Friday, February 26, 2016

Public Health in Oregon: Discovering Historical Data

With a grant through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), OHSU Library is digitizing historical collections on public health in Oregon, and providing open access to the scientific data they contain.

We are pleased to announce that a pilot presentation of our work is now available as an online exhibit, titled Public Health in Oregon: Discovering Historical Data.

In addition, all materials digitized for this project are being added to a collection in OHSU Digital Commons.  The collection currently contains over 200 items, including public health surveys, early medical journals, records of the People’s Institute and Portland Free Dispensary, papers from the early career of Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy, records of state institutions, and more. Currently, users can download PDFs of digitized items. Work underway includes transcribing and normalizing datasets from these original materials, and adding them to the collection as Excel files.

In 2016 and early 2017, we will complete transcription and normalization of data, and make enhancements to the project based on direct feedback from public health professionals, historians, librarians, and archivists. We are thrilled to make our unique collections available to a broad audience through digitization and data curation.

The project director is Maija Anderson, Director of Curatorial Services. The project team includes Max Johnson, University Archivist; Shahim Essaid, Ontology Development Group; and student assistants Rachel Blume, Sherra Hopkins, Lacey Legel, and Grayce Mack.

This project is supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library. We are eager for feedback on our work: Please contact Maija Anderson at for more information.

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