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War in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

World War II Poster Collection, 1941-1945

The World War II Poster Collection is comprised of propaganda posters generated by United States government agencies, civilian service organizations, and foreign agencies between 1941 and 1945. The collection contains numerous posters addressing U.S. war production, war bond and stamp sales, military recruiting, civil defense, civilian wartime responsibilities, and pro-U.S. propaganda.

The University of Washington's archival holdings include a substantial collection of propaganda posters from World Wars I and II. Those posters can be accessed online here: University of Washington War Posters Collection.

World War II Newsmaps, 1942-1946

The World War II Newsmaps consist of poster-size newsmaps published weekly from 1942 until 1946 to inform and motivate American military personnel. The two-sided newsmaps include maps depicting the previous week's events in the war as well as brief news items, photographs, and motivational graphics. The newsmaps were published by the U.S. Army Information Branch.

The University of North Texas' holdings include a robust collection of digitized newmaps. Those newsmaps are available online here: World War II Newsmaps.

Oregon State Yank Collection, 1942-1945

The Oregon State Yank Collection consists of correspondence received by Elaine Kollins Sewell and Jane Steagall, editors of the Oregon State Yank, from Oregon State College alumni serving in the military during World War II with reports of their service activities, family news, and news of other alumni. The correspondence consists of letters, telegrams, postcards and V-mail. Many letters contain details of soldiers' experiences in the war.

The Oregon State Yank newsletter has been digitized and is available to read in Oregon Digital. The Yanks letters themselves have also been digitized and are available upon request.

Oregon State College History of World War II Project Records, 1940-1947

The Oregon State College History of World War II Project Records document military service of Oregon State students, alumni, and faculty as well as wartime activities and programs conducted by the College. The records were assembled in the mid-1940s by a committee charged with collecting and preserving records pertaining to Oregon State College's role in World War II.

This collection has been digitized and is available upon request.

Oregon Emergency Farm Labor Service Oral History Collection, 1992

The Oregon Emergency Farm Labor Service Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted in 1992 by Oregon State University students of five individuals familiar with farm labor in Oregon during World War II.

All of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized and the resultant files are available upon patron request.

Army Specialized Training Program Records, 1943-1946

The Army Specialized Training Program Records document this World War II training program at Oregon State College. The records include time certificates and payrolls, budgets and expense accounts, and limited correspondence about the general administration of the program.

United States War Relocation Authority Reports, 1942-1946

The United States War Relocation Authority Reports are comprised of more than fifty mimeographed reports  detailing the operation of War Relocation Authority (WRA) internment camps used to house Japanese American internees during World War II. These reports analyze social, behavioral, and linguistic trends in the camps, document the traditions and customs of internees, and explore logistical issues including unrest in the camps and resettlement. The collection also includes a series of quarterly and semi-annual reports featuring detailed documentation of the activities of the WRA.

The entirety of this collection has been digitized and is available upon request.

Mildred and Frank Miles Scrapbook of the Santo Tomás Internment Camp, 1942-1947

The Mildred and Frank Miles Scrapbook of the Santo Tomás Internment Camp scrapbook includes documents and ephemera produced at Santo Tomás during the Miles' internment there, as well as materials written about the camp after liberation. Many materials document daily life in the internment camp. The Santo Tomás Internment Camp was created by the Japanese military after occupation of Manila, the capital of the Phillipines. It was located on the campus of the University of Santo Tomás in Manila, and housed over 4,000 internees for nearly the entirety of World War II.

A PDF access scan of this item is available upon patron request.

OSU Publications

A variety of university publications - including those listed below - can support research on a multitude of topics, including World War II.

  • Course Catalogs: Looking at course catalogs for the war years can show the war's effect on the campus. 
  • OSU Yearbooks: These can also show how the campus was affected during the war years.
  • The Daily Barometer: The school newspaper has many pieces on OAC students and activities surrounding the war.
  • Annual Reports: These summarize the activities of OAC during each year of the war.

Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection, 1994-2008

The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection (OH 15) consists of digital recordings of oral history interviews of Japanese Americans living in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, and the vicinity. These oral histories document the immigrant experiences of the interviewees' parents and grandparents; the World War II experiences of the interviewees in internment camps; and their lives in Eugene and neighboring communities in the years following the war.

All the interviews in the collection have been digitized and made available online.

Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection, ca. 1860-present

The OSU Memorabilia Collection includes files for Air Raid (Box-folder 6.5 and 172.1), World War II (Box-Folder 167.3, Box-Folder 177.15, Box-Folder 181.33, Box-Folder 184.46), Faculty War Service (Box-Folder 66.5), Memorials (Box-Folder 106.1), Military (Box-Folder 9.7, Box-Folder 106.17, Box-Folder 164.9, Box-Folder 176.11, Box-Folder 181.2), Ration Books (Box-Folder 135.11), and more.

Camp Adair, Oregon, Maps and Aerial Photographs, 1942-1973

The Camp Adair, Oregon, Maps and Aerial Photographs Collection includes topographic maps, orthophotographs, and other maps and images documenting Camp Adair, which was located north of Corvallis, Oregon. Most of the materials in the collection were prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Camp Adair was a U.S. Army training facility during World War II.

The maps in this collection have been digitized and are available upon request.

Harriet's Photograph Collection, 1868-1996

This photograph collection includes several files related to World War II, including: image #0085 (ROTC, Army Specialized Training Program / ASTP) and image #1274 (World War II campus activities, and military activities).

Eugene Starr Papers, 1911-1988

The Eugene Starr Papers include personal correspondence and scientific reports, with a focus on his work in nuclear fission and the transmission of high-voltage electricity. As a result of his aircraft studies, Starr was enlisted by the Manhattan Project to solve the problem of static electricity build-up in uranium-producing cyclotrons. During the war years, Starr also consults for the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development.

Later a consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission, Eugene Starr was closely acquainted with the development of nuclear power from its inception. The materials in Series 3 reflect this life-long interest, and specifically detail his contacts with nuclear power interests in the Pacific Northwest. Starr's participation as a civilian observer at the first Operation Crossroads nuclear test on Bikini Atoll is also documented in this series.

Materials relating to Three Mile Island, Operation Crossroads, and the first nuclear weapons tests can be found in Box 3.022.

Beverly J. Leach Papers, 1918-1949

Beverly Jean Leach enrolled at Oregon State College (OSC) in the fall of 1943 after completing her first year of college at the Southern Oregon College of Education in Ashland. Leach attended OSC through the winter term of 1945. In August 1945, she enlisted in the Navy and, after training in New York and Washington DC, served as a Pharmacist's Mate at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington until May 1947. Leach returned to OSC in the fall of 1947 and completed her BS in General Science in June 1948. Leach was born on February 10, 1925 and graduated from high school in Medford, Oregon.

Leach's parents, Edward James Leach and Lorena Alberta Stratton, also attended Oregon State. Lorena Alberta Stratton attended Oregon Agricultural College in 1917-1919 as a student in home economics. She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on October 14, 1898 and graduated from Medford High School in 1917. Her father was an orchardist. Edward James Leach attended Oregon Agricultural College in 1918 as a participant in the Students' Army Training Corps (SATC), a World War I training program based on campus.

Arthur L. Peck Papers, 1904-1957

Arthur L. Peck Papers includes correspondence from landscape architecture students serving in war to Peck (1942-1946).

John C. Burtner Papers, 1926-1950

The John C. Burtner Papers were created and assembled by Burtner in the course of his work as Extension Service Editor and Director of the College News Bureau at Oregon State College. The Papers consist primarily of correspondence and also include employment records, meeting minutes, newsletters, and newspaper clippings. These materials document Burtner's interactions with Oregon State College administrators and staff as well as local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines; the Associated Press; advertising agencies; and professional organizations, such as the American Association of Agricultural College Editors. The records address a variety of agricultural topics as well as returning World War II veterans, the Oregon State College Public Relations Department, the Emergency Farm Labor Program during World War II, campus housing after the war, and the dismissal of Oregon State faculty member Ralph Spitzer. Also included are materials from his time in the Navy 1945-1948.

Books: History of Atomic Energy Collection

The History of Atomic Energy Collection is our largest collection related to nuclear history. Comprised of thousands of books, serials, photographs, and cultural artifacts, this collection is a major resource for research on the political, scientific, economic, technolgocial, and social issues that have characterized the nuclear age. Dating from the late 19th century to the present day, the collection contains sixteen series, including topics such as: early scientific discoveries, the Manhattan Project and World War II, military aspects of atomic energy, civil defense, nuclear testing, modern nuclear engineering, the effect of the atomic age on society and culture, biographies of key figures in nuclear history, and fiction, poetry, drama, and music related to the atomic age. It even has two Geiger counters! Board games, movie posters, and sound recordings round out this fascinating collection.

Cataloging for the collection is ongoing. Search for cataloged items via the Advanced Keyword search, or use the Control-F keyword search on the full inventory of the collection.

Maple Manor Cooperative House Records, 1940-1995

The Maple Manor Cooperative House Records document the establishment, members, and activities of this men's housing cooperative at Oregon State College and the activities of the members during and following World War II. Maple Manor was established in 1940 and operated until the spring of 1943.

James C. Howland Papers, 1860-2008

The James C. Howland Papers consist of materials generated and assembled by Howland as an Oregon State College student in the 1930s, during his military service in World War II, as an engineer and founder of CH2M, and as a community and civic leader in Corvallis, Oregon. Howland graduated from Oregon State College in 1938.

Wesley Ross Memoir of World War II, 2009

The Wesley Ross Memoir of World War II consists of personal remembrances and research conducted by Ross on the activities of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion. Ross attended Oregon State College from 1938 to 1943 and earned a BS degree in electrical engineering.

Ross's memoir has been digitized and is available upon request.

East Asia Military Deployment Photograph Album, 1941-1954

The East Asia Military Deployment Photograph Album (P 338) is composed of 66 mounted photographs, 21 loose photographs, three newspaper clippings, a Christmas card, and a leaflet. The materials document an unknown United States Marine Corp officer's experiences in East Asia and Bermuda between 1941 and 1954.

This collection has been digitized and is available upon request.

World War II Scrapbooks, 1942-1945

The World War II Scrapbooks consist of newspaper clippings collected by an unknown compiler located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The collection is comprised of 13 scrapbooks of clippings spanning the period of September 7th, 1942 through September 18th, 1945.  The majority of the clippings discuss in detail the military campaigns in the European Theater, the Mediterranean and Middle East Theater, and the Pacific Theater.  Additional articles focus on home front measures, as well as relay information about the welfare of servicemembers originally from Sioux Falls.

William Budd Matlock Papers, 1934-2003

The William Budd Matlock Papers are comprised of materials generated and collected by Oregon State College alumnus William Budd Matlock, and reflect his student experience, work as an engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, and military service during World War II. In addition to photographs, this collection contains certificates, dance cards, diplomas, coursework, employment records, military records, and artifacts.  Matlock graduated from Oregon State College with a degree in civil engineering in 1939.

Edna P. Amadon Papers, 1924-1979

The Edna P. Amidon Papers are comprised of materials relating to Amidon's efforts as an international leader in home economics. Included are materials documenting her work as Regional Agent (1929-1938) and Chief (1938-1964) of the Home Economics Education Service, particularly during the Great Depression and World War II; drafts of speeches and publications given in support of home economics; records of professional activities in Germany (1947), Sweden (1947), and France (1954); professional literature; and biographical materials.

Of particular note in relation to World War II and its aftermath is correspondence dating from 1929 to 1963 (Box-Folder 2.9), travel souvenirs from her trip to Germany in 1947 (Box-folder 4.2), and correspondence from a trip to Europe between1947 and 1951 (Box-folder 5.3)

Alpha Lambda Delta, Oregon State University Chapter Records, 1933-1999

The Alpha Lambda Delta, Oregon State University Chapter Records document the members and activities of the OSU chapter of the Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society between 1933 and 1999. The collection includes a scrapbook, meeting minutes, initiation records, annual reports, merchandise order forms, newsletters, handbooks, an organizational history, correspondence, and other administrative documents.

The scrapbook comprising Series 3 will be of particular interest for researchers interested in studying World War II, as it includes articles about activities of the organization during World War II including war bond drives and farm labor drives to assist Benton County farmers with their crops. Articles about women who worked on seed farms and hop yards and in harvesting carrots and beets are part of the scrapbook.