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Guide to Research for Barometer Staff

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Thank you for your interest in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center and our collections! SCARC has many exciting, unique collections from the papers of Nobel Prize-winning chemists, to the letters of Civil War soldiers and there’s bound to be something that will “punch up” any story you’re writing.

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:

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center public service point is located in the Douglas Strain Reading Room on the 5th Floor of the Valley Library at Oregon State University. Our public service hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm during the academic year. We occasionally close to accommodate class visits and special events; 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.

How to Use this Guide

This guide is intended to assist you as you prepare to write a Pacemaker Award-winning piece. The "Barometer Staff Policy" tab will help you to better prepare for your in-person visit to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room (Valley Library, 5th floor), and will provide guidance on how to make that visit successful and efficient.

The "Frequently Asked Questions" tab has answers to all your most pressing questions: How do archivists become archivists? What is SCARC's oldest item? How do you care for the collections and items in the archive? Don't see your question in the list? Email us at!

Collection Portals

The sites listed below provide access to a wealth of information about SCARC collections, and several of the sites - Oregon Digital and Media Space - provide access to digitized materials that you can view from anywhere (including from home in your PJs)!

SCARC Website
Access to events calendar, featured resources, collection guides, blog posts about SCARC activities and collections, and more.

Collection Guides
Use this site to search our collection guides (also called finding aids) for content relevant to your research.

The Library's catalog. Rare books, collection guides, and digital resources are findable through 1Search. Limit your scope to "Special Collections and Archives" to retrieve SCARC content.

Oregon Digital
Digitized content from SCARC's collections lives in Oregon Digital. The collections are comprised of unique digitized and born-digital materials including photographs, publications, manuscripts, ephemera, and more. Under the facet "Institution" on the left side, limit your search to Oregon State University.

Media Space
Digitized audio and film materials, including sports games, oral histories, and vintage films. 

OSU's institutional repository. Members of OSU's community use this digital repository for research, scholarship, and historical records. OSU Libraries is responsible for collecting, maintaining, preserving, and providing access to the items in ScholarsArchive@OSU.

Archives West
Archives West provides access to descriptions of primary sources in the western United States, including correspondence, diaries or photographs. Digital reproductions of the materials are available in some cases.