Friday, October 09, 2015

Position announcement: Repository Community Librarian, OHSU Library

Repository Community Librarian

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Library seeks a creative and service-oriented Repository Community Librarian. The successful candidate will have exciting opportunities to develop innovative new library services in a dynamic environment.

Reporting to the Director of Curatorial Services, the Repository Community Librarian works directly with the OHSU community to develop and deliver services in support of the library’s institutional repository initiative.   The position leads the community in developing a repository for active, local digital assets, including images, video, documents, and data. With critical responsibility for growth, relevance, sustainability, and innovation in the Library, the position dedicates significant effort to collaborative work with faculty, students, and staff, demonstrating outcomes through presentations, publications, and reports.

The position will:

Collaborate with a lively, cross-functional team to plan, implement, and evaluate a robust suite of digital repository services for OHSU. Play a key role in researching, testing, recommending, and implementing new technologies

Create and teach classes, workshops, and instruction sessions for the OHSU community on repository services and procedures; provide ongoing, customized consultation, training, and support to users

Develop an engaged, collaborative community around institutional digital assets; work with the OHSU community to develop shared digital asset collections

Lead ongoing, regular assessment of repository services and technologies; work with library and external staff to identify and prioritize support needs and systems improvements

Maintain and promote awareness of standards, trends, and best practices in digital assets management and institutional repositories. Participate in regional, national, and international discourse

Establish procedures and workflows for selection, intake, and access to institutional digital assets

Establish and maintain institutional guidelines for describing, managing, and delivering digital assets; ensure compliance with HIPAA, FERPA, and local information policies

The Repository Community Librarian fosters a culture of productivity, knowledge sharing, and user orientation. As a member of the Library Faculty, the position participates in planning, policy formation, and decision-making relating to library services, collections, and technologies.  This position requires scholarship and service that contributes to the effectiveness of the Library, the University, and the profession.

Position Conditions/Qualifications:

Advanced degree in library and information science, computer science, or another relevant discipline

Minimum of two years of direct experience with complex digital asset management projects, preferably in an academic or health sciences setting

Experience with reference, training, teaching, instruction, or equivalent front-line services

Demonstrated success in managing projects for cross-functional teams; ability to collaborate with people in libraries, IT, health sciences research and education, and creative fields

Strong service orientation; ability to judiciously and diplomatically interpret policies and guidelines in a service setting

Knowledge of user experience principles and best practices

Outstanding analytical, writing, interpersonal, and organizational skills; ability to represent the library effectively and positively to diverse audiences

Demonstrated experience with relevant technical and descriptive standards; knowledge of emerging standards; ability to use judgment in interpreting and applying standards

Familiarity with HIPAA, FERPA, and other regulations as they apply to electronic records and digital assets; ability to manage sensitive materials by balancing access and legal requirements

Extensive knowledge of institutional repository technologies, standards, and best practices

Demonstrated ability to contribute service and scholarship to the profession

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience collaborating with academic faculty, staff, and students

Experience applying HIPAA and/or FERPA principles to complex digital asset management projects

Extensive knowledge of trends in scholarly communications, intellectual property, research data management, and digital archives

Experience with electronic records management

The Institution: Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center and is made up of the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Nursing; College of Pharmacy; numerous Centers and Institutes; OHSU Healthcare; and related programs. The OHSU Library, the largest health sciences library in Oregon, serves the faculty, staff, and students of OHSU, as well as health professionals and residents of the State of Oregon.

Rank and Salary: This is a faculty position at the level of Assistant Professor. Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, minimum $50,000.

Applications: To apply please visit<> and search for IRC49894. Applications should include a resume, a letter of introduction, and contact information for three references. Screening of applications will commence immediately and continue until filled.

OHSU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. Applicants with disabilities can request reasonable accommodation by contacting the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Oregon Archives Month Event (Crawl) 2015 recap

Dear Constant Reader,
I know you've been following our activities and thus you made your way on October 3rd to the centrally-located City of Portland Archives and Records Center for the 2015 Oregon Archives Month Event (a re-imagining of the Crawl event held from 2010 -2012 and again in 2014).  Since this is undoubtedly the case, you may skip this recap of the event.  But perhaps, the event was too exciting and some of the details were missed in the ecstasy of investigation, learning and fun.  Therefore, we at HC&A propose to provide a report of our activities in case the minutia were not recorded in the frenzy of joy and activity that surrounds the gatherings of archivists.  I'd like to start this party with a few words on the history of the Crawl and about how the event supports advocacy for archival missions with a hat-tip to some of the materials we displayed.  In the second half Meg Langford, our Public Services Coordinator, will discuss the ways these events support our outreach mission.

To get the ball rolling I'd like to talk about how this event has grown throughout the years and how archival advocacy plays a strong role in the rationale for putting together this opportunity to gather and show off our typically locked-away materials.  In 2010 members of the Portland Area Archivists decided to host an archives-crawl.  The group spent time determining how the crawl would work, who would host who and what the major areas of professional engagement would be.  It was decided that 4 member institutions would host a number of smaller organizations within their walls to increase the density of primary resources at each location.  This would drive the desire for participants to brave the October sunshine and visit each one of the locations.  We provided a passport which participants would stamp at each location and turn in for a prize at the end of the day.  The passport also included a map, which kept participants engaged in getting to the next location.  That first year we had a volunteer (yours truly) at the Saturday PSU Farmer's Market to promote the event and on the day of to help steer participants to various locations.  In the second year we expanded our media blitz and created consistent signage that assisted participants in finding locations (it wouldn't be an archival event if you didn't have to search for something, right).  For the third year we created committees to oversee the various aspects of putting the Crawl together and had a raucous after party (there ARE pictures, but you'll never see them).

We took a break in 2013 to catch our breath and reconfigure.  In 2014 the Crawl was back on and included 3 of the 4 original host institutions and again was a great success.  2014 saw the first display of the North Pacific Dental School skull, which is a lightning rod for "ooohs" and "ahhs," as well an excellent conversation starter--"Did you see PSU's building models?  Cool, we have a skull."

For 2015 OHSU HC&A was invited to participate in an Archives Month Event in which the City of Portland Archives and Records Center hosted a number of organizations under one roof.  While not technically a "crawl" in the literal sense, this had all the rapture and serious engagement we have come to expect from events in which archivists emerge from their hallowed stacks and gather to chat about who we are, what we do, what we preserve and provide access to, and how to get in touch with us when you want to research . . . well . . . anything.

From the advocacy standpoint, it really helps to give the public a clear idea of what types of materials we maintain and that we do so following strict professional guidelines.  This reinforces the need, dare I say "critical need" for archives to remain relevant in the popular mind.  In many cases the budget of an archival institution is at the mercy of administrators who are looking at the return on investment, or at the very least to see how well the archives functions to support wither the institution of the public.  In either case showing our relevance is a way of engaging that area of advocacy as it reminds potential patrons as well as institutional stakeholders that people engage archives from a wide variety of standpoints including wanting to learn more about the history and development of an institution (or in our case, the history and development of higher education in North America); people wanting to conduct genealogical research, or scientists researching legacy data, or historians researching social history vis-a-vis the records of institutions who were involved in various aspects of the social world.

Closely related to this mission is the mission of outreach.  For this I'm passing the keyboard to Meg...
Max and I exhibiting the ABCs of archives outreach:
Always Be Communicating the research possibilities of your collections!
Photo: Brian Johnson, City of Portland Archives and Records Center.
Meg here! One thing you'll notice about all of the photos from the Archives Month celebration is that we're all talking... in every. single. picture. That's a big part of the festivities, and one of the reasons, I think, that the event is so successful.
...Or maybe as Max might put it, Always Be Advocating (nb: appearance of supplicating hands merely coincidental). Photo: Brian Johnson, City of Portland Archives and Records Center.
This is definitely not the kind of event where one packs up some materials, arranges them on a table, and then sits back quietly to make sure no one tries to make off with one of the Victorian scalpels (although we are monitoring that, too!). We planned our materials so that we'd have LOTS to discuss with folks. We brought not only our brochures, bookmarks, and cards, but also a whole host of items from our Big Three of collection materials: archives, rare books, and artifacts. Our HC&A-to-go kit included:
  • A surgical kit owned by Dr. Cusick, one of the first three graduates of University of Oregon Medical School and one-time member of the Oregon State Legislature
  • The aforementioned skull signed by North Pacific Dental School students
  • A corrosion cast heart (a.k.a. the heartifact)
  • A late 19th c. stomach pump
  • A late 19th c. cupping set, with handy scarifier (a.k.a. artificial leech)
  • Aerial images of campus, 1920-1999
  • Samples from our LSTA project: a scan of the original Record of Deaths document, and an example of the extracted data

Maija wowing the crowd with explanations of our artifacts.
Photo: Brian Johnson, City of Portland Archives and Records Center.

As you can imagine, this kept us talking! Our main goals at an event like this are to share the kinds of collections we have, talk about what kinds of research we support, and just generally answer questions and be friendly representatives of OHSU and our department. This part is really essential -- We're excited about the research people use our materials for and the projects we're working on to expand our reach, and we want to share our services with you!

If you're thinking to yourself, "this sounds like one of those politicians-kissing-babies public events," you're partially right... I'll close with a photo of Max holding one very adorable baby/budding archivist/friend of HC&A:
Alternative blog post title: "New Accessions: A human child!"
Photo: Brian Johnson, City of Portland Archives and Records Center.
-- Meg

Thursday, October 01, 2015

New Accessions: Dr. Marcus Horenstein Artifact Collection

I  recently acquired a very unique artifact collection, donated to us by the family of Dr. Marcus Horenstein.  Dr. Horenstein is a University of Oregon Medical School alumn, class of 1941.

Graduate Class photo, 1941
According to a few online medical practice profiles, Dr. Horenstein has been practicing medicine for 74 years and was an internist while he practiced.  The materials we acquired include 3 microscopes, 5 hydrometers and a wide variety of microscope pieces, such as filters, extra lenses, and replacement parts.

Bausch & Lomb; Tiyoda; and Zeiss

Profile view, same order as above
The bulk of the materials are the three microscopes and their attachments.  These are like the best-of-the-best of microscope history including a Tiyoda, Carl Zeiss Nr. 261031, and a Bausch & Lomb.  The Tiyoda looks like a pre-1950’s version, and came with the wooden storage case.  The Zeiss microscope appears to be the 1933 version which is famous for including the L-stand which had just become standard in microscope construction.  The Bausch & Lomb one is giving me a tougher time in identifying the year.  I want to say it is in the 1950’s range – but it’s hard to determine.  If anyone has any ideas, feel free to send them my way!
Polaroid, Microscope Polarizing Set No. 75

Lenses for the Zeiss

Spare parts for the Zeiss

In addition to the great microscopes and their attendant parts, we also received our first donation of hydrometers.  These hydrometers are from the 1st half of the 20th-century (sorry, couldn’t get any closer than that initially) and were used for measuring the density of fluid compared to water.  The hydrometer would be lowered into a fluid-filled container, usually a graduated cylinder, until the hydrometer floats freely.  A measurement is then taken based on where the surface of the liquid stands on the hydrometer.  This gives one the specific gravity of the fluid.


In discussing Dr. Horenstein’s use of the microscopes I was told that he frequently used them to test the water in the area for everything from contaminates to bacterial strains.  The microscopes along with the hydrometers were used to determine the quality of the water and what additional compounds were found within.

Investigation of these wonderful artifacts is possible by making an appointment with us.

All the best,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Saturday, October 3rd: An Oregon Archives Month Celebration

Get up close and personal with us and ten other Portland-area archives at the City of Portland Archives & Record Center this Saturday, October 3rd, for "History: Feed Your Head," a celebration of Oregon Archives Month:
Your faithful HC&A staff will be on hand 11am - 3 pm to talk about our collections, exhibits, and show off some of our more fun and unusual artifacts, like this turn-of-the-century cupping and scarifier set!
For more information, check out or join the Facebook event

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Accruals: Donald C. Lowe Photographs

As many of you read in my post Aerials, Aerials,Aerials!!!!, I had recently received a great series of aerials with identification and was thrilled to share the find with our constant readership.  Well, as supreme luck would have it, the donor contacted me to ask if I would like “any more.”  We discussed Donald’s work, what he took pictures of and the years he was active and based on that info I made an appointment to acquire this next set of images.  When they were delivered I was shocked to find a full run of color positive images (opposite of negative images), with associated release statements and signatures.  This is wonderful.  It means not only do we have the images, but we also have the signatures of the people in the images giving permission to use the images in a public manner (for instance, for promotional materials, reports, etc.).  Since some of these images contain views of patients being treated, having those releases is critical to providing open and responsible access to the records.

A view of the slides

The color positive images (NOTE: the little white strips contain release info!)
Not only did I get a lot of positives, but I also received a substantial amount of slides, all numbered and all related to another series of release forms and receipts.  This is like an archival gold mine, in that not only does it include the “good stuff” but it also includes the documentation of its creation, which allows us to more fully understand many aspects of the materials’ conditions for creation.  Having the releases with the images reduces the risk archives take on when providing access to materials that, have over the course of time, lost many supporting documents which cover things like intellectual property rights, reproduction rights and conditions and subject content.  In this collection all of those items, or aspects, were preserved.  This will lead to a very high level of utility, especially in linking subjects with names of innovators and practitioners in various fields, especially useful because Donald shot images for all of the schools and we see that in the spread of topics he covered during his time with OHSU’s predecessor institutions.

Release forms including shoot numbers
I called this an accrual, although *technically* it came in in the same time period as the first few items, ergo it will be one collection with one accession  number (a control number we use to manage assets/materials/collections).  This does highlight the occasional nature of acquisition in archives by which materials are rarely packaged in one shipment with all of the pertinent information, rather they come in fits and starts, sometimes trickling in as they are discovered by the donor or department transferring the materials to us.  Here are some samples of the scanned positive images:

Life Flight

Fluid on the tip of a needle

These materials are available for research, just give us a call and we can provide access!

All the best,