Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moving Day

It's moving day! With the help of additional staff on loan to us from Access Services here at OHSU (thanks Judith and Jeff!), we have begun the move of the Pacific Northwest Archives Collection from the History of Medicine Room to the closed stacks area of the Old Library. (What to do when your computer is down: 1. clean shelves, 2. move collections, 3. use masking tape rings to get paper bits off the red carpet ... etc.)

The PNW Archives have been bursting at the seams for some time now; two earlier shifts within the HOM Room itself have barely alleviated the problem. While the collection is heavily used by researchers and by HC&A staff to answer reference questions, a relocation of the materials downstairs can only aid our cardiovascular function. (Right?) Seriously, the nature of the PNW Archives--publications on the history of OHSU and the history of the health sciences in the Pacific Northwest--means that the materials are, generally, not unique and are well described by the catalog record, so the issue of discoverability is of less importance to this group of items.

Of course, there are the odd gems that defy easy inclusion in any collection and so have wound up in the PNW Archives, such as the oral histories with Charles Sample and Arthur Whitcomb, two practitioners who used the Spectro Chrome Metry machine developed by Dinshah P. Ghadiali. Conducted not for the OHSU Oral History Project but in support of the Medical Museum Collection (we have a Spectro Chrome machine), the interview's transcripts and tapes were added to the PNW Archives and join other odd interviews, typescripts of talks, and the random photocopied memoir. All properly "unpublished" by the standards of an earlier era, but all remarkably self-contained and permanent by today's measures of information sustainability and resource description.

The emptied shelves in the HOM Room will be given over to the History of Medicine Collection, itself pushing the limits of its designated area. Bring on the donations! :-)

No comments: