Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Lawrence A. Landis, Director

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center within OSU Libraries maintains and makes available the university’s unique collections of manuscripts, archives, photographs and books. Its holdings include collections pertaining to the history of science and technology; the historical records of OSU and papers of its prominent faculty members; collections documenting cultural and ethnic groups in Oregon; and collections documenting natural resources in the Pacific Northwest, especially agriculture and forestry. Also included are collections documenting Oregon's hops and craft brewing industries and a large collection of oral histories related to the center’s collecting areas. The center also maintains a robust online presence through Oregon Digital, its digital collections platform. See https://oregondigital.org/catalog/.

The collections within the Special Collections and Archives Research Center are open to students, faculty, staff and the public for research from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center encourages the use of its collections in undergraduate and graduate classes. Instruction services range from general orientation sessions to more specialized sessions with hands-on examination of archival materials in a classroom setting. Tours of the center are available upon request, and the center is located on the Valley Library’s fifth floor. More information about the center’s services and holdings is available at http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/.

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers

The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers are the center’s cornerstone history of science and technology collection. It is an archival research collection of more than 500,000 items that chronicle the life and work of OSU alumnus Dr. Linus Pauling, the only person in history to have received two unshared Nobel Prizes (Chemistry, 1954; Peace, 1962). The collection, donated by Dr. Pauling in 1986, includes the original manuscript for Pauling’s seminal 1931 paper, “The Nature of the Chemical Bond”; the research notebooks and working manuscripts for a number of Pauling’s 1,100 journal publications and 13 books; and the original petition for nuclear disarmament presented to the United Nations in 1958, which contains the signatures of more than 9,000 scientists worldwide, including Nobel laureates Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell. The papers also include Dr. Pauling’s numerous awards, more than 100 hours of audiovisual material, his mammoth correspondence with many of the most prominent figures of the 20th century, and a significant trove of molecular models constructed by Pauling. The collection serves the research interests of scholars from around the world. See http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/index.html.

Nuclear History Collections

Another significant area within history of science and technology are the Nuclear History Collections. The collections cover nearly every facet of the topic. Included are the first published account of the discovery of radioactivity in 1896, writings on the Manhattan Project, the hearings of Robert Oppenheimer, and a formerly secret report of the effects of the atom bomb. It also features cultural aspects of the atomic age. See https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/atomic?hs=a.

University Archives

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center is the official repository for the historical records created by OSU. The University Archives component of the center was established in 1961 to collect, describe, preserve, make accessible to the public, and display historical records created or received in connection with the transaction of university affairs. Closely connected to the university records are the personal papers of several hundred OSU faculty members dating back to the 19th century. More than 300,000 historic photographs document campus buildings, university programs, special events, athletics, faculty and students. A large collection of memorabilia consists of individual historical items such as programs, posters, brochures and clippings. For information about collections and other resources pertaining to OSU’s history, see https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/c.php?g=730610.

Oregon Multicultural Archives

The Oregon Multicultural Archives was established by OSU Libraries in 2005 to assist in preserving the histories and sharing the stories that document the lives and activities of African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American communities of Oregon. Significant collections and projects include the Urban League of Portland Records, the Braceros in Oregon Photograph Collection, the Japanese American Association of Lane County Oral Histories, and the 2012 Oregon Tribal Archives Institute. See https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/oma.

Oregon State University Queer Archives

The Oregon State University Queer Archives (OSQA) was established in 2014 to preserve and share the stories, histories and experiences of LGBTQ+ people within the OSU and Corvallis communities. These archives foster intersectional community activism, resist erasure of queer and trans narratives, and position the collection as a space to imagine alternative futures for LGBTQ+ communities. See https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/osqa

Natural Resources Collections

The center’s holdings include numerous collections pertaining to natural resources in the Pacific Northwest. A core collection in this area is the Gerald W. Williams Collection, which includes the personal papers and collected historic photographs of Williams, former chief historian for the U.S. Forest Service. Other significant natural resources related collections include the papers of wildlife conservationist William L. Finley, the Pacific Northwest Stream Survey Records, the Alderman Farms Films, the Oregon Tilth Records, and the Oregon Century Farm and Ranch Program Records. For information about collections related to natural resources, see http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/natural-resources.html.

Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives

The Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, established in 2013, is the first in the U.S. dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing materials that tell the story of hops farming and craft brewing in Oregon. It also highlights related research at OSU dating back to the 1890s. The archive includes oral histories with growers, brewers and scientists; research reports; grower association records; photographs; and label art from breweries throughout Oregon. See https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/brewingarchives.

McDonald Collection

The McDonald Collection is the university’s premier collection of rare books. Fine examples of typography, incunabula, works of famous illustrators, numerous fine bindings, and several first editions are represented in the collection. See http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/mcdonald. Other significant rare book collections pertain to the history of the Pacific Northwest and the history of science. For information on all of the center’s rare book holdings, see http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/rare-books.html.