Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why we're so excited about 60+ volumes of Oregon State Board of Education minutes

If you want to see archivists geek out, present them with several dozen volumes of administrative meeting minutes. Like this complete run of 1927-1993 minutes of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, bound neatly in kelly green buckram.


At first impression, records like these can seem dry, bureaucratic, and impenetrable. But they are also essential to rigorous historical research, revealing the structural underpinnings of institutions, and documenting how authorities made decisions that would affect millions of people. These minutes reveal in detail the administrative workings of higher education in 20th century Oregon. When historians try to answer the question of "What really happened," resources such as these provide the "official" version of the story. Historians can use this to bolster an argument, forge a new narrative, or contrast with the "unofficial" experience of Oregonians.

These minutes were transferred to HC&A by OHSU's President's Office, and have been cataloged by our volunteer Laurel Narizny. The minutes are a valuable resource for researchers interested in the development of OHSU, and the history of education in Oregon in general.

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