Monday, May 14, 2018

New Collection: Nurse Midwifery Program records

Historical Collections & Archives is now posting on Library Notes! Check out this post, and others. there.

This post is by Archives Assistant John Esh.
Image of the Rural Health Conference program of 2006
Rural Health Conference program, 2006

While I’m currently making my way through OHSU’s massive medical artifact collection (more to come on that soon!), my previous project was processing the Nurse Midwifery Program records, collection number 2015-017. This one came to us courtesy of Dr. Carol Howe, the “Godmother of Midwifery,” here at OHSU after her retirement. While various Nurse-Midwifery collections have been posted about before (be sure to check out Meg and Max’s posts), this particular one contains a few new items of interest.

The majority of this collection consists of minutes, grant proposals, certifications, and other documents pertaining to the inner workings of the program, but within can also be found more objects directly pertaining to Dr. Howe and her tenure. Several folders contain articles written about Dr. Howe and her accomplishments, as well as a multitude of articles pertaining to midwifery and the OHSU School of Nursing. This collection also contains many photographs documenting over 30 years of Carol Howe and her staff both at work in the hospital and spending family time with each other.

Annotated speech on “Who is a Midwife,” by Carol Howe, date known
Annotated speech, “Who is a Midwife,” Carol Howe, undated
Most noteworthy though are the presence of several of Dr. Howe’s speeches and presentations at conferences across the country. A prolific speaker and born educator, these speeches give great insight into the evolution of the practice over the years. Along with her hand annotated copies of the speeches, the folders contain everything from ephemera surrounding the various speaking engagements, to thank you notes from effused coordinators and peers.

Anyone with an interest in nurse-midwifery would be remiss to not check out this collection and take to heart the words of Dr. Carol Howe, one of our greatest midwives and contributors to the field.

Friday, May 04, 2018

New Oral History: Virginia Tilden

Historical Collections & Archives is now posting on Library Notes! Check out this post, and others. there.

This post is by Archives Assistant Rosie Yanosko.

Image of Doctor Virginia Tilden
Virginia Tilden, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
We recently added an interview with Virginia Tilden, Senior Associate for Research at the School of Nursing, to our Oral History Collection. I highly recommend reading this interview, but in case you're short on time, I'd like to share some of Tilden's fascinating story. Her father was a Foreign Service Officer, so her formative years were spent in the Commonwealth of Nations and the Far East. Her upbringing instilled her with a "sense of a pretty large world, and the suffering of many people." While Tilden was in high school, her family moved back to the States, and she decided to study Nursing at Georgetown University. She described her time at Georgetown as follows:
They were the early years ... nursing was very traditional. It was very much subservient to physicians. It was very much follow orders. You know, that would make me bristle. Follow orders? Wait a minute. I mean, so that was a challenge for me. Why I stayed was I loved psychiatric nursing because it was where I could connect with people, with their suffering, with their limitations.
Tilden's empathy for the suffering of others and dedication to challenging the status quo are evident throughout her career.

After graduating from Georgetown in 1967, Tilden needed a change of pace, and she decided to pursue her Master's in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Describing herself as "a little bit of a rebel," Tilden lived in the storied Haight-Ashbury district. At that time, few schools had Ph.D. programs in Nursing, so she studied under a group of nursing faculty with doctorates in psychology, anthropology, sociology, and other fields. This interdisciplinary approach had a marked influence on Tilden, who incorporated these divergent viewpoints into her own work. After completing her Master's degree, Tilden served as a clinical instructor before going on to pursue her Ph.D. in Nursing from UCSF. Her groundbreaking doctoral dissertation studied the psychology of women during pregnancy and childbirth, including a sub-study of women who were single by choice.

She completed her Ph.D. in 1981 and accepted a faculty position at OHSU's School of Nursing the following year. Along with Barb Limandri and others, Tilden studied domestic violence and abuse. In 1989, she became the Associate Dean for Research and earned a postdoctoral certificate in Clinical Bioethics from the School of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW). Tilden remembers a lecture at UW that focused on the case of Nancy Cruzan, a young woman in a vegetative state whose family sought to withdraw life support. The nursing home caring for Cruzan refused to comply with her family's wishes, and the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case had a profound impact on Tilden:
I had this interest in families during gestation and childbearing. And then family violence ... I was very interested in what [her] family went through. And as a result of that, I kind of moved my research program to trying to understand what families experienced when they went through ethical dilemmas.
Shortly thereafter, Tilden partnered with other OHSU faculty to create an Ethics Center, where her research supported the creation and development of Physician Orders for Life-Saving Treatment (POLST).

To learn more about Tilden's work and her remarkable contributions to the field of Nursing, consider reading her oral history.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

An Intimidating Prospect: The Records of Peter Kohler

Historical Collections & Archives is now posting on Library Notes! Check out this post, and others. there.

This post is by Archives Assistant Jeff Colby.

This past year saw the Historical Collections & Archives crew involved in a massive, all-hands-on-deck project to conclusively finish organizing the massive amount of records (of all types) gathered primarily through the period of administration of OHSU President Peter O. Kohler, which spanned from 1988 to 2006. They include not only Dr. Kohler’s own papers but those of his Vice-Presidents as well. As is to be expected, reams of bureaucratic paperwork are pretty charmless in and of themselves. However, at the end of it all, it gives one a greater appreciation of the sheer breadth and depth of the concerns of a major modern academic medical center.

early plan for South Waterfront development, circa 2000
 An old saying is that money runs the world, and in this case finances were an integral part of the collection. And an especially alarming part, as a series of politically motivated tax laws and continuing budget cuts led to the drastic decision of OHSU to cut loose from the State and re-invent itself as a Public Corporation. While this did not totally stop OHSU from trying to massage funding from State and Federal Legislatures, it did lead to a much wider net being thrown to haul in more private investors. This would lead to the “Oregon Opportunity” campaign, which endeavored to bring more biomedical research into Oregon.

Partnerships with other local entities, like the City of Portland and Portland State University, were another major component of the collection. Like the Public Corporation and Oregon Opportunity, these efforts were part of an overall process of strategic planning in which it was felt essential for OHSU to give up its “Shining City on the Hill” aloofness and come downtown. We joined with PSU in the new South Waterfront campus, now up running and still expanding, with the OHSU Dental School, OHSU/PSU School of Public Health, and the Center for Women’s Health.

early tram inspiration, from a 2005 PowerPoint presentation
Other important issues are likewise dealt with, such as Medicare/Medicaid and the medically under-served populations of rural Oregon. The first is a perpetual headache that must be survived. The second had a happier outcome with the extension of rural clinics and Area Health Education Centers (the AHEC program) to help create a new generation of healthcare workers themselves living in these rural areas.

This in turn led to attention to curriculum changes to take advantage of all these new efforts and incorporate the lessons of this new research into our own student lessons. Add to all this the miles and miles of budget files and the personnel files with their many (restricted) grievances, one gets a mind-boggling idea of the scale of things heaped up on our Administrations’ plates … ‘tis not for the weak of heart.

For more information, review the finding aid for the Office of President Peter Kohler records.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Goodbye "Historical Notes"

For many years, OHSU's Historical Collections & Archives has maintained this blog, Historical Notes, separately from the other OHSU Library pages. However, we've recently decided that it will be better for everyone if we bring together the HC&A blog and the official OHSU Library Notes blog - one place for all your favorite library posts.

For the next few weeks, we'll be cross-posting on both blogs to allow everyone a bit of time to make the transition. But, by the start of June, we plan to only be posting on the OHSU Library Notes blog. But don't worry, our posts will be tagged in the Historical Collections & Archives category and you can still subscribe to email updates or the RSS feed to fulfill all of your notification needs.

And don't worry, this blog site isn't going anywhere. We'll keep it going to retain access to old posts (we are archivists, after all), but you can also visit our Web Archive to find them there (just in case). So check out the new space, update those bookmarks, and sign up to get notifications of new posts. We hope you'll keep following us for years to come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Collection: Casey Bush collection on Robert S. Dow

by John Esh

Dow in New Guinea
New Guinea, undated
I’m proud to say that I recently processed my first official collection and it was put up for the whole world to see on Archives West. In collaboration with my coworker Rosie Yanosko, we pored through the life of Robert Stone Dow, a world renowned neuroscientist and longtime Portland resident. We organized, and then processed the records for the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives. Dr. Dow has been posted about before on this blog; I’ll give you a quick recap of his life as the eminent neuroscientist in Oregon.

While born in Wray, Colorado, Dr. Dow was raised in Newberg and McMinnville, Oregon before attending Linfield College where he worked under Dr. James MacNab as a lab assistant. It was here he gained the attention of Dr. Olof Larsell, and it was under Larsell’s tutelage that Dr. Dow gained a passion for the inner workings of the cerebellum and both his Ph.D. and M.D. from Oregon State University. After marrying and travelling while pursuing a post-graduate education across two continents, Dr. Dow returned to his home state where he built the first electroencephalogram (EEG) in Oregon, as well as the first neurology practice in the state. Furthermore, having established the Neurological Sciences Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital, Dow continued his research into epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, strokes, and Parkinson’s, among other brain related maladies, before dying at the age of 87 in 1995.
There are other collections about Dr. Dow in the OHSU Archives, but this particular one was donated by Casey Bush, a poet, writer, and the biographer of Dr. Dow with his book entitled Inside the Black Box: A Biography of Oregon Neuroscientist Robert Stone Dow. While this biography has never been published (evidenced by a handful of rejection letters from various publishers), a copy is available in this very collection for anyone to read.

Dow in New Guinea
New Guinea, undated
Along with his biography, the collection consists of correspondence, presentations, photographs, and publications of the famous neuroscientist. Some of the content that I found most interesting to my previous anthropological schooling was Dr. Dow’s presentation, Kuru: The Mysterious Disease of New Guinea, which he made in 1965 after spending time there with the Fore people attempting to deduce the cause of the disease. Kuru is an affliction most common among said tribes and directly translates as “trembling” and is also known as the “laughing sickness,” which we now believe to have been transferred during cannibalistic funerary rites when the brain was ingested. As well, the people of the Fore would often enlist sorcerers to craft talismans for them with the intent of inflicting kuru upon those they hated. Thankfully the practice ended in 1960, but the long incubation time of the disease (10-50 years) meant that only recently has the disease completely died out.

The Casey Bush collection on Robert S. Dow provides a fascinating look into Robert Dow’s busy life and work and is definitely worth the time to look through, or perhaps even request a copy of his biography from, to learn a little more about the history of the medical profession in Oregon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Collection: Oregon League for Nursing

Nurses of the Pacific Northwest lapel pin
lapel pin
The Oregon State League of Nursing Education (OSLNE or OLNE) began organizing in 1922 and then applied for membership with the National League of Nursing Education in April 1923. The mission of both organizations centered around consideration of all aspects of nursing education, defining and maintaining minimum standards for education, promoting professional relationships and collaboration, and developing and maintaining the "highest ideals in the nursing profession."

The Oregon League focused on nursing education and continuing education, public health nursing, training of Native American nurses (albeit, a seemingly minor program), and advocacy work (such as for greater nurse employment and better funding for education and employment opportunities). And they were pivotal in moving Portland's nurse training school from the County Hospital to the University of Oregon (which became OHSU).

Newsletter entry regarding changes from Citizens' League back to League for Nursing
OCLN returns to OLN name, 1982
From 1947 to 1950, the League operated as the Educational Section of the Oregon State Nurses Association (later the Oregon Nurses Association). They changed again, along with the National organization, in 1952, to become the Oregon League for Nursing, expanding the mission to include fostering the improvement of nursing services and education through more coordinated actions of nurses and associated professions, agencies, and schools. For a time, from around 1972 until 1981, the name was changed yet again, to Oregon Citizens' League for Nursing (OCLN). However, the name was returned to its earlier form after a number of concerns and complaints were raised in regards to the word "Citizens'" being added.

The Oregon League for Nursing records (Collection Number 2017-019) cover many of these topics, including becoming a member of the National League; advocating for nursing education and greater nurse employment; raising funds and advocating for better funding for both education and employment of nurses; producing educational programs, such as films, radio dramas, and public speaking engagements; and day-to-day governance of the organization.

Of particular interest is a significant run (1953-1985) of the organization's newsletter, "The Oregon Reporter." The newsletter charts much of the history of the organization, serves annually as a bulletin for the annual convention, and also documents related happenings in the region. View the finding aid for the Oregon League for Nursing records for more information.

"Oregon Reporter" annual convention issue, volume 10, October 1962

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New Collection: Dorothy A. Robinson Mann papers

by Rosie Yanosko

I recently finished processing my first collection at OHSU - the Dorothy A. Robinson Mann papers (collection 2010-008). Mann graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School Nursing Department in 1942 and began serving in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps shortly thereafter. The collection contains a selection of her Army records, including a detailed inventory of the clothing and equipment she received while in the service (only one fork, knife, and spoon were issued – I hope she never misplaced them!). An avid photographer, Dorothy took many photographs to document her experiences in the U.S. and Europe. This collection includes a large scrapbook in which Dorothy arranged her photos and wrote copious descriptions alongside them. We had to dismantle the scrapbook for preservation purposes, and while doing so we came across quite a few gems. Below are just a few of them:

Field hospital maneuvers at Fort Riley, Kansas

Gas mask training at Fort Riley. The back of the photo reads: "Out of the gas chamber - oh what a drippy nose!"

While in Europe, Dorothy served in the 46th General Hospital and didn't forget to take photos of their temporary tent hospital. Nor did she forget handsome Major Joe, a dog who "belonged to a GI that was headed for the front so a couple of our nurses adopted him - he had a fit whenever any of the men needed to work in our compound. He was left with another kind soul. The powers that be would not allow him to ship out with us".

46th General (tent) Hospital

Major Joe


While traveling with the 46th to Besançon, France in August-September of 1944, Dorothy found time to capture the beauty of her surroundings.





In December of 1944, a routine chest x-ray revealed that Dorothy had pulmonary tuberculosis, and she retired from the Army in late 1945. After recovering from her illness, Dorothy went on to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Biology at Lewis & Clark College. Included in this collection are copies of her paper "Cambarincola Gracilis Sp. Nov., A Branchiobellid Oligochaete Commensal on Western Crayfishes," which was published in the Journal of Parasitology in 1954.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Introduction: John Esh, Student Assistant

by John Esh

Hi everyone. My name is John and I’ve just started as a student assistant here in the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives. After spending several years living across the United States, I finally settled down in Portland to begin my academic endeavors. I graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in French (the latter completed while studying abroad at l'Université de Poitiers), with the intent to work as an archaeologist on the Pacific Northwest coast.

After graduation, I came to the conclusion that I would rather spend my time curating cultural artifacts after they’d been brought back from various sites, rather than be the one who spent hours in the field. So I decided to pursue an MLIS with an archival focus at Emporia State University (much like several of the other past and present student workers here). As well as working here, I volunteer at Lewis & Clark’s archives (taking over a project that Rosie started there) and also barista and bartend.

When I graduate, I’m hoping to find work in a museum, anthropological department, or historical society working with artifact collections. While here at OHSU, as well as processing more document focused collections, it looks like I’ll be helping to organize and process some of the fascinating medical tools and objects in the artifact collection, putting my archaeological skills to good use. I’m more than looking forward to sharing some of my favorite finds with you here on this blog.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Introduction: Rosie Yanosko, Student Assistant

by Rosie Yanosko

Photograph of Rosie Yanosko
Hello! My name is Rosie Yanosko and I'm delighted to be working as a student assistant in the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives. Before starting here, I worked upstairs in the library's Access Services department. I'm a month or so away from graduating with my Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland's online program. I'm very much looking forward to completing my studies and having time to read for pleasure.

Though I'm new to the world of archives, I'm eager to delve into the collections and to learn more about archival processing and preservation. Prior to starting here, I interned at the Lewis & Clark Special Collections & Archives and volunteered at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. These experiences cemented my desire to work in archives - I love exploring record keeping idiosyncrasies and long forgotten stories hidden in collections. I look forward to sharing noteworthy finds with you here on the blog!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

History of Medicine lecture: Dr. Daniel M. Albert

Happy Spring! Please join us on Friday, April 20th, for our next History of Medicine lecture:



Chevalier John Taylor: The Man Who Blinded Bach and Handel
Daniel M. Albert, M.D., M.S.
Casey Eye Institute
Friday, April 20, 2018, 12:00pm

The 18th century itinerant oculist Chevalier John Taylor treated the eyes of royalty and some of the greatest composers and writers of all time with both disaster and success. He is best remembered as the man who purportedly blinded both Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. He was also the first to successfully operate on crossed eyes and appeared to have success with other eye operations. While he often exhibited knowledge and skill as an oculist, Taylor has been reviled as a quack by both his contemporaries and those who study him today. His character could be described as a unique combination of intelligence, talent and fraud. This talk attempts to illuminate these two sides of John Taylor, a real-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

About the speaker: Dr. Albert received his B.S. degree from Franklin and Marshall College, and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Subsequently he trained in ophthalmology at Penn Med and in Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He has served on the faculty at Yale Medical School, Harvard Medical School, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and served at the latter as Chair of the Ophthalmology Department and Founding Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute. He joined faculty of the Casey Eye Institute in 2016. He has published numerous articles and books.

Light refreshments will be served

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Film Screening: At Home and Over There: American Women Physicians in WWI

We are so excited to host this great Women’s History Month event! The film was produced and written by one of our own OHSU students, who spent hours conducting research in HC&A collections in the process of making this film. See below for details.


At Home and Over There tells the incredible story of American women physicians who served during the First World War despite widespread discrimination. Driven by patriotism and a desire to serve, these unsung heroines worked in hospitals, dispensaries, canteens, and ambulance units both during the war and in the years that followed. The film features the story of OHSU’s own Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy.

After the screening, stay for a Q & A with the film's producer/writer, OHSU M.D./Ph.D. student Mollie Marr, and then head to Old Library room 221 to explore archival materials used in research for the film. This film screening will not be recorded or streamed – we hope that you can join us in person for this Women’s History Month event!

Film Screening: At Home and Over There
Wednesday, March 14th, 6:00pm
Old Library Auditorium

Film presented by the American Medical Women’s Association and Raw Science Foundation

Light refreshments served

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The end of a date range

by Rachel Fellman

I've always been shy about calling myself an archivist. At first, I wasn't sure this was what I wanted to do, and then I was still a student worker. A student worker is a funny thing, like the first evolution of a Pokemon. You can already be good at what you do; you can already be ambitious, well-informed, and curious. (After all, Pikachu is a first-level Pokemon, and there's no doubt that Pikachu knows what he's doing.) But you don't have all your flair yet, or your advanced attacks, where "flair" is a job title and "advanced attacks" are health care benefits.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: "Linus, I don't understand the
true meaning of respect des fonds."

But now, I have evolved from Rachel to Raichu: I'm moving to California to become Assistant Archivist at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. I am immensely proud and excited to be an archivist working with comics, a medium I've always loved (and closely associated with my love of libraries).

The archives there is unique. It's concerned with a single person, so the collections are deep and focused, but Schulz' work has permeated American culture for decades, so there's also a breadth to the project, an absence of claustrophobia. The museum is an active part of the local community, hosting comics events, movie nights, and themed free days. My favorite of the latter is the one for February: free admission for redheads, in honor of the Little Redheaded Girl. (She's based on a real person, if you were wondering -- the head Schulz archivist interviewed her for their oral history project.)

OHSU has been a perfect place to serve out my apprenticeship. I'll miss the staff, my mentors, the collections, and the anecdotes. For the rest of my life, whenever a conversation flags, I can just apply the story of the Medical Anti-Shock Trousers. If you'd like to keep track of me, you can check the SAA Students and New Archives Professionals Section blog, which I'm editing until the end of this year, and where you'll notice I've already mentioned the trousers.

As a final note, I'd just like to add that of the Peanuts cast, Linus is the most likely to become an archivist. He's thoughtful and philosophical, and he takes good care of his blanket. More to the point, though, he recognizes that collections are there to be used, even at the expense of some degree of preservation. As archivists, we can all look up to that.