The John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection documents the Merrifields' student years at Oregon State, John's career as a civil engineer and involvement in professional engineering organizations, and their family. The collection includes artifacts, a baby book, certificates, correspondence, curriculum vitae, notebooks, plaques, publications, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and a student paper.
The two scrapbooks were assembled by Virginia and contain correspondence, event programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, and publications documenting John's engineering career and the military service of Virginia's father, Arthur Broderson, in World War I. The baby book reflects the childhood of the Merrifields' daughter, Kathy, and is housed in a box with examples of Kathy's art, newspaper clippings, and a photograph. Correspondence sent to Kathy after her father's death in 2007 include stories about John from friends and former co-workers.
The materials from the Merrifields' student years include a paper written by John, A Quantitative Survey of the Corvallis Sewage, as an undergraduate thesis in civil engineering and a notebook generated by Virginia for a shorthand class. John's paper was selected as the best student paper by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), for which he received a one-year free membership in the organization.
The collection includes a wallet designed by Arthur Broderson for John and a registered professional engineer rubber stamp. Two audiocassette tapes include a recording of John's funeral service in 2007.