Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center
Fishermen at Celilo Falls, Columbia River Gorge, ca. 1950s.
Fishermen at Celilo Falls, Columbia River Gorge, ca. 1950s.
Gerald W. Williams Collection. (Click to enlarge)

Instruction and Outreach

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center has an active instruction program and encourage the use of its collections in undergraduate and graduate classes. Each year we host a diverse range of classes that use our collections for their research assignments or course work, with staff eager to introduce students and faculty to our unique archival, manuscript, and rare books collections. We offer a suite of options for instruction and orientation; our staff can offer informal instruction services such as research consultation sessions for students and faculty, general orientation sessions for classes doing original primary source research, and specialized sessions with hands-on examination of archival materials in a classroom setting.

With strong collections pertaining to the history of science and technology; the historical records of OSU and papers of its prominent faculty members; collections documenting cultural and ethnic groups in Oregon; and collections documenting natural resources in the Pacific Northwest, especially agriculture and forestry, students can research a wide array of topics. In addition to traditional print documents, we also have fabulous photo collections, a wide variety of digital collections or exhibit resources, and a growing body of born digital records. Instructors are encouraged to work directly with our staff to choose the most relevant and appropriate materials for classes.

Please read on below to learn more about the types of instruction offered and facilities that are available.

Types of Instruction

  • Introduction to Special and Archival Collections. This session includes basic information on what special collections and archives are and how primary source and printed material can be utilized for student research. This introductory session can be tailored to specific course interests.
  • Topic Specific. This type of session includes a more in-depth look at select topics relating to the individual course. Past instruction sessions have included lectures on the life and work of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling, medieval manuscripts and the history of the book, history of atomic energy, history of chemistry, history of biology, science and politics, public history in the American West, ethnic minorities in Oregon, and a variety of 20th century history classes.
  • Consultations. These might include course planning sessions with faculty; student research planning; basic Records Management; and oral history basics.
  • Facilities Tours. This session includes a tour of the facilities and treasures of the 5th floor by one of the Special Collections & Archives staff members. Learn about our gorgeous Douglas Strain Reading Room, peek into Linus Pauling's office, and explore the unique Wilson Room. Other specialized tours include a tour of the McDonald Rare Books Collection or a tour of the Ava Helen & Linus Pauling Papers. We welcome groups of all sizes and ages for tours, but ask that you contact us at least one week in advance to schedule a visit in order to accommodate staff schedules.

Instructors interested in arranging an instruction or consultation session should contact Tiah Edmunson-Morton at (541) 737-7387 or tiah.edmunson-morton@oregonstate.edu. Please allow several weeks for us to make arrangements.

Online Instruction Resources

Instructors interested in arranging an instruction or consultation session should contact Tiah Edmunson-Morton at (541) 737-7387 or tiah.edmunson-morton@oregonstate.edu. Please allow several weeks for us to make arrangements.