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Oregon Food and Farming History

Archival and Manuscript Collections Related to Food Research at OSU

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.

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.

Crop Science Department Records, 1925-2013

This large collection consists of reports, an inventory log, legal documents, 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.

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:

  • Series IV: Food Technology Production Equipment and Machinery, circa 1900-1940
    • Series IV consists of photographs of food production equipment and machinery as well as interior and exterior views of packing and processing facilities. Images of equipment in the Food Industries Laboratory at Oregon State are also included.
  • Series VIII: Dehydrator Plants and Works, circa 1917
    • The images in Series VIII depict dehydrator plants and works at several locations in Oregon, including Chehalem, Corvallis, Dayton, Dundee, Newberg, Salem, and Yamhill. The photographs include interior and exterior views. 
  • Series X: Food Processing Equipment and Facilities, Faculty, and Students, 1914-1963
    • Series X comprises the bulk of the collection and includes images of food equipment and facilities, including 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:

  • Series I: General Office Files, 1939-ca.1998
    • Reel 1 Folder 3: History of Food Technology, 1940-1963
  • Series II: Faculty Members Files, 1954-1973
  • Series VI: Research Reports, 1924-ca.1998
    • There are several reports in this series regarding a wide variety of food research done at OSU.

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.

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:

  • Series III: Reports/Studies, 1924-1995
  • Series X: Theses/Student Papers, 1920-1970

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:

  • Series III: Patents, Patent Investigations, and Patent Agreements, 1951-1958
    • ​Box-Folder 1.15: Maraschino Cherry, 1951-1952
    • Box-Folder 1.16: H.Y. Yang - Vitamin K as a Food Preservative, 1958
    • Box-Folder 1.17: Andrea Mackey and Barbara Robins - Yeast Ready-Mix, 1953-1954
    • Box-Folder 1.27: Slabaugh - American Can Company, 1954-1955
    • Box-Folder 1.28: Animal Feeds, 1952
    • Box-Folder 1.30: E.W. Harvey - Canned Crab, 1952-1953

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:

  • Box-Folder 68.10: Food Innovation Center, 1997-2009; Newspaper clippings, Oregon Stater article
  • Box-Folder 68.11: Food Processing Industry, 2001; Newspaper clippings
  • Box-Folder 68.12-68.13: Food Science and Technology, Dept. of, 1940-2008; Newspaper clippings, correspondence, alumni listings, informational brochures, reports, newsletters
  • Box-Folder 68.14: Food Science and Technology, Dept. of - History, 1961-1982; History of department 
  • Box-Folder 68.17: Food Toxicology and Nutrition Laboratory, 2003-2004; Newspaper clippings
  • Box-Folder 68.19: Foods, Symposium on, 1959-1963; Symposium programs

*Also search the finding aid for specific foods, such as "cherry" or "apple."

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. 

 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.

Experiment Station Publications Photographic Collection, 1949-1979

The Experiment Station Publications Photographic Collection document Agricultural Experiment Station research in Corvallis and at Branch Stations throughout Oregon. Series 9 and Series 17: Food Technology pertain to these activities at OSU. Subjects include Station personnel; Branch station and campus buildings and research facilities; and research projects in agricultural chemistry, agricultural engineering, animal sciences, dairy husbandry, entomology, crop and soil science, fisheries and wildlife, food technology, horticulture, irrigation, microbiology, nutrition, poultry science, and vegetable crops.

Several things of note in this collection are: 

  • Series VI: Vegetable Crops
    • This series of photographs document the various vegetables that were developed by horticulturists.
  • Series IX: Food Technology
    • Showcased in this small collection are various OSU scientists examining foods that have been experimented on.
  • Series XII: Poultry Science
    • The series of photographs features various images regarding poultry diseases and egg production.

Agricultural Experiment Station Records, 1889-2002

The Food Science and Technology Department Photographs depict 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. Of particular interest is Subgroup 3, Series VIII which includes information on new crop varieties developed and released by Oregon State University since 1949.

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.

  • Series I: General Reference File, 1930-1966
    • Reel-Folder 5.30: Food Technology Research, 1955

Melvin N. Westwood Papers, 1894-2005

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.

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.

History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings, 1956-2012

The History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings consist predominantly of oral histories conducted in 1956 by Lillian Van Loan for her doctoral dissertation on the history of Oregon State College and subsequent interviews done by Ilona Fry in 1980 on the development of liberal arts at Oregon State University.

Some oral histories of note:

  • Series 1: Transcripts, 1956-2012
    • Box-Folder 1.2: Clark, Ava B. Milam, July 12, 1956
    • Box-Folder 1.3: Bouquet, Arthur G., November 13, 1956

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

ScholarsArchive@OSU is Oregon State University's digital service for gathering, indexing, making available and storing the scholarly work of the Oregon State University community. 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 use for Food Research:

Food Research in the Main Collection

Searching the Main Collection of the library is extremely beneficial for sources. Though the terms and searches may not be painfully 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 Food Research at OSU, and there's a potential for the sources you do find in 1Search may actually be from Special Collections and Archives. However, this shouldn't deter you! If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask a librarian for research tips.

Some key terms to use for Food Research: