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War in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1873-2013

This collection contains many materials related to Vietnam and the anti-war movement. An introduction to these materials is presented in the online exhibit, Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement.

Most of these materials are in Series 12: Peace. Correspondence, flyers, notes, publications, and more are covered in this series; search "Vietnam" in a control-F search.



Books: Vietnam War

Though the Special Collections and Archives Research Center does not have significant published content related to Vietnam, you can search the Library's catalog using the keyword "Vietnam" and limiting your search to the years of the war as well as slightly before and after. 

OSU's Daily Barometer

The Daily Barometer includes issues documenting the Vietnam War, and students' reaction to the conflict. Try searching more broadly for "Vietnam" and limiting the date range of your results accordingly (e.g. Student-Faculty Committee to End the War in Vietnam), or looking at the following specific keywords between 1966 and 1969:

Oct. 19, 1966, 1:8
Oct. 19, 1966, 1:8

OSU Memorabilia Collection

The OSU Memorabilia Collection includes one folder on Vietnam: Box 160.27, "Vietnam. 1965-1993": Newspaper clippings, Oregon Stater articles, listing of Oregon Dead (1969).

Oregon State University Oral Histories

SCARC's rich and varied oral history collections include a number of oral histories with Vietnam veterans, including those listed below.

  • Jack Van Loan (b. 1931) is a career military officer who graduated from Oregon State College in 1954 and was promptly commissioned into the United States Air Force. A fighter pilot, Van Loan flew both Super Sabre and the F-4 Phantom during the early years of his career. Van Loan's life changed dramatically in May 1967, when his aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam. Van Loan was promptly captured and spent the next 2,116 days - nearly six years - as a prisoner of war. He was released in March 1973 as part of Operation Homecoming and resumed his military career until retiring in 1984 with the rank of Colonel. His interview touches upon his undergraduate years at OSC, but primarily focuses on his experience of being imprisoned in the "Hanoi Hilton."“A Prisoner of War for More than Two-Thousand Days”
  • Geoffrey Brooks: Black Student Activism at Oregon State in the 1970s”  February 18, 2014  Location: Dilg residence, Portland, Oregon.  In the interview, Brooks discusses his family background and life growing up in Portland. From there he relays details of his early college experience at Pacific University, his conscription into military service during the Vietnam War and his subsequent work at Kaiser Hospital. The bulk of Brooks' interview focuses on his time as an undergraduate at Oregon State University. He reflects upon the development of his socio-political consciousness and his involvement with student activism, in particular the Black Student Union. He notes his relationship with Lonnie B. Harris, the first director of OSU's Educational Opportunities Program and a former roommate of Brooks'. He also discusses campus life, including his student jobs as radio show host and computer operations technician. Brooks concludes the interview by discussing his transition from undergraduate to teacher in the Portland Public Schools. He also shares his thoughts on the current direction of OSU and offers advice to college students today. Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)
  • Cliff Trow: “Supporting Education as a Historian and Public Servant”  December 13, 2013  Location: Trow residence, Corvallis, Oregon. In the interview, Trow lends insight into his early years in Kansas and Colorado, as well as his decision to move to Corvallis and join the OSU History faculty. He discusses his work as a history professor and reflects on important colleagues, including the famed diplomatic historian, William Appleman Williams. Trow also recounts his memories of life and change at OSU and in Corvallis, with particular attention paid to the tumult of the Vietnam War era. He likewise notes his meeting his future wife, Jo Anne Johnson, and mentions their collaborative partnership throughout the interview. Much of Trow's interview is devoted to his career in the Oregon Senate, which spanned close to three decades. In discussing this time, Trow relays details of his motivations and campaigning, as well as his accomplishments as a legislator and the changes that he observed during a long career in Salem. Particular focus is paid to the ramifications of the property tax limitation ballot measure 5, which was passed in 1990 and dealt a major blow to education funding statewide. Trow concludes the interview by mentioning several other activities that he pursued while working and in retirement. These include his association with the Oregon Great Decisions Council, which enables citizen discussion of foreign policy issues. He also shares recollections of his involvement with the OSU Press and his co-founding of the OSU Academy of Lifelong Learning. Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)
  • Michael Driscoll: “Atomic Veteran and OSU Grad”  October 9, 2013  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University. The bulk of Driscoll's interview focuses on his military service, his experience of the Dominic I nuclear test series in May 1962 and the impact that being an Atomic Veteran has made on his life. In addition, Driscoll discusses his upbringing outside of Portland; his time as an undergraduate at Oregon State during the Vietnam War era; his stint in the Peace Corps teaching mathematics in Samoa; and his long association with the Boy Scouts of America and Kiwanis Club. Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)
  • Carlton Olson and Alice Rader: “Miles of Books for Miles!”  March 20, 2014  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University. In the interview, Rader and Olson convey their memories of campus life at OSU, including their favorite professors and their recollections of the Kerr Library. They then participate in a detailed discussion of the Books for Birmingham project, including its genesis, campus support for the project, and the visit to the OSU campus of Miles College President Dr. Lucius Pitts. Rader and Olson also relay their recollections of the trip to deliver 14,000 books to the Miles College library, the warm reception that they received upon arrival, and their sense of the African American community in Birmingham during their stay. The remainder of the session focuses on subsequent activism in which Rader and Olson engaged. Topics include their involvement supporting voter registration and the Voter Rights Act; engagement with US-China friendship groups and anti-Vietnam War groups; and advocacy of Native American rights, peace in Central America and the womens movement. Olson also shares his memories of working with Students for a Democratic Society, both on the OSU campus and on the national stage, particularly during periods of mid-1960s unrest in Chicago and elsewhere. Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)