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Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album, 1920-1926

By Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album, 1920-1926

ID: P 341

Primary Creator: Fredell, Helen Marburger (1902-)

Extent: 0.1 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album is comprised of 395 photographic prints, 58 nitrate negatives, several poems, and ephemera documenting the interests and activities of a woman tentatively identified as Helen Marburger--an Oregon Agricultural College student--between 1920 and 1926. The album also includes images of Marburger’s friends and family; Oregon Agricultural College; recreational activities including hunting, camping, and swimming; and Oregon landscapes and landmarks.

Scope and Content Notes

The Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album is comprised of approximately 450 photographic prints, negatives, and items of ephemera generated between 1920 and 1926. The album contains only minimal annotations and none of the people appearing in the album are identified by name. However, the album is tentatively identified as featuring and having been created by Helen Marburger based on a comparison of the album’s photographs with images from the 1925 and 1926 Beaver Yearbooks.

The album predominately documents the recreational activities of Marburger. It also features numerous other women, men, and children, apparently friends and family of Marburger. Several other women in the album attended Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), including Jessie Armstrong, a 1925 graduate who is pictured throughout the album.

The album contains 385 mounted photographic prints. Photographs taken at OAC are comprised of scenes of women on campus in 1924-1926, with photos of Marburger and Armstrong wearing graduation gowns and mortarboard caps. The majority of the album documents recreational activities such as camping and hunting trips, horseback riding, picnicking, and swimming. Regional landmarks appear throughout the album and include Mt. Rainier; Tule Lake; the Central Oregon lava fields; the Oregon coast; and Crater Lake National Park. The album also includes photographs from Thanksgiving (1924), a Labor Day trip to Garibaldi, Oregon (1925), and an Independence Day celebration (1925). While the majority of the album’s photos appear to have been taken in Oregon, the album does contain photos from outside the state, including images of the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.

In addition to the mounted photos, the album includes 10 loose photographic prints depicting Marburger posing around campus; the Women’s Building; ROTC cadets and band; a ship off the Oregon coast; and two images of football coach Paul J. Schissler—one as a young man and another clipped from the October 1927 edition of the OAC Alumnus. Also included are 58 loose nitrate negatives comprising similar scenes and subject matter as the collection's prints. Some of the negatives duplicate prints found in the collection.

The album also contains several loose, typed sheets of literary quotes and short poems by a number of writers including Edgar Guest, Edward Rowland Sill, and Alexander Pope. It also includes a program for the 1927 Mother-Daughter Banquet; a ticket stub for the 1926 Homecoming game (University of Oregon vs. Oregon Agricultural College); and a “rook” ribbon, a green ribbon traditionally worn by freshman women on the OAC campus.

The loose prints, typed pages, and ephemera have been removed from the album and stored separately. The nitrate negatives have also been separated and are housed in offsite storage.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The origins of this photograph album are unconfirmed. Based on photographs from the 1925 and 1926 Beaver Yearbooks, the album may have been created by Helen Harriet Marburger.

Helen Marburger studied chemical engineering at Oregon Agricultural College. While at OAC, she served as an officer for the OAC chapters of Chi Epsilon (a civil engineering honors society) and the Chemical Engineering Society, and was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority. Marburger graduated from OAC in 1925 and joined the master's program in chemical engineering at Washington State College (now Washington State University). Marburger married George H. Fredell in approximately 1926 and he passed away in 1929. Marburger eventually married Herbert Johnson, a mining engineer.

Author: Trevor Sandgathe

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 2 boxes including 395 photograph prints and 58 nitrate negatives

Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album (P 341) was a component of the Horner Museum holdings before being transferred to the Oregon State University Archives in the mid-1990s where it became a part of Harriet's Photograph Collection (HC3405). An independent collection was created for the album within the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in November 2017.

Related Materials:

Additional information about Helen Marburger can be found in the 1925 and 1926 Beaver Yearbooks. Other collections of photographs and ephemera documenting the experience of women on the Oregon Agricultural College campus during the 1920s can be found in the Activities of Women Scrapbook (MSS ActivitiesWomen); the George J. and Florence Badura Collection (MSS Badura); and the Florence Gradon Scrapbook (MSS Gradon). The Chemical Engineering Department Records (RG 153) begin in 1930, shortly after Marburger's graduation.

Materials related to 20th-century outdoor recreation and tourism in Oregon include the Lucy Lewis Scrapbook (MSS Lewis), Mount Hood Area Excursion Photograph Album (P 310), Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album (P 339), and the William L. Finley Papers (MSS Finley).

Preferred Citation: Helen H. Marburger Photograph Album (P 341), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Fredell, Helen Marburger (1902-)

People, Places, and Topics

College students--Oregon--Corvallis--Social life and customs.
College students--Recreation--Oregon--Corvallis.
Crater Lake National Park (Or.)
Fredell, Helen Marburger, 1902-
Oregon Agricultural College
Outdoor recreation--Oregon.
Rainier, Mount (Wash.)
University History
Women--Education (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.

Forms of Material

Nitrate negatives.
Photograph albums.
Photographic prints.

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