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Hatfield Marine Science Center Records, 1961-2005

By Finding aid prepared by Karl McCreary.

Collection Overview

Title: Hatfield Marine Science Center Records, 1961-2005

ID: RG 194

Primary Creator: Hatfield Marine Science Center

Extent: 4.3 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Organized into ten series: I. Correspondence; II. Reports; III. Committees; IV. Curriculum Development and Instruction; V. Buildings and Facilities; VI. Newspaper Clippings; VII. Special Events; VIII. Publications; IX. Sound Recording; and X. Maps.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The records of the Hatfield Marine Science Center document the development and administration of the center, as well as its instructional and research functions.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital. Clippings from Series VI, Clippings, and dating between 1962 and 1967, have been digitized and are available upon request.

Scope and Content Notes

Primarily consisting of correspondence, Series I documents the administration of HMSC covering topics such as policy and procedure development, space allocation, long range planning, physical plant management, research equipment needs, staffing, and interaction with organizations like the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) Marine Sciences Commission. This series also includes brochures, grant proposals, and reports. In addition to annual reports, Series II includes a five-year review, Marine Science Extension Education Specialist field reports, a visitor fee and registration feasibility study, OSSHE Marine Sciences Commission reports, an operations plan, site investigation studies, fiscal status reports, and an essay on Extension Sea Grant history.

Series III consists of records generated by HMSC committees and is made up of correspondence, meeting minutes, agendas, and reports. Materials relating to instruction and the development of academic programs at HMSC constitute the focus of Series IV, which includes correspondence, course lists, class outlines, grant proposals, mailing lists, publications, reports, and tour presentation notes.

Series V pertains to the construction, maintenance, and use of buildings and other structures at HMSC and includes correspondence, grant proposals, newspaper clippings, and reports.

The newspaper clippings in Series VI document the development of HMSC, staff research and news, Yaquina Bay planning issues, public education programs, dedication ceremonies, and center funding. The articles are clipped primarily from the Newport News-Times, Statesman Journal. Series VII relates to the planning and publicity of various HMSC dedications, anniversary celebrations, and other ceremonial events. In addition to a guestbook, this Series includes brochures, correspondence, flyers, newspaper clippings, press releases, and speeches. Clippings from Series VI, Clippings, and dating between 1962 and 1967, have been digitized and are available upon request.

The publications include newsletters, brochures, Extension Service circulars, a directory, flyers, studies, and a historical essay. In addition to general information about HMSC, the materials in Series VIII publicize workshops, seminars, and classes and include staff news and historical information.

Series IX is a reel-to-reel sound recording of the dedication ceremony of the Marine Science Center Instructional Building/Library. The two maps in Series X depict Yaquina Bay and geological and structural features in addition to the HMSC site. One of the maps is a depth survey study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the other is a hand drawn outline of the bay noting rock groin and possible fill areas.

An addition to the Hatfield Marine Science Center Records (Accession 2002:034) consists of materials generated by the Hatfield Marine Science Center and includes annual reports (1997/98, 2000/01), brochures, correspondence, minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, publications, and videotapes. Among the subjects covered in these records are the Center 's dedication ceremony, the search for a Center Director, and problems in securing a saline water supply. The videotapes (6) include a television segment on the Center, two copies of a slide-tape program about the Center, and two episodes from the Earth and Sea Investigators program series. The photographs consist of color slides of the Hatfield Marine Science Center facility in Newport.

A second addition to the Hatfield Marine Science Center Records (Accession 2006:045) consists of telephone directories listing employees and graduate students working at the Hatfield Marine Science Center with some including information on department affiliation and home address.

A third addition to the Hatfield Marine Science Center Records (Accession 2012:014) consists of four reports generated in the course of a redesign project of the public wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The reports contain drawings of exhibit concepts, communication plans, and draft wording for signage/graphics.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Established by Oregon State University in 1965 on Yaquina Bay in Newport, the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) was constructed on land donated by the Port of Newport and funded by grants from the Federal Economic Development Administration. The campaign to build HMSC was driven by three major forces at work in Newport during the 1960s. First, many saw the development of a marine research facility with a public education component as a draw for tourists in a stagnant coastal economy. Another motivating factor was the Department of Oceanography's need for dock and ship support facilities for the Acona research vessel. At the same time, the Yaquina Bay Oyster Laboratory, a research facility established earlier by the university, was looking to expand their operations.

The university's presence on Yaquina Bay dates from 1938, when Fisheries and Wildlife Department Professor Roland Dimick established the Yaquina Bay Oyster Laboratory. Starting out as a floathouse at Sally's Bend, the laboratory expanded into a small land facility where research on various forms of bay life, water quality, and bivalve aquaculture was conducted. From 1946 until 1952, OSC also managed a marine research station in conjunction with the University of Oregon and Portland State College in Charleston, Oregon.

Envisioned as a center for both research and instruction, HMSC began to offer classes in 1966 in the form of a summer courses in zoology and oceanography. Later on, coursework in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department and Biology Program were added to the list of offerings at HMSC. Dormitory housing for undergraduate students on the HMSC campus became available in 1972 with the opening of the Li House. In 1976, instruction at HMSC got a boost with the completion of a library facility and the establishment of a full-time librarian position funded by the university library. Although not part of the center's original mission, public education grew to become one of the most important components at HMSC. In 1966, OSU assigned the task of developing and managing educational programs at HMSC to Extension agent William Wick. Known later as the "Seatauqua" program, HMSC put together a number of tours, workshops, tank talks, and whalewatching opportunities designed to impart marine knowledge to the public.

As a research facility, HMSC hosts scientists from a number of federal and state agencies in addition to those from OSU. A federal presence at HMSC was established early on with the installation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1966. Other federal research bodies represented at HMSC include: the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute. At the state level, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has conducted research at HMSC since it's founding as well as Oregon Sea Grant. In 1989, HMSC became an OSU Experiment Station branch with the establishment of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station.

In 1983, the Marine Science Center was officially re-named for Oregon Governor and Senator Mark Hatfield.

Directors of the Hatfield Marine Science Center have included John Byrne (1972-1977), Lavern Weber (1977-2002), and George Boehlert (2002-).

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 6 cubic foot boxes, 2 oversize boxes, and 1 oversize drawer.

Related Materials:

Documentation relating to HMSC is also represented elsewhere in the holdings of the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Institutional records from administrative offices and academic programs pertaining to HMSC can be found in the following record groups: Sea Grant College Program Records (RG 201), the President's Office Records (RG 013), Library Records (RG 009), Facilities Services Records (RG 193), Extension Service Records (RG 111), and the Research Office Records (RG 170). The Center's also contains collections from HMSC faculty members including the William Q. Wick Papers (MSS Wick), Bill R. Rogers Papers (MSS Rogers), and William J. McNeil Papers (MSS McNeil).

Images of HMSC, OSU research vessels, and faculty and staff can be found in several photographic collections, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center Photographs (P 254), Sea Grant College Program Photographs (P 185), News and Communication Services Photograph Collection (P 057), University Publications Photographs (P 094), and Harriet's Photograph Collection (P HC).

Film and videotape footage of events at HMSC and public education programs can be found in the following film/videotape collections: Hatfield Marine Science Center Photographs (P 254), Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photograph Collection (P 120), Experiment Station Publications Photographic Collection (P 132), and News and Communication Services Photograph Collection (P 057).

Preferred Citation: Hatfield Marine Science Center Records (RG 194), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Hatfield Marine Science Center
Weber, Lavern J.

People, Places, and Topics

Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station
Hatfield Marine Science Center
History of Science
Marine resources--Research--Oregon.
Marine sciences--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon.
Natural Resources
Newport (Or.)
Oceanographic research ships--Oregon.
Oceanographic research stations--Oregon.
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
Oregon State System of Higher Education. Marine Sciences Commission
Oregon State University. College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University. Netarts Fisheries Laboratory
Oregon State University. Sea Grant College Program.
Public aquariums--Oregon.
Tourism and city planning--Newport (Or.)
University History
Yaquina Bay (Or.)
Yaquina Head (Or.)

Forms of Material

Maps (documents)
Sound recordings.

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