Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., and so Historical Collections & Archives will be closed. We'll also be closed Friday, for which we are thankful.

A very small sampling of some of the other things we're thankful for this day/week/year:

Pocket-sized digital recording devices and Paul Hull, M.D., who records every meeting of the TFME Collegium for the Study of the Spirit of Medicine and sends CDs to us here in the archives;

The employees of OHSU who have dropped bits and pieces of the institution's history into the campus mail and sent them along to us, sometimes anonymously and sometimes not (like today's receipt from Bill Foust in CFS, which is shown here--thanks Bill!);

Desktop scanners, without which this blog would be, let's face it, ridiculously dull;

Google (no, seriously), which enables searching from around the world on the documents uploaded to our web site and all the posts on this blog, for bringing us to the attention of genealogists and researchers from far-flung locales;

Pencils, because someone mentioned to me the other day that he hadn't used a pencil in years and I can't even imagine the level of certainty in oneself and trust in patrons that would be required before a writing implement other than a pencil would be allowed in an archival setting;


CBC Classical's streaming music, which makes our work environment more relaxing and rarely fails to elicit positive remarks from visitors.

But of course we can't thank everyone who makes our job possible, from donors who deposit material to researchers who correct our mistakes (keep those edits coming!) to drop-in visitors to the facilities folk who are keeping this building in one piece. This work would be meaningless if it were just the staff and the stuff. Thanks to you all for giving it meaning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's that? A National Day of Listening?

Well, it's the last week of November and you know what that means, at least here in the United States. That's right: National Day of Listening is this Friday, Nov. 27. Yes, after football is over, so no worries there.

This is the second National Day of Listening, which was started in 2008 by the non-profit StoryCorps. The group aims to encourage average citizens to record conversations with their friends, neighbors, and loved ones, and to preserve those conversations for posterity. (Because they know as well as we do that we're entering a digital dark ages here, and we're gonna need all the primary source evidence we can get! Transcription is the watchword.)

And if you've always had a hard time relating to Grandpa Jerry and you can't imagine what you'd ask the man, fear not! The site even has a list of Great Questions that you can use, modify, and supplement for your interview.

Just don't forget to get that release form. Believe me, you don't want to be arguing with Uncle Ed come this time next year, after he finds your blog about his interview during his vanity search...

Monday, November 23, 2009

History of Medicine in Oregon Project web site

Regular readers might remember that OHSU Historical Collections & Archives is a partner in the history of medicine in Oregon documentary project of the Oregon Medical Education Foundation. Well, information about the project has now been added to the OMEF section of the Oregon Medical Association web site at

Currently illustrated with photos of first (and 50th) OMA president A.C. Kinney, M.D., second project chair, Roy A. Payne, M.D., and project supporter Ralph Crawshaw, M.D., the page will soon link to an article describing the project in more detail and a short demo of the interviews conducted to date. In the meantime, you can see the demo video on the OHSU Digital Resources Library here (yes, due to a software feature, the link is labeled "Open PDF File"--but it's a video, trust us).

A list of interviews conducted by the project as of September 2008 was posted here at that time. Most recently, Sister Monica Heeran and Donald H. Hill, MD, sat down with the crew in Eugene to discuss the history of medicine in Lane County. And of course, all relevant interviews conducted as part of the OHSU Oral History Program are also being made available to the project.