Monday, May 10, 2010
Fifty years of dental hygiene history comes to archives
Friday's trip down to the vault at the OHSU School of Dentistry packed so much history onto one library cart that we can't possibly cover it all in one post. So, today we'll concentrate on the materials that chronicle the history of dental hygiene education in Oregon.
In two slim folders, we picked up several articles on that history, including Margaret Ryan's timeline of the OHSU Dental Hygiene Program and Rachel Espey-Holmes' history of dental hygiene in Oregon. The two women witnessed the majority of that history firsthand; Espey-Holmes began as a faculty member at the University of Oregon Dental School in 1954 and served as chair of the dental hygiene program from 1966 to 1976; Ryan was chair of the program from 1977-1997.
The two documents tell us most everything we might want to know about dental hygiene education in the state. For example, records indicate that 48 dental hygiene students completed a certification course through North Pacific Dental College between 1927 and 1947, but there was no Oregon state law defining and licensing dental hygienists during those years. Graduates had to go on to Washington State or other areas where dental hygiene practice was legal. It was not until 1949 that the state passed a law regulating dental hygiene. The first to apply for licenses were some of the school's old alumni, including the first male hygienist, Milton Willoughby, who graduated from UODS in 1947.
In 1949, the University of Oregon Dental School inaugurated a formal, two-year dental hygiene curriculum. It grew for over fifty years with great success until its closure due to budget cuts in 2001. The SOD vault held a wealth of primary materials pertaining to the program, including class photos, commencement programs, administrative records, curricular materials, alumni association records, issues of the newsletter Prophy Pals, news clippings, and ephemera from the program's 1999 Jubilee celebration. These materials will be incorporated into the collections here and made available to researchers. Our great thanks go out to alumna Barbara Marquam, RDH, who did a wonderful job organizing and preserving the materials; her preliminary index is included at the bottom of this post.
More information on the OHSU Dental Hygiene Program can also be obtained from the oral history interview conducted with Peg Ryan in 1998; the tapes and transcript can be checked out from the Main Library.
Dental Hygiene Files Index 4/05
I. Dental Hygiene/Hygienists - news clippings
II. Dental Hygiene Alumni Association
- 50th Jubilee
- Newsletter (1956-1969)
- News clippings
- Photos: reunions, updates
III. Dental Hygiene ADHA
IV. Dental Hygiene Dept.
- Photos: capping ceremony, class photos, faculty, facilities, students
- Pins and faculty badges
- Promotional materials
V. Dental Hygiene Assns - ADHA, Sigma Phi Alpha (1990), Alpha Kappa Gamma (1960)
VI. Dental Hygiene University - commencement and other ceremonies
VII. Dental Hygiene displays and songs and poems