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Home Economics at Oregon State

Tips and Tricks for Navigating our Portals

Fountain in front of Kerr LibraryThere are two places you can begin your research journey through our collections: our website, and Oregon Digital (the site where we host content digitized from our archival collections). 

From our website, you can use the search box in the upper right corner to search our entire collection database - no registration or affiliation required! One thing to keep in mind as you dig into the guides to our collections: not all our collections are described with the same level of granularity. Some collections - generally those that are smaller, or contain only a single type of record (e.g. correspondence) - are described at the collection level; their guides will include a general overview of the collection’s contents, and perhaps point out some “items of note” within the collection. Some of our collections are described at the box-and-folder level, meaning that each folder in each box is described, often using the titles or descriptions supplied by the creator of the collection. Describing collections at the item level (i.e. where each item or document in each folder of a box is described individually) is fairly rare; this level of description is often reserved for photographic collections. Finally, some of our collections have been preliminarily described in what we call “preliminary container lists.” Some preliminary container lists are at the box-and-folder level, while others are at the item level. If a collection has a preliminary container list, you’ll find it by clicking on “Other Reference Guides” in the upper left hand side of the collection’s guide, and then clicking on the hyperlinked PDF file.

Here are some useful "pro tips" for navigating Oregon Digital, should you wish to do some future digging on your own as well:

  1. Be creative! If you're looking for John W. Smith, and don't find him by searching for "John W. Smith," try "Smith, John W." or even "Jon Smith." Spelling errors do happen, and you may find additional results by trying different word orders.

  2. Be sure to use quotation marks around words you want to appear together in your results. If you're interested in materials that reference or relate to the Korean War, for example, enter "Korean War" in the search box. Otherwise, your results will include all materials that reference Korean and War (e.g. Korean food, Korean peoples, Civil War, World War, etc.).

  3. Once you've run a search, you can limit your results using the drop-downs that run vertically along the left side of your results page. I find "Institution," "Type," and "Decade" to be the most useful filters, as they allow one to sort out just the materials from OSU, to sort between images and textual documents, and sort results by date, respectively.

  4. Once you click on a document from your results list, you should see an orange "pin" (or pins!) along the bottom of the document; clicking that pin will take you to where the word or phrase you searched for appears in the document.

  5. After clicking on a document or image from your results list, you can zoom in and out by hovering your cursor over the image and using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

  6. You can download anything you like from Oregon Digital by first clicking on the image or document in your results list, and then clicking on the "Download" link in the upper right corner of that item's page.