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Archivists are the professionals who specialize in archives management. Archives are records of the human experience that may include textual documents, photographs, video and sound recordings, and increasingly, digital records. Archivists are educated and trained to collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to these important materials so that we can develop a more complete historical record. Through archival materials, we can explore and learn from the past as we work toward creating a more inclusive and socially just future.
About about the OMA
In 2005, the Oregon State University Libraries (OSUL) established the Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA) to highlight multicultural collections already held in the OSUL Archives, to serve as a digital resource linking researchers to other institutions or organizations with multicultural archival collections, and to build an archive with records that document African American, Asian American, Latino/a and Native American communities to reflect how they have contributed to the identity of the state of Oregon.
The mission of the OMA is to assist in preserving the histories and sharing the stories that document Oregon's African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American communities.
The Oregon Multicultural Archives advances scholarship in ethnic studies and racial diversity both on the Oregon State University campus as well as on a state and regional level. The OMA helps to strengthens the university’s core value of diversity, which enhances OSU's "teaching, scholarship, and service as well as our ability to welcome, respect, and interact with other people" (OSU Strategic Plan).
Be sure to visit the OMA Blog for up-to-date information regarding current projects, new collections, recently digitized materials, and much more!
Oregon Multicultural Archivist
Mailing and Shipping Address
Oregon Multicultural Archives
121 Valley Library
Corvallis, OR 97331–4501
Physical Location and Open Times
The OMA is located in Corvallis, Oregon, and is a part of the Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Researcher Center (SCARC). The physical collections are housed in SCARC and are open to the public; however, they are intellectually separate from other SCARC collections and can be accessed through this website.
The collections within the OMA are open for research during the same time as SCARC, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. On occasion we are closed to the public and the best way to know our up-to-date hours is by checking the SCARC website’s “upcoming events” section on the homepage. That will list our closing times for each day, if applicable.
This article, co-authored by Anne Bahde, Tiah Edmunson-Morton, and Natalia Fernández, is published in Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues. The three curators discuss how their exhibit curation work fulfills the ideals of a land-grant university - public education, scientific research and direct engagement with the citizens of the state - through three case studies on exhibit collaborations. By examining lessons learned from their collaborations with students and faculty, campus organizations and community groups, the authors offer suggestions for navigating exhibit partnerships and planning for future collaborations.The third case study in the article “Case study 3: Partnership with community organizations” features the OMA’s collaboration with two performing arts organizations, Milagro Theatre and the Obo Addy Legacy Project, to curate the 2014 exhibit “Applause!”
In honor of the bilingualism featured in many of Milagro’s plays, the OE entry is available in both English and Spanish (the first entry of its kind in the OE). The entry includes a brief history of the organization, along with information about its current endeavors.
In recent years, more and more communities, including colleges and universities, across the United States are challenging the existence of memorials associated with the Confederacy and white supremacy. Archivists and special collections librarians are often called upon to provide historical context, and have the opportunity to engage their communities in productive and transformative discourses. As a case study, readers will learn about the Building and Places Names Evaluation process at Oregon State University; the process which included developing evaluation criteria, providing historical research assistance to scholars, designing a community engagement plan, and implementing a renaming process. Readers will be able to adapt the information learned to achieve successful evaluation processes within their own communities.
In 2015 the OMA began the oral history project Latinos en Oregón to document the stories of Oregon’s Latino/a communities. This article details the project’s beginnings and partners, as well as the geographic regions reached so far. The bulk of the article focuses on the OMA collaboration with the Canby Public Library on a spring 2016 mini-oral history project as part of Latinos en Oregón. The article explains how the relationship began thanks to the opportunity for the OMA to give a presentation at a REFORMA OR meeting earlier that year. It details of the Canby Public Library partnership with the OMA and its results. In addition, the article highlights how beneficial it is to have the REFORMA OR network and such a great group of active members. The article concludes with future project plans along with a call for other libraries to join in on the opportunity for collaborative story gathering through the Latinos en Oregón project.
When multicultural educators and archivists collaborate to design projects that engage students with multicultural history through archival research, students can learn in-depth research skills with primary source documents, creatively share their knowledge, and, on a broader level, engage with their local community history. The projects shared in this article serve as examples of how partnerships between multicultural educators and archivists can occur, the types of projects that can be developed and how they are implemented, and students' responses to their work. The three student projects, including a display, a history guidebook, and an oral history project, are intended to offer a variety of ideas to inspire multicultural educators to reach out to their local archivists to develop archival research projects of their own. And, to promote effective and fruitful partnerships, also included are lessons learned as well as tips for successful collaborations between multicultural educators and archivists.
With an Oregon State University 2015 Individual Learning Innovation Grant, the OMA worked with several students to create two iBooks featuring the Obo Addy Legacy Project and Milagro archival collections. The Milagro theatre and Obo Addy Legacy Project are two Portland based performing arts groups – a Latino based theatre and Ghanaian music and dance group. The article discusses the iBooks projects, lessons learned, and future plans. It also covers the overall process of building relationships with both groups, making the archival collections accessible, and curating a physical exhibit.
Collaborations between tribal and nontribal organizations bring diverse communities together, often for the first time, to educate and learn, to address misinterpretations of the past, and to share cultural resources and knowledge. By examining data obtained through a nationally distributed survey, this research explores how successful partnerships between tribal and non-tribal institutions are initiated, developed, and maintained; examines the degree to which the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials were used in the development of policies, procedures, and memorandums of understanding; and reveals the “lessons learned” across a wide range of collaborative projects and partnerships. This overview of collaborative models is intended to offer best practices for both tribal and nontribal organizations interested in sharing useful skills, knowledge, and resources through partnerships.
In 2012 Oregon State University hosted the Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (OTAI), a week long archival education training opportunity specifically designed for Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. This article describes the OTAI project development, organization, and implementation. The authors offer various lessons learned that can be applied by others who wish to offer a similar archival education institute.
This article describes a library project with Oregon State University's Cultural Resource Centers' library collections.
This article is a case study of a collaboration between the OMA, Portland State University Library's Special Collections, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), and the Northwest News Network to preserve and make accessible a recovered box of Oregon Chinese disinterment documents. By examining what influenced and engaged each partner, this case study offers an opportunity to better understand the motivations of diverse stakeholders in a “postcustodial era” project that challenges traditional practices of custody, control, and access.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Oregon, the Oregon Historical Quarterly published a special issue regarding Women and Citizenship in Oregon in Fall 2012. The OMA is included in this issue with an article which discusses the herstories and collections of Annabelle Jaramillo, Jean Moule, and the women of the Urban League of Portland.
In Fall 2012, the Oregon Library Association Quarterly published an issue highlighting a number of Oregon's cultural history and the archives that preserve that history and make it accessible; the OMA article briefly covers the history of the Bracero Program and highlights the Braceros in Oregon Photogtraph Colleciton.
A brief article regarding the Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (TAI) published in the The Northwest Archivists Newsletter Easy Access in November 2012 (pages 8 and 25). Check out the TAI website for more information about the project which was dedicated to assisting Oregon's nine federally recognized tribes with their archives and records management needs.
The story of organizing the event "Glory Road and the Desegregation of College Basketball: the Untold Story at Oregon State University" a panel presentation hosted in the Spring of 2011. The article was published in the The Northwest Archivists Newsletter Easy Access in October 2011 (page 5).