Friday, March 13, 2015

Artifact Spotlight: School of Nursing uniform cape

We have so many intriguing, illuminating artifacts in our collections, but there is a special place reserved in my vintage-loving heart for textiles. We recently had occasion to photograph several of our favorite nurse uniforms, including this incredible blue wool c. 1940s University of Oregon School of Nursing cape from the School of Nursing Archives collection. When we pulled the piece out for its fashion photography shoot debut, I was first struck by its excellent condition and sensory appeal: The smooth blue wool, the soft crimson lining, and the sturdy, simple closures all complement one another and make quite an impression on the handler. 
Clean, elegant lines in this School of Nursing cape
Ta-da! This lining is in great shape and makes quite a sartorial smash, wouldn't you say?
 Upon placing the cape on a dress form for display, I was further compelled by its combination of style and practicality: Details like the "U.O. S.N." embroidery on the collar, the elegant tailoring, and the interior pocket lined with the same deep red lend the cape a flair beyond the normal associations with "student uniform," while the employment of insulating, naturally water-repellent wool and an additional closure near the knee really make the garment quite sensible for winter weather!
Collar detail: "U.O. S.N." stands for University of Oregon School of Nursing

You can imagine my delight when I spotted these very similar capes in an illustration from an Oregon State Board of Higher Education leaflet form 1948! Even better, the image depicts School of Nursing students reading fireside in a lounge in the Old Library, where the cape is currently on display our History of Medicine room! (More information about this illustration is available in OHSU Digital Collections)
Students in School of Nursing uniforms, Oregon State Board of Higher Education leaflet illustration, 1948
 I was so excited to see the capes in action that I just had to share it to our new Twitter account, where you can now follow along with even more of our HC&A adventures.
Have more questions about the SON cape, or want to see more artifacts like this? Email or tweet us! | @OHSUHistColl

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Accessions: Pharmacy Department Collection

This week I am happy to announce the transfer of the beginnings of the Pharmacy Department Collection.  I have been meeting with a pharmacist at Doernbecher who has been assembling an historical timeline of the department including major milestones and quotes from current and previous staff.  In addition to the excellent timeline, which is always a useful asset for HC&A, we received a half box of materials related to the work and growth of the Pharmacy Department here at OHSU.

Newsletters, pocket guide and Communication Log
There are currently a wide variety of materials in the budding collection which include newsletters like PostScripts, a copy of the Newsletter of Chinese Pharmacists from 1975, a copy of the Hematopoietic Cell Transplant pocket guide (published by the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program - a collaborative clinical program between Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Legacy Health System.  Published in 2001).  On the right is the Communication book used by RPhs (Registered Pharmacists) and Techs at North Pharmacy covering the years 1985-88.  A very interesting look into the daily work of RPhs and Techs.

Comparable Worth Study records, Comparable Worth book, and Medications Management Standards Review 
A very unique set of records are those that came from the Comparable Worth Study.  This study was conducted in the 1980s and focused on the disparity in wage and title between male and female practitioners in pharmacies, nursing and libraries.  The result of the study was the reclassification of  many techs into full Pharmacist positions in order to align title and compensation with duties and responsibilities.  The folder holds several documents pertaining to the study and the results at the Pharmacy Department, including a letter informing of a change in classification.  We also received the book Doing Comparable Worth: Gender, Class, and Pay Equity written by Joan Acker using data from a variety of sources in Oregon.
The Standards Review seen on the right hand side is part of a folder of materials on the use of pharmaceuticals including dosages, dilutions, preferred compounds, etc.

That's only a small taste.  We also received newsletters from OSU College of Pharmacy, some AFSCME Local 328 records and a scrapbook of articles pertaining to the Pharmacy Department.  I'll write another post when we get more materials in the door, until then, if you want to research any of the materials just give us a holler!