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Memorial Union Photographs, 1924-2004

Collection Overview

Title: Memorial Union Photographs, 1924-2004

ID: P 198

Primary Creator: Oregon State University. Memorial Union

Extent: 6.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Memorial Union Photographs consist of images of students who served as Memorial Union presidents, recreational sports activities, a tribute to OSU Basketball coach Ralph Miller, images of the Ceramics 80 Conference, and photographs documenting events organized by the Memorial Union Program Council.

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

Scope and Content Notes

Accession 93:067 includes a poster with several color photographic prints of the ASOSU/MUPC retreat at the Oregon Coast in 1987.

Accession 2002:019 includes photographs taken by the Recreational Sports Department of sports club activities including rugby, water polo, basketball, and ping pong. There are also images of a map of recreational sports facilities on campus. Some of these photographs were used in publications and displays.

Accession 2002:052 includes photographs of past presidents of the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU) and the Memorial Union (MU) mounted on mat board which were displayed in the Porter Council Room in the Memorial Union. With the exception of the most recent images (MU 1987- present; ASOSU 1989-present) all of the portraits are in groupings of three or more on a single mat. The first sets of portraits, which were cut and pasted onto the mat boards, were put together sometime in the late 1960s. Later portraits were framed year by year as they were collected and generated. Aside from two missing photographs found on one of the mats for the ASOSU Presidents (1968 and 1973, respectfully), all of the presidents are represented in these portraits and described by name and dates of office.

Accession 2003:081 includes a photo display assembled in tribute to OSU Basketball coach Ralph Miller with images of Miller and some of his last games as OSU Basketball coach. In addition to Miller and various team members, such as Gary Payton and Scott Haskins, the photographs also document some of the festivities featured at Miller's farewell game that include images of Miller's family and the mascots Benny and Bernice Beaver.

Coming to OSU in 1971 to coach the Basketball team, Ralph Miller helped the Beavers earn the distinction of being named the winningest team in the history of the PAC-10 Conference in 1989. When Miller retired from OSU in 1989 he was considered the sixth all-time winningest coach in basketball history. He died in 2001.

Accession 2005:056 includes photographic portraits of students who served as Memorial Union presidents, presidents of the Associated Students of OSU, and editors and business managers of the Beaver Yearbook. Group shots of Memorial Union Program Council (MUPC) members were also found in this transfer as well as signed 8x10 glossies of three entertainers whom the MUPC brought to OSU.

Accession 2005:063 includes images of the Ceramics 80 Conference held at OSU. In addition to various shots of the presenters and participants at the conference, the photographs also depict work on a tile project in the McAlexander Fieldhouse by those involved in the conference. Images of pieces brought by the ceramicists to exhibit as a part of the conference are also included in this transfer.

Held in Snell Hall in June 1980, the Ceramics 80 Conference was organized by Craft Center Manager Don Johnson and three others in the ceramic community. The conference featured presentations and workshops by nine nationally known ceramicists, among whom included F. Carlton Ball, Paul Soldner, Daniel Rhodes, Dorothy Bearnson and Rudy Autio.

Accession 2006:007 includes a photograph album and scrapbook documenting students and staff who have worked for the Memorial Union. The album contains portraits of Memorial Union Presidents from 1924-25 to 1962-63, while the scrapbook is made up of portrait and group shots of MU Program and Activity Council members and staff from 1949 to 1963.

Accession 2011:047 includes photographs taken by members of the Memorial Union Program Council (MUPC) and MU staff that mostly document events organized by the MUPC such as Moms Weekend, Dads Weekend, the Battle of the Bands concert, Siblings Weekend, Christmas holiday events, Homecoming activities and various performances by musicians and dancers in the MU. The photographs also depict MUPC members in portrait shots, group shots, and attending off-campus retreats. In addition to the loose prints and negatives, this transfer also includes seventeen photograph albums. The images in these albums basically reflect the same subject matter depicted in the loose photos and also include shots of onetime events such as the Sports Illustrated Campus Fest, the Armed Forces Expo, Cupid in the Quad, and a showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in the MU Ballroom.

Accession 2015:003 consists of photographic images taken and collected by Memorial Union staff that document events at the Memorial Union (MU) and various parts of the building. Numbering 226 photographs in total (108 slides 118 prints), about a third of the images reflect ceremonies in honor of the 50th anniversary of the MU in 1974. Images focused upon the building itself include a series of shots of architectural details labeled as "open house" and views of the MU County Store deli. The slides are primarily part of an informational slide presentation on the various activities and services in the MU (both the main building and Snell Hall). The presentation includes a script and cassette tape.

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

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 3,296 photographs; 3 cubic foot boxes, 2 document boxes, 4 file folders, 2 12x17 oversize boxes, 2 20x24 oversize boxes, 1 23x20 oversize box, and 2 16x20 oversize boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation: Memorial Union Photographs (P 198), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information:

This collection is not fully processed and a complete finding aid is not available at this time.

We acknowledge that materials in SCARC collections and the language that describes them may be harmful. We are actively working to address our descriptive practices; for more information please see our SCARC Anti-Racist Actions Statement online.

The archivist-prepared description of this collection uses the phrase “Civil War” to refer to the long-standing athletic rivalry between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. A history of this athletic rivalry, and use of the phrase “Civil War” to describe it, is available online in The Origins of the "Civil War" Football Game blog post.

In June 2020, Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced that the term  “Civil War” will no longer be used by either university because it “represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery.”

We acknowledge the racism represented by the use of this phrase and the harm it may cause our users. In order to provide historical context and to enable standardized searching and access across our collections, we have retained the use of this phrase in the collection description.

[Date of acknowledgement: November 2021]

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 14, 2014.


Oregon State University. Memorial Union
McIlvenna, Don Edward (1929-)
Oregon State College. Memorial Union

People, Places, and Topics

Oregon State College. Memorial Union
Oregon State University. Memorial Union
University History

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