Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Robert E. McDole Papers, 1949-1998

Scope and Content Note

The Robert E. McDole Papers consists of materials created or assembled by McDole during his undergraduate years at Oregon State College, as a graduate student at the University of Idaho, and in the course of his work as a soil scientist and Extension Soils Specialist. The collection documents McDole's undergraduate and graduate education, research and publications, and involvement in professional organizations. The Papers include biographical materials and a curriculum vitae, student materials, publications, reference materials, and books.

The materials from McDole's undergraduate student years at Oregon State College include records of the Oregon Chapter of the Alpha Zeta agricultural honorary society at Oregon State and class notebooks, examinations, laboratory and field notebooks, and term papers for courses taken by McDole. These include several soils and horticulture courses, introduction to journalism, a geology of Oregon course in spring 1952 taught by William Taubeneck, and an introductory photography course taught by John C. Garman. The notebook for the photography course includes photographs taken by McDole for the class, primarily of campus buildings. The geology notebook includes several maps. The student materials also include the 1951-1952 Fussers Guide (campus directory) and a program for the 1954 Oregon State versus University of Idaho football game.

The publications include McDole's thesis and dissertation, Some Properties of Loess in the Bannock Peak Transect in Southeastern Idaho (1968) and Loess Deposits Adjacent to the Snake River Flood Plain in the Vicinity of Pocatello, Idaho (1969); publications, primarily on Idaho soils, written by McDole; Oregon State Soils Department newsletters; and conference abstracts, programs, and proceedings. Loess Auger, the Oregon State Soils Club newsletter for 1958-1965 is included as well as the Soils Department alumni newsletters for 1979-1992. Conference abstracts, programs, and proceedings for the Western Society of Soil Science and the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are part of the collection. A short report on the 1988 Natural Resources for the 21st Century conference is also included.

The reference materials include publications and reports on soils and irrigation in Oregon prepared in the late 1930s through early 1950s. Several of these were written by W.L. Powers. The collection also includes two sets of soil color charts.

The books include textbooks for geology ( Rocks and Rock Minerals by Louis V. Pirsson), soils (The Nature and Properties of Soils by T. Lyttleton Lyon and Harry O. Buckman), and bacteriology (Introduction to the Bacteria by C.E. Clifton) used by McDole at Oregon State College. The bacteriology text is covered with an Oregon State College Bookstore bookcover. A 1949 Handbook of Water Control and The Golden Mountain by Easurk Emsen Charr are also part of the collection.

An addition to the McDole Papers (Accession 2013:046) is made up of a handbook of soils related circulars assembled by the University of Idaho Extension Service for distribution as a reference guide. McDole authored many of the publications featured in this handbook, which touch upon subjects such as soil sampling, testing, tillage, salinity levels, fertilizer use, watering, and plant analysis.

A second addition to the McDole Papers (Accession 2013:068) consists of 58 photographic slides taken and collected by McDole as a part of his work as an Extension Soils Specialist with the University of Idaho. Depicting agricultural landscapes in Idaho and Oregon with a few soil profile views, some of these images were used in the book "Idaho Soils Atlas" a work authored by McDole, Raymond Barker, and Glen Hogan. McDole featured the other slides in presentations and educational outreach.

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