Friday, February 06, 2015

The Archivist's favorite image type

Today I want to introduce our readers to my favorite type of image: the aerial.  Since my first days processing archival collections, I have had a special place in my heart for aerial photography.  I love the details that can be seen from the air, the way context seems to shift and how distances contract and expand based on the elevation of the aerial shot.  In my experience full sets of aerials include a shot map, or overhead layout of the terrain with markers for each shot.  The map typically includes the same types of image data as the shots themselves, but can provide a glimpse into the flight path used in taking the images.  The images produced from these flights come in 2 varieties, the aerial survey and the oblique.  The aerial survey is usually taken with a camera mounted on the bottom of the craft facing directly down, they can be set to automatically take images at certain intervals or manually through a button in the cockpit.  Aerial surveys are traditionally used in large scale planning, urban renewal and transportation.  The second type, the oblique, is informative, however they feel somewhat more visually "artistic" or at least appealing.  Obliques are taken at angle to the target and can offer some dynamic views of the terrain.

The image I found recently in the archives which I am sharing today is an oblique.  The circa date is listed as 1958, which is pretty specific, so it most likely was taken that year or within one or two years.

I haven't seen many images in the archives from this angle.  In the picture we are facing northwest with the Council Crest radio and water towers visible on the hill directly behind the University.  In the foreground one can see the new (at the time) School of Dentistry, which was just constructed in 1956.  The Medical School Hospital (OHSU Hospital) stands directly behind that having been constructed in 1956 as well.  On the right, one can see the Multnomah County Hospital, Mackenzie Hall and the Library / Auditorium in the back.  One can also see SW Gibbs Street heading northwest from campus before it turns into SW Marquam Hill Rd.

Perhaps one of our readers can confirm this for me, but on the lower right-hand side, is that the old Residence Dormitory?  It's in the same location as where Shriner's stands today.  If you have any additional information, context or a cool story surrounding the this time period, feel free to email the University Archivist, Max Johnson, at:

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

3-Day Countdown to February 6th History of Medicine Society Lecture

It's just three more days until we enjoy our next History of Medicine Society lecture, "Creating the Oregon Health Plan: An Ethics Mosaic," presented by Michael J. Garland, D.Sc.Rel., Professor Emeritus at OHSU. Please join us for this incredibly timely discussion of how public engagement has shaped Oregon's state health policies:

The lecture will begin at 12:15 pm in the OHSU Old Library Auditorium. Light refreshments served at noon. Lectures are free and open to the public. For additional information or to request ADA accommodation, contact Maija Anderson,, 503-418-2287.

Greetings from your new Public Services Coordinator!

Hello HC&A friends and colleagues! Now that I’ve officially passed the two week mark as public services coordinator, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself.

I am so fortunate to have found my professional home in OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, engaging in the aspect of archival work about which I’m most passionate, outreach and public services. I have the great advantage of arriving at HC&A with professional experience in a very public-facing department, at PSU Library’s Special Collections & University Archives. As an archives staff member, my most fulfilling work has always involved connecting people with materials that informed their research, strengthened their sense of community and captured their historical imaginations. Whether guiding a class of students through their first experience with primary source research, presenting a researcher with an entire box of new evidence for their research, or helping a community member locate a beloved relative in a club photograph, I think we are at our best when we are sharing the value and richness of archival collections with others.

In just a few short weeks, it’s already been a great experience diving into the HC&A public services stream and helping people to connect with our materials. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the many projects we have in store that will increase our engagement with the wider OHSU, academic and local communities. Stay tuned!

On any given weekend, you might catch me cheering on the Blazers (in lieu of my late, great hometown team, the Seattle SuperSonics), catching up on my endless Russian literature reading list, or doing my best/worst Katy Perry rendition at one of Portland’s fine karaoke venues. I'm also always on the hunt for hot tips on great public history-centered day trips around Oregon.

For reference questions, research appointments or just to chat about our programs or exhibits, I’m your go-to gal in OHSU HC&A! I can be reached via email (langform [at] ohsu [dot] com), phone (503-494-5587), or you can visit me during our walk-in hours in the History of Medicine room, 12pm - 3pm on Thursday afternoons.