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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

About the Resources in this Guide


Our purpose in creating this LibGuide was to more effectively expose OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) resources to researchers working on class papers and theses, scholars studying various topics related to buildings’ histories, faculty and staff seeking information about Oregon State’s administrative history, as well as the broader OSU community wanting to learn more about local history.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this LibGuide is not comprehensive and is intended only to provide a historic overview/research guide for the buildings on OSU’s campus. The resources are specific to SCARC. Therefore, other relevant secondary sources, as well as primary sources located in other archival repositories, are not included.

How to Use This Guide

The buildings listed in the left side bar are in alphabetical order based on last name. Buildings that have had multiple names are listed under their current name, with their past names listed as sub-pages. Nonextant buildings are listed with the dates during which they existed. The easiest way to navigate this LibGuide is to search for a building using the find function (Ctrl + F) on your keyboard. 

For Further Research

General Catalogs: Published annually by the university beginning in 1866. Each catalog contains a map of campus, information about courses, buildings, and professors, as well as some photographs.

SCARC University History and Records: Compiled by Oregon State University's Special Collections and Archival Research center, this research guide contains links to a chronological history of OSU, historic publications, historic photographs, historic films and videos, as well as oral history about the university.

OSU150: OSU150 was created in 2018 to celebrate 150 years of Oregon State, and to showcase OSU’s past, present and future contributions to Oregon, the nation and the world. This website includes a digital exhibit featured in the Oregon Historical Society Museum, as well as the opportunity to download an app (for both Android and Apple) which has an interactive map of Oregon with information about each of OSU's buildings and their histories.

Oregon State University Institutional Research and Planning Fact Books: This collection of Fact Books, from 1988-2001, tracks the growth of the university over time, including information about cost, construction, and planning for each new building on campus, as well as a list of information about all existing buildings. 

Beaver Tracks: This website documents Oregon State's Historic District, complete with a walking tour of many historic buildings on campus. 

Oregon Digital: Oregon Digital is a collection of photographs, articles, manuscripts, ephemera, and more compiled by Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. To search for information pertaining to buildings on Oregon State's campus, simply type the name of the building into the search bar, followed by "Oregon State" in order to differentiate from buildings on U of O's campus with the same name. 

A School for the People; A Photographic History of Oregon State University: Written by Dr. Lawrence A. Landis, longtime archivist and director of the Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives Research Center, this book tells the story of OSU’s nearly 150 years as a land grant institution through more than 500 photographs, maps, documents, and extensive captions. 

The People's School; A History of Oregon State University: Written by William G. Robbins, retired Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State, The People’s School is a comprehensive history of OSU, placing the institution’s story in the context of state, regional, national, and international history. 

Campus Buildings Research Guide: This guide found on SCARC's website compiles some of the more useful collections and online portals for conducting architectural research.

Research Tip: When searching a large database such as SCARC or Oregon Digital, using a Boolean quotation search can help you find the results you need. For example, instead of typing Valley Library in the search box without quotations, try searching "Valley Library" with the quotation marks. Without the quotation marks, the search engine will produce results for the separate words "Valley" and "Library," giving you information about every valley and every library they have in their archive. Click here for more information on Boolean Operators. 

Creation of This Guide

This guide was created as part of a 2019 internship. For more information, see the Speaking of History blog post entitled "Building and Place Names LibGuide Creation Internship SCARC."


The Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) maintains and makes available the University's unique collections of manuscripts, archives, photographs, and books. Subject strengths include:

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.

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center public service point is located in the Reading Room on the 5th Floor of the Valley Library at Oregon State University. If you plan to visit us, please check our calendar.

See our Guide to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center for more on how to visit SCARC, find our collections, and research tips.

SCARC Services

In order to provide more efficient and effective service, the Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) is offering on-site access to our collections by-appointment. Advance notice of your visit and research interests allows us to better assist you in identifying materials relevant to your research, and provide more efficient service during your on-site visit. A by-appointment model also allows us to limit Reading Room disruptions, and focus on you and on your research needs.

We will continue to respond to general and reference questions remotely via our department email, There is a wealth of online content in Oregon Digital, on the SCARC website, in ScholarsArchive@OSU, in SCARC LibGuides, and on OSU MediaSpace, and public services staff are available to assist you in navigating and searching these sites. In some cases, by working closely with our archivists and librarians, and identifying a limited amount of specific materials, we may be able to support your research remotely through digitization. 

Please see our Guide to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center for more information about our by-appointment model, and other services.

Contact Us

Your archivists are here to help!

Staff of the library’s Special Collections and Archives Research Center are available for virtual reference consultations. Please email us at if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment.