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James E. Oldfield Papers, 1951-2010

By Finding aid prepared by Karl McCreary and Elizabeth Nielsen

Collection Overview

Title: James E. Oldfield Papers, 1951-2010

Predominant Dates: 1957-2002

ID: MSS Oldfield

Primary Creator: Oldfield, J. E. (1921-)

Extent: 8.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The James E. Oldfield Papers document Oldfield's research and professional activities in animal nutrition, especially the role of selenium in eliminating white muscle disease in sheep and other ruminants. Oldfield completed his doctorate at Oregon State College in 1951 and joined the faculty upon completion of his degree. He retired in 1985.

Scope and Content Notes

The James E. Oldfield Papers document Oldfield's research and professional activities in animal nutrition and consist of materials created and assembled by Oldfield. The Papers include an appointment calendar, article reprints, books, compact discs, certificates, correspondence, course materials, a guestbook, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, plaques, a poster, reports, and speeches. Materials pertaining to Oldfield's research on the protective effects of selenium in eliminating white muscle disease and his mink nutrition studies include articles, books, reports, conference proceedings, Agricultural Experiment Station reports, publications, and speeches. The collection also documents Oldfield's extensive involvement in professional organizations including the Selenium Tellurium Development Association (STDA), Fur Commission USA, and Mink Farmers Research Foundation. Materials reflecting Oldfield's participation in the E. R. Jackman Foundation, the Oregon State University Honorary Doctorate Committee, and the Nutrition Research Institute (where he served as Director) are also part of the collection.

The collection includes about 400 photographs (166 prints, 95 negatives, 112 slides, and 27 lantern slides). The images primarily pertain to selenium and mink research projects; many of the images were used in presentations and articles. Other images document a student exchange program between OSU and Lincoln University (New Zealand).

Biographical / Historical Notes

James Edmund Oldfield joined the faculty of Oregon State College upon completion of his Ph.D. in 1951 and served as Professor of Animal Husbandry (and later Animal Sciences) until his retirement in 1985. He was Department Head of Animal Sciences from 1967 to 1983.

Oldfield specialized in the study of animal nutrition and is credited with discovering the role of selenium in eliminating white muscle disease in sheep and other ruminants. He is considered a leader in the study and eradication of white muscle disease (WMD). Oldfield also conducted extensive research on nutritionally induced fur defects in mink, for which he was elected to the Fur Industry Hall of Fame. Oldfield was nominated Distinguished Professor at OSU in 1969 and received the 1998 Klaus Schwarz Award, presented to a scientist or team of scientists who have contributed to biological trace element research. He remained active as a researcher and advocate of further selenium study during his retirement.

Oldfield earned his B.S.A. (1941) and M.S.A. (1949) degrees at the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. from Oregon State College in 1951.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 400 photographs; 9 boxes, including 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials were donated to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center by Oldfield and his daughter in 2011.

Related Materials: The Special Collections and Archives Research Center's holdings include the Animal Sciences Department Records (RG 189) and the papers of other Animal Sciences faculty including the David C. England Papers (MSS England) and the W. Dean Frischknecht Papers (MSS Frischknecht). The Agricultural Experiment Station Records (RG 025) include materials pertaining the selenium research and mink nutrition research programs at Oregon State.

Preferred Citation: James E. Oldfield Papers (MSS.Oldfield), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Other URL: A preliminary container list is available online.


Oldfield, J. E. (1921-)
Fur Commission USA
Mink Farmers Research Foundation
Oregon State College. Agricultural Experiment Station
Oregon State University. Agricultural Experiment Station
Selenium-Tellurium Development Association

People, Places, and Topics

E.R. Jackman Foundation
Natural Resources
Oldfield, J. E., 1921-
Oregon State University. Nutrition Research Institute
Selenium deficiency diseases in animals--Oregon.
Selenium in animal nutrition--Oregon.
Soils--Selenium content.
University History

Forms of Material

Born digital.
Compact discs.
Film negatives.
Lantern slides.
Photographic prints.
Slides (photographs).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.