 2.

The play, written by Anna Ziegler, is about the famous photo taken by scientist Rosalind Franklin that led to James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery that the DNA molecule exists in the form of a double helix, for which Watson and Crick shared a Nobel Prize in 1962.

The Valley Library has the only known original print of Franklin’s photograph 51. The reading of the play will be held in the library’s Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room on the fifth floor. This event is free and open to the public.

In this production of the play, all the men in the play will be portrayed by women and the sole female role of Rosalind Franklin will be read by a man. Charlotte Headrick, emeritus in Theatre Arts at OSU, is coordinating the reading of the play.

“In 2012, I was fortunate to be in a reading with Dr. Carl Djerassi here at OSU,” Headrick said. “Dr. Djerassi was both a scientist, one of the developers of the birth control pill, and a dramatist. He told me about a course he taught which was on drama and science. He raved about an excellent play called ‘Photograph 51.’”

“Photograph 51” is the first of a series of plays by women dramatists about women and science that will be presented as readings throughout the 2016-17 academic year. The series is supported by a grant from OSU’s Division of Student Affairs.

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.


Trischa Goodnow, 541-737-4443, tgoodnow@oregonstate.edu

Historian will present stories of African American railroad porters

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Filmmaker and historian Michael “Chappie” Grice will share the stories of Oregon’s African American railroad porters on Oct. 12 at Oregon State University’s Valley Library.

Grice’s presentation focuses on the oral histories that he donated to OSU’s Valley Library in 2014 and that form the African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection. These sound recordings are interviews between Grice and 18 African American railroad porters in the Portland area in the early and mid-20 century. The recordings were initiated as research for Grice's documentary film, "Black Families and the Railroad in Oregon and the Northwest."

Grice’s presentation is from 3-5 p.m., Oct. 12 in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room on the Valley Library’s fifth floor. The event is free and open to the public.

“The information in the oral history interviews gathered by the collection creator and donor, Michael Grice, can be used to broaden the level of understanding of how African Americans played a significant role in the social and economic changes to the state during the 20th century,” said Natalia Fernández, curator and archivist with the Oregon Multicultural Archives at OSU’s Valley Library.

“Mr. Grice’s presentation, which will highlight some of the stories shared along with his personal experiences making the 1985 film, ‘Black Families and the Railroad in Oregon and the Northwest,’ will deepen public knowledge and appreciation of the African American experience and perspective in Oregon.”

The Oregon African American Railroad Porters Oral History Collection is now accessible online at http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/oh29/.

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. 

Story By: 

Natalia Fernández, 541-737-3653, natalia.fernandez@oregonstate.edu

OSU to mark ‘Banned Books Week’ with daily readings on campus

Faculty, students and staff from Oregon State University will read excerpts from challenged or banned books from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 26-28 in the brick mall in front of Strand Hall, in recognition of Banned Books Week.

The readings are free and open to the public. Strand Hall is located on the northeast side of the Memorial Union Quad. The weeklong event is hosted by OSU’s School of Writing, Literature and Film, in conjunction with the Valley Library.

“Banned Books Week is really about celebrating the freedom to read,” said Susan Rodgers, associate professor of creative writing and one of the event’s organizers. “Most challenged books remain available, and that’s because librarians, teachers and community members stand up to defend our access to those books.”

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a surge in challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Goals of the initiative are education and advocacy about the problem of book censorship.

In 2015, the top 10 most challenged books included “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” by Mark Haddon, which are current favorites of college students. In the last decade, most frequently challenged authors include Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie, Mark Twain and Judy Blume.

Rodgers worked with Valley Library staff member Zac Laugheed to create the campus event, which was designed for the Corvallis-area community. The organizers hope the event will continue and grow in future years.

“It’s a moving experience to stand in a public space, and read out loud from a book you love that has been banned or challenged,” Rodgers said. “It doesn’t even matter if people are there to listen. Just the act of reading the words is powerful.”

Story By: 

Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658, susan.rodgers@oregonstate.edu

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.

Story By: 

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.

Story By: 

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

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Archival photo 

(click for full version)

Lubchenco receives Linus Pauling Legacy Award

CORVALLIS, Ore. -  Jane Lubchenco, an internationally recognized marine ecologist at Oregon State University, has received the 2016 Linus Pauling Legacy Award sponsored by the Oregon State University Libraries and Press.

The Pauling Award recognizes outstanding achievement in a subject of interest to the famous scientist and two-time Nobel laureate. Lubchenco is the ninth winner of the prestigious award, and several of the previous recipients were Nobel Prize winners.

As part of the celebration marking the award, Lubchenco will deliver a free public lecture in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave. Her presentation is titled “Scientists Making Waves and Bringing Hope.”

Lubchenco is the university distinguished professor and advisor in marine studies at OSU, and was formerly the administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. As one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world, she has received numerous honors including a MacArthur “genius” award and 20 honorary doctorates.

In addition to her work at OSU, Lubchenco is currently serving as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean and is an international expert on marine ecology, environmental science and climate change. She is a pioneer in the development of marine protected areas and reserves, and in fisheries reform, which are complementary efforts to return fisheries to sustainability and profitability while protecting habitats and biodiversity.

“Your accomplishments and leadership in ecology and environmental sustainability are impressive,” said Faye A. Chadwell, the Donald and Delpha Campbell university librarian and OSU press director who announced Lubchenco as the recipient of the award.

“Linus Pauling would have applauded your focus on the interactions between the environment and human well-being, as much of the work that he undertook during his long and varied career was dedicated to improving the human condition.”

Pauling, the most distinguished graduate in OSU history, is the only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes, for chemistry and peace. The papers of Pauling and his wife, Ava Helen Pauling, are held by OSU Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center, and the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU continues to pursue Pauling’s interest in the study of micronutrients and phytochemicals in diet and optimum health.

Lubchenco’s lecture in Portland is wheelchair accessible. Individuals requiring other accommodations should contact Don Frier at 541-737-4633 or don.frier@oregonstate.edu by April 20 so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

The OSU Libraries enhance and support the university’s instructional and research programs with traditional and innovative services and collections.

Media Contact: 

Daniel Moret, 541-737-4412


Larry Landis, 541-737-0540

Multimedia Downloads

Jane Lubchenco
Jane Lubchenco