Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

University History and Records


Guide to Conducting Research on the History of OSU


Digital Resources Documenting the History of OSU


OSU Records Management Program

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center is the official repository for the historical records created by OSU. The University Archives component of the Center was established in 1961 to collect, describe, preserve, display and provide access to historical records created or received in connection with the transaction of university affairs.

Closely connected to the university records are the personal papers of several hundred OSU faculty, dating back to the 19th century. More than 250,000 historic photographs likewise document campus buildings, university programs, special events, athletics, faculty, and students. A large collection of memorabilia, consisting of individual historical items such as programs, posters, brochures, and clippings, also contributes to the richness of our holdings.

Over 1,300 archival collections held by SCARC have been described and made available for researcher use. Access to those collection guides is available here.

SCARC is also home to a robust digitization program and is continually releasing new historic content online. The full roster of our university history-related digital resources is available here and select digital collections and exhibits are identified below.

Major Online Resources for OSU History Research

Chronological History of OSU

Chronological History of OSU

A year-by-year overview of the history of the university, beginning with the settlement of the Willamette Valley in the early 1840s and running all the way through the conclusion of calendar year 2016. This is a terrific place to start your research on OSU.


Historic Publications of Oregon State University

Historic Publications

A keyword-searchable digital collection featuring: Alumni Magazines, including The Oregon Stater, from 1921 to the present; General Catalogs, beginning in 1866; Sports Media Guides documenting the full spectrum of OSU Athletics; and the entire run of OSU Yearbooks from 1894-2014.


Historic Photographs of Oregon State University

Historic Photographs

A rich repository of thousands of hand-selected digitized images depicting OSU's history, campus, traditions, and people from the 1800s up to today.


Historic Films and Videos of Oregon State University

Historic Films and Videos

A large and continually growing collection of digitized films and videos documenting campus life and athletics, among other topics in OSU history.


Oral History

Oral History

SCARC's online oral history presence consists of over 700 hours of contexualized interviews covering university history, Oregon Agricultural College, hops and brewing, multicultural communities, womens history and much more.