Skip to Main Content

Oregon Food and Farming History

Archival and Manuscript Collections Related to Food Research at OSU

Dehydrated beef.  Background: 65% reduction when compressed. Foreground: small cube equals two generous servings, circa 1940.

Faculty Papers:

James Baggett Papers, 1948-2000

The James R. Baggett Papers consist of materials generated or assembled by Baggett documenting his research in vegetable breeding and genetics and the development of new vegetable varieties and breeding lines. The Papers include article reprints and publications; progress reports to the Oregon Processed Vegetable Commission; meeting minutes, project proposals, progress reports and correspondence pertaining to several regional and Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station breeding projects; variety release proposals to the Agricultural Experiment Station and release announcements; meeting minutes, project proposals, progress reports, and correspondence of the Northwest Food Processor's Association's Processors Research Committee, which funded much of Baggett's research; and photographs.

Lawrence A. Burt Papers, 1974-2009

The Lawrence A. Burt Papers document the teaching, extension, and publishing activities of Burt during his 30 years as a faculty member in Agricultural and Resource Economics and Extension Economist at Oregon State University from 1979 to 2009. Burt's work focused on agribusiness management, marketing of agricultural products, farm management and agricultural finance as well as the management and dissemination of economic data pertaining to agricultural crops and products. 

John C. Burtner Papers, 1926-1950

The John C. Burtner Papers document Burtner's roles as Director of the Oregon State College News Bureau and Extension Service Editor and include correspondence and related materials. 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. The bulk of the materials were generated or assembled during or immediately following World War II and document the impact of the war on Oregon State College. 

Joseph S. Butts Papers, 1931-1971

The Joseph S. Butts Papers consist of research data, laboratory notebooks, and reprints of scientific publications documenting the biochemistry and agricultural chemistry research of Butts as a graduate student and professor at the University of Southern California in the 1930s and as a faculty member at Oregon State College. The collection also includes Vitamin E analysis' in 1955, research on spring wheat (project 315) in 1956-1957, and research data for crop and feed analysis' in 1945-1955.

Helen Cowgill Papers, 1914-1956

The Cowgill Papers consist of 4-H circulars written by Helen Cowgill, family history information, and a diary of her 4-H work during the 1910s with women and young girls throughout Oregon.

William A. Frazier Papers, 1918-1996

The William A. Frazier Papers consist of records that document Frazier's career and activities pertaining to horticultural studies and instruction.

Godfrey R. Hoerner Papers, 1895-1959

Godfrey R. Hoerner earned his degree from Oregon Agricultural College in 1916 and was a faculty member at Oregon State College from 1931 to 1959. The Godfrey R. Hoerner Papers consists of photographs, news clippings, and publications from Hoerner's student years at Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Minnesota, as Oregon State College's Extension Specialist for Hop Production, and during his four-year tenure working at the Kasetsart University in Thailand.

Series 2 includes photographs showing Hoerner as a speaker at brewing conventions and in hop fields; USDA displays in Oregon, New York, and Illinois; and group portraits from brewing conventions in Oregon. Also included are news clippings and other publications such as the 1952 Yakima Golding Hop Farms (illustrated presentation of hop farming) and 1955 Hop Reporter by John Haas, and the 1953 The Brewers Digest: 20 Years of Brewing Progress 1933-1953 (issue commemorating the 20th anniversary of repeal). Clippings include hop prices from 1920 and the 1956 Oregonian Blitz-Weinhard 100th Anniversary Edition: A Century of Brewing in Oregon.

Ava Milam Clark Papers, 1856-1972

The Ava Milam Clark Papers document Clark's career in the field of home economics, her role as Dean of Home Economics at Oregon State College from 1917 to 1950, and her international activities as a consultant to home economics programs in China, Japan, Korea, Iraq, and Syria. Series 4 of the collection is comprised of notes, drafts, and source materials related to Ava Milam Clark's autobiography, Adventures of a Home Economist, published in 1968 by Oregon State University Press. With co-writer J. Kenneth Munford, Ava Milam Clark wrote a compelling and detailed autobiography including excerpts from her "diary letters" of travel and other extensive documentation. The source materials in these files are comprised of correspondence, clippings, offprints, notes, newspapers, publications, transcripts, and other original documentation from the time period of the relevant chapter.

Harry S. Nakaue Papers, 1975-1997

The Harry S. Nakaue Papers consist of materials relating to Nakaue's teaching career as a poultry science professor at Oregon State University. The collection includes correspondence research proposals and data on chicken broilers and layers, turkeys and other types of poultry. Also included are lecture notes from courses taught by Nakaue, research, syllabi, course outlines, scientific meeting and presentation slides, photos of Nakaue and publications. 

George W. Varseveld Papers, 1948-1994

The George W. Varseveld Papers document Varseveld's food science research at Oregon State University which focused on harvesting and processing of fruits and vegetables. Varseveld earned an MS in Food Science from Oregon State College in 1953 and was a research food scientist and faculty member at Oregon State University from 1963 until 1989. The collection includes 1086 photographs. 

Melvin N. Westwood Papers, 1894-2005Mel Westwood examining the abundance of normal-sized fruit on his mini-trees, ca. 1972.

The Melvin N. Westwood Papers consist of materials generated and collected by Westwood documenting his research. The papers primarily document Westwood's research on tree fruits (primarily pears, apples, prunes, and peaches) and include summary reports compiled by Westwood of fruit research done in Oregon.

Department Records:

Agricultural and Resource Economics Department Photographs, 1925-1979

The Agricultural and Resource Economics Department Photographs consist of images taken by Oregon State College County Agents, Farm Management Department faculty and staff, and Agricultural Economics Department faculty. The photographs depict agriculture in Oregon, including livestock, equipment, and crop fields. Additional images document damage caused by the 1945/1946 Willamette River flood, pasture scenes, operations of the Duckwall Fruit Processing Plant, and fruit harvesting and processing in Wenatchee Valley, Washington.

Agricultural and Resource Economics Department Records, 1909-2008

The Agricultural and Resource Economics Department Records document research, teaching, and extension activities in agricultural economics and farm management at Oregon State University and provide extensive documentation of the economics of Oregon agriculture. The records include administrative materials, speeches and presentations, reports and original data for studies conducted by department faculty, records of the Western Rural Development Center, and extensive economic and statistical data on agriculture in Oregon assembled by the Oregon Agricultural Information Network (OAIN).

Of note in this collection are Field Reports and Surveys from 1931-1959 [identified as Series 2 on microfilm].

Animal Sciences Department Records, 1879-2011

The Animal Sciences Department Records contain a variety of materials related to the department including property data as well as a log book documenting Oregon Agricultural College's dairy cow herd. Also included are photographs taken by Department of Animal Husbandry faculty that depict various sheep farms throughout Oregon.

Chemical Engineering Department Records, 1933-1976

The Chemical Engineering Department Records document the teaching and research activities of the department. Chemical engineering faculty are also involved in research to develop new technologies critical to Northwest industries such as electronics materials processing, forest products, and food science.

College of Agricultural Sciences Photographs, 1892-2001

The College of Agricultural Sciences Photographs were taken or assembled by College staff and faculty to document the Oregon State University's academic and research programs in agriculture; Branch Experiment Stations in Oregon; faculty, students, and alumni; international programs; and special events, conferences, and workshops. The bulk of the images are b/w prints and color slides; the collection also includes nitrate and glass negatives; some film negatives; and a few color prints.

College of Agricultural Sciences Records, 1895-1999

The College of Agricultural Sciences records document teaching, research (through the Agricultural Experiment Station), and extension programs in agriculture at Oregon State University. The records consist predominantly of the materials generated or assembled by the Dean's Office and reflect the relationships between the College and federal and state agencies and the significant role of the College in Oregon agriculture.

Of note in this collection are materials related to the departments of Animal Husbandry (now Animal Science), Farm Crops (now Farm Science), and Farm Service.

College of Home Economics and Education Records, 1913-2000

In addition to documenting administrative aspects of the College such as curriculum development, committee work, and funding, these records also highlight faculty and student research, programs in home economics at other colleges and universities, professional home economics organizations, updates on alumni, and the accreditation of the college. 

A couple things of note in this collection are Reports/Studies, 1924-1995, and Theses/Student Papers, 1920-1970.

Crop Science Department Records, 1925-2013Home-made crop duster on a car, Jackson County, Oregon, ca. 1936.

This large collection consists of reports, an inventory log, legal documents relating to lawsuits filed against the Oregon Foundation Seed Program, newsletters, sound recordings, videotapes, photographic slides and correspondence. Food crops research is extensive, including seed research, harvesting techniques, and maintenance. The collection is unprocessed; a full inventory is not available at this time.

Of note in this collection are materials related to farm equipment and supplies, including the Farm Seed Industry Conference and Oregon’s Farm and Mkt. Outlook dat8ing from 1965-1966.

Farm Crops Department Photographs, 1919-1960

The Farm Crops Department Photographs illustrate research activities on crops, such as grasses, and the use of agricultural machinery. The images primarily depict plants such as barnyard grass seedlings, phorium, and fescue undergoing experimentation and land under cultivation by both horse drawn and mechanical farm equipment at the Oregon Experiment Station. 

Food Science and Technology Department Photographs, 1900-1963

The Food Science and Technology Department Photographs contain over 700 photos depicting the department's food processing and canning laboratories and equipment; research and testing activities of the department; faculty and students; and commercial food packing and processing facilities and equipment throughout Oregon. 

Several things of note in this collection are photographs of food production equipment and machinery as well as interior and exterior views of packing and processing facilities.  Including dehydrator plants and works at several locations in Oregon, including Chehalem, Corvallis, Dayton, Dundee, Newberg, Salem, and Yamhill.  Along with food equipment and facilities related to canneries, driers, and packers; food technology faculty and students, especially Ernest Wiegand; participants in short course for canners for frozen food packers. Various experiments and testing projects undertaken by the department, including berry freezing and canning and dehydration of various food projects, are depicted.

Food Science and Technology Department Records, 1924-2006

The Food Science and Technology Department Records document the instruction, research, and extension programs and include correspondence, research files, minutes, day files, travel reports, grants and awards information, Extension Station reports, and Seafoods Lab reports. Series I: General Office Files contains numerous files related to partner companies, food flavor and irradiation studies, and related food industries nationally and in the Pacific Northwest.

Several things of note in this collection are a microfilmed copy of History of Food Technology from 1940-1963, Faculty Members Files from 1954-1973, and Research Reports regarding a wide variety of food research done at OSU.

Horticulture Department Records, 1908-1994

The Horticulture Department Records document the teaching, research, and extension activities in horticulture at Oregon State University and consist primarily of correspondence, reports, and administrative records. In addition to curriculum and instruction, the records document research and extension programs pertaining to fruits and nuts, vegetable crops, nurseries and ornamental plants, Christmas trees, and weed control. Interactions between the Horticulture Department and Oregon commodity commissions for strawberries, caneberries, sweet cherries, filberts, and other products are documented.

Nutrition and Food Management Department Records,1930-2002

The Nutrition and Food Management Department Records consist of nutrition research data, review reports, meeting minutes and reprints of journal articles. The collection includes nutrition research records pertaining to various projects supervised by Margaret Fincke and Clara Storvick, including vitamin B-6 and child nutrition studies (project 153) amongst other. This is an unprocessed collection; a full inventory is not available at this time.

Oregon State University Extension Service Faculty and Staff Oral History Collection

In anticipation of its centennial in 2011, the Oregon State University Extension Service interviewed several of its emeritus faculty in 2007, 2008, and 2009. These interviews help to tell the story of Extension in Oregon over a fifty-year period following World War II, and cover topics including agriculture, 4-H, home economics, energy, community development, Sea Grant, communications, administration, and support. The interviewees who are included in the collection that is presented here are: Roberta Anderson, Len Calvert, Dean Frischknecht, John Hansen, Bob Jacobson, Duane Johnson, Alberta Johnston, Harold Kerr, Glenn Klein, Linda Modrell, Owen Osborne, Jack Ross, Jane Schroeder, Walt and Sally Schroeder, Greg Tillson, and Tom Zinn.

Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection, ca. 1860-present

The Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection containing items of interest about Oregon State University and to a lesser extent, the city of Corvallis, and the state of Oregon. The Memorabilia Collection includes information about Oregon State University buildings and campus development; academic departments and programs; research, extension, and outreach; faculty, staff, and alumni; student organizations; intercollegiate and intramural athletics; and other campus events, activities, and issues. 

Several things of note in this collection are relate to OSU research conducted at the  Food Innovation Center, by the Department of Food Science and Technology, the Food Toxicology and Nutrition Laboratory, and the Symposium on Foods.  

Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Collection, 2013-2017Hands full of strawberries

The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Collection documents the history, culture and ambition of Oregon State University through interviews with alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, current students and supporters. Most of the items held in the collection take the form of life history interviews, their sole common thread being a given interviewee's association, past or present, with Oregon State University. A total of 243 interviews were conducted for the project, summing to more than 350 hours of recording time. The contents of this collection are available online through a dedicated web portal.

Patent Committee Records, 1917-1963

The Patent Committee Records document the development and management of patent policy for Oregon State University and include correspondence, reference materials, committee minutes, documents about specific inventions and patent investigations, reports, and patents and patent applications. The Patent Committee was established at Oregon State College in the late 1940s.

Several things of note in this collection are materials relating to patents, such as:

  • Maraschino Cherry, 1951-1952
  • H.Y. Yang - Vitamin K as a Food Preservative, 1958
  • Andrea Mackey and Barbara Robins - Yeast Ready-Mix, 1953-1954
  • Slabaugh - American Can Company, 1954-1955
  • Animal Feeds, 1952
  • E.W. Harvey - Canned Crab, 1952-1953

Food Research in the Main Collection

Searching the Main Collection through the library catalog is extremely beneficial for sources. Though the terms and searches may not be obvious in the beginning, the deeper you dig, the better the finds! It's also important to note that there is a plethora of sources in the Special Collections and Archives regarding Farming and Agriculture at OSU, and there's a potential for the sources you do find in 1Search may actually be from Special Collections and Archives.  If you're unsure where to go to find a specific resource, don't be afraid to ask a librarian for research tips.

Some key terms to use for materials related to Research at OSU:

Food Research in History of OSU Book Collection

Oregon State University (and Oregon State College and Oregon Agricultural College before that) has a long history of innovation and research in food technology and development. This legacy is documented in the History of Oregon State University Book Collection, through Extension publications, published research articles, and more. To find these items, combine "History of Oregon State University Collection" with one of these keywords:

Food Research in ScholarsArchive@OSU

Relation of fresh fruit quality factors to the canning quality of the Italian pruneScholarsArchive@OSU is Oregon State University's digital service for gathering, indexing, making available and storing the scholarly work of the Oregon State University community, including theses and dissertations. It also includes materials from outside the institution in support of the university's land, sun, sea and space grant missions and other research interests.

Some key terms to consider when searching ScholarsArchive:

*The more specific your search is in ScholarsArchive, the better the result. Adjusting the filters in the left-hand column can help with this!

Food Research on MediaSpace

OSU MediaSpace is where the OSU community can post recordings, most of which are recent recordings of lectures. classes, or events.  

SCARC's presence on Media Space consists largely of oral history interviews, digitized copies of SCARC films, and presentations hosted by SCARC.

Some keywords to to search include:

Current Research at OSU

Grass seed plants being examined, 1960.As an agricultural college, Oregon State has always been, and still is, rooted in the agriculture of the State of Oregon and the rest of country and world.  For more information on current research at OSU check out: