The Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives (OHBA) is a collecting, documentation, and community archiving project with a mission to collect and provide access to records related to hops production and the craft brewing industries (post-1970) in Oregon.
At its core, OHBA’s mission is to provide access to historical materials in both the OSU collections and in outside repositories, industries, or communities. OHBA can act as a portal, engaging with external communities to form partnerships with the heritage and history communities, state agencies, hop farmers, craft brewers, home brewers, and the general community. We want to empower people to see themselves as a part of the archiving process and think collectively about how this project can best serve a variety of people.
As the archive for the University, Special Collections & Archives has great collections related to the history of both hops and barley research at OSU, as well as fermentation science studies at the Department of Food Science and Technology. Current scholarship and research in programs like the Aroma Hop Breeding and expansion in the Agricultural Experiment Station’s fermentation sciences program show that the field is ever-growing at OSU. However, in addition to these university records, there are many other opportunities for us to grow our collections and work with people to document their role in this history.
OHBA is the first archive in the United States dedicated to preserving and sharing this intertwined story of hops and beer, documenting all facets of the industries and uniting the social and cultural aspects of brewing with the science being done at OSU. The records we collect will allow scholars and researchers to explore the agricultural, scientific, farm labor, and cultural components of hop and brewing history. With both a land grant mission and open access objective, OHBA’s mission dovetails with other OSU Libraries & Press initiatives to provide access to unknown or inaccessible information, allowing for new forms of awareness, interaction, and scholarship.
While OHBA is a collecting initiative, meaning that we look for physical and virtual items to save, it is also an educational initiative to inspire people to preserve the records that tell the story of the work they are doing. Hops and brewing, it’s a history worth saving.