OSU Publications Intern: What do you do?

This year Helena Egbert is working as an intern in SCARC, focusing on the OSU publications in our collections. She’s written this post to talk about her work, but I’m the one who chose this photo because it was just too great.

Women refiling deed books at the Marion County Courthouse, circa 1950. Recorder's office staff in the vault. From left to right: Romona Evans, Salem; Virginia Gritton, Salem; and Irene Johnson, Salem. P218 SG4 Series II

Women refiling deed books at the Marion County Courthouse, circa 1950. Recorder’s office staff in the vault. From left to right: Romona Evans, Salem; Virginia Gritton, Salem; and Irene Johnson, Salem. P218 SG4 Series II

Inevitably, when I tell friends or family that I am the OSU Publications Intern at the campus library, their first follow up question is “What do you do?”

My simple answer is that I help organize, catalog, and describe OSU Publications in the Valley Library, this blog is my long answer. Ultimately, all of this makes these publications accessible to the wider OSU community or anyone interested in OSU publications.

My first project as the OSU PUBS intern was to compile an enormous list of over 500 different publication groups, or PUBS, into an Excel spreadsheet. Each PUBS group contains a collection of related material published by OSU. Along with the title of each PUBS group, if possible I also listed the location of the material. It quickly became apparent that OSU PUBS are scattered across numerous different locations, from the Valley main collection to archival collections of the History of OSU and the PCNW. With all of this information consolidated into one place, it is easier to retrieve and review each PUBS group.

Retrieving the PUBS group to look at is always exciting. Most PUBS I have looked at have documents from the early 1900s to even the late 1800s. It is interesting to get to look at how even boring sounding publications such as the Corvallis Telephone Directory or the Oregon State Staff Directories can change over time. However, the publications are not only in their original paper form, most of them have copies saved onto microfilm. I go through each microfilm reel attached to their respective PUBS group and compare them to the physical copies we have and track any differences. If the content on the microfilm is the same as the physical copies, we get rid of the microfilm.

Once I have a comprehensive list of everything in the PUBS group, I enter it onto Archon with a description of the material. By publishing all of this on Archon, these previously poorly described publications, are now easily accessible to the public.

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