Alice Kathryn Kidder and persimmon jam

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One of our library colleagues got curious when doing his work in ScholarsArchive after coming across this 1996 issue of The Messenger.

Because we work in a library we want to share, so he posted “Wondering who Alice Kathryn Kidder” was? Wish you had some of her persimmon jam right now? Check out page 10” on our All Library Slack channel and one of my archives colleagues replied with by pointing to the small collection we have of her photographs.

We put all sorts of helpful things in our guides, including “Biographical / Historical Notes.”

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1902, Alice Kathryn Kidder attended Oregon Agricultural College in 1920. Graduating in 1924, she taught elementary school in Ashland for a year before moving to California, where she continued to teach until 1952.

Active in alumni affairs, Kidder was a member of the OSU President’s Club and the Council of Regents until the 1990’s.

Andrew Kidder attended OAC from 1893 to 1896 and worked with the Department of Botany and Horticulture in the College greenhouses from 1891 to 1897. In addition to Alice, Andrew also had a son, who graduated from OAC in 1923.

Her legacy to the University has been recognized in the establishment of the Alice Kathryn Kidder Grand Foyer in the Valley Library.

And then I got curious and looked in the yearbook, which is how I found the picture above, and then I looked at the Alumni Magazine and got way too sucked in.

That’s how it works when you work with an archivist. You pull out a little thread and we can’t stop pulling the rest!

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Food history guide update: learning about labor

A farm labor sign at one of the highway entrances to Medford, Oregon, was asking for farm laborers.

A farm labor sign at one of the highway entrances to Medford, Oregon, was asking for farm laborers.

The idea of labor supply is a fascinating one that is heavily connected with food supply. During WWII, you were serving your country whether you were on the front lines of the war, or back home working on a farm. All hands were on deck, and it’s fascinating to see especially here in Oregon. There were several farm labor camps in the surrounding area, and in the image you can see that they weren’t too picky about who was working. 

Fun fact (for myself): There were several farm labor camps in Coburg, Oregon – a place I drive through regularly to visit family in Eugene. After seeing the images, the layout of the town made absolute sense to me. There are several farms surrounding Coburg, and even more between Coburg and Corvallis. 

I plan on looking further into more local labor forces and seeing where laborers came from and the types of work they were used for. It will be exciting to see!Y

You can find this 1944 Medford farm labor sign picture online. Keep watching this blog for the March debut of the Food and Farming history guide.  

 

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Food history guide update – farming and agriculture

Victory Farm Volunteers were made up of youth 11 to 17 years of age and was one of the largest groups in the Emergency Farm Labor Service work force. 26 X 18.5 inch poster seeking volunteers for the Victory Farm Volunteer program of the U.S. Crop Corps. Poster was printed by the U.S. Government printing office in 1945.

Victory Farm Volunteers were made up of youth 11 to 17 years of age and was one of the largest groups in the Emergency Farm Labor Service work force. 26 X 18.5 inch poster seeking volunteers for the Victory Farm Volunteer program of the U.S. Crop Corps. Poster was printed by the U.S. Government printing office in 1945.

As I’ve written in other blog posts, I knew that OSU was an agricultural college, yet it seems I continue to learn more and more about how deeply ingrained farming is in the university. When working on collecting information for the Farming and Agricultural tab for the LibGuide, there were A LOT of resources, from personal documents, to Extension Services pamphlets, and then to science surrounding farming (and all that entails.)

It’s also incredible to see the titles of the rare books we have that span centuries, detailing different farming techniques and plenty more related to agriculture. So far, this has been a great term looking into all things food related, and it makes me appreciate even more the land in Oregon, as well as the incredible research done (and has been done) here at OSU!

Be watching this blog for Alexys Gibson’s completed Food and Farm history guide to learn all about the treasures you can find in our collections to support all your research. 

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What’s new on the Pauling Blog? Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease: The Roots of Controversy

Caricature of Linus Pauling created by Eleanor Mill and published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1992.

Caricature of Linus Pauling created by Eleanor Mill and published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1992.

“People are not dying from too much fatty food, they’re dying from too little vitamin C.” Linus Pauling, Vitamin C and Heart Disease, 1977

Health-conscious readers of a certain age have likely experienced a frustrating back and forth in food trends over the past several decades, and especially in the 1980s and 1990s. First eggs were said to be bad for you because they are high in cholesterol, then it was learned that they didn’t increase cholesterol in the blood. Likewise, butter was believed to be a health risk because of its high levels of saturated fats, however, butter (especially from grass fed animals, and especially as opposed to margarine) is now argued to be a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Chocolate and red meat, too, were decried for being too fatty or, in the case of chocolate, also too sugary. Yet today, both are viewed as useful and even valuable sources of nutrition, so long as they are consumed in moderation.

Read the whole post on the Pauling Blog. 

 

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What’s new on the Brewstorian blog? Hop Growers of America presentation: the things I said about hops history.

In mid January I braved the winter snow to travel to Bend to give a talk on the history of hops in America, this post is the text of my talk.

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I was part of a history session, sandwiched in between Dr. Al Haunold, who released the Cascade hop and talked about his work in the USDA/OSU public breeding program, and 4 hop growers, some with roots reaching back 6 generations. So there’s some pressure to be correct when you are talking to farmers about their history!

Read the whole talk on the Brewstorian blog. 

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What’s new on the Pauling Blog? Ilya Prigogine: The Poet of Thermodynamics

There’s a new post on the Pauling blog celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Ilya Prigogine.

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“The attitude of Einstein toward science, for example, was to go beyond the reality of the moment. He wanted to transcend time…for him science was an introduction to a timeless reality beyond the illusion of becoming. My own attitude is very different because, to some extent, I want to feel the evolution of things. I don’t believe in transcending, but in being embedded in a reality that is temporal.”

Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine (1917-2003) is best known today for his work in thermodynamics and especially for his focus on the concepts of irreversibility and dissipative structures. He was a champion of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, compelled by a lifelong fascination with biology’s apparent denial of the principals of physics, and his work is often described as having attempted to marry thermodynamics – particularly the concept of entropy – to biological evolution.

Read the whole post on the Pauling Blog. 

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Food history guide: shifting gears to gardening.

The suckering of corn was a common practice in the Victory Gardens grown in the county that year. Muriel White, a member of the 4-H Victory Garden Club, shows the proper way to do the job. Photo was used in the 1942 Klamath Annual Report.

The suckering of corn was a common practice in the Victory Gardens grown in the county that year. Muriel White, a member of the 4-H Victory Garden Club, shows the proper way to do the job. Photo was used in the 1942 Klamath Annual Report.

This week has been yet again, a series of interesting finds. With all of the research done last week regarding Food Research, the topic blended in with Food Technology. Because of this blending, I decided to hold off on furthering research on that aspect, and decided to pursue Home Gardening. 

It’s been fascinating to see the different types of sources that touched on home gardening, whether it be during the World Wars and encouraging victory gardens to radio home garden segments. 

Fun fact: The 4-H club used to have victory garden competitions! (You can even see the pictures in the 4-H Photograph Collection).

There’s a wide array of information, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I think the key thing I’ve learned from doing this LibGuide so far is to refine, refine, refine. Refining your searches helps you find the things you’re looking for. Also, thinking of the variations that you can use to find what you’re looking for. Having a thesaurus handy probably wouldn’t hurt while researching. 

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What’s new on the OMA blog? TOO BLACK’s workshop and performance

Check out the new OMA blog post on TOO BLACK’s workshop and performance.

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As part of the 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, the OMA was honored to collaborate with Diversity & Cultural Engagement, University Housing and Dining Services, and the School of History, Philosophy, & Religion, to organize the event “Speaking Justice” – a night of spoken word poetry by the OSU community and our feature artist, TOO BLACK, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. And, in addition to the performance, the OMA was delighted to host the workshop “History of Race Relations at OSU” facilitated by TOO BLACK.

Read the whole post on the OMA blog. 

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Food history guide: thoughts on food technology

Background: 65% reduction when compressed. Foreground: small cube equals two generous servings, circa 1940. From the Food Science and Technology Department Photographs Collection.

Background: 65% reduction when compressed. Foreground: small cube equals two generous servings, circa 1940. From the Food Science and Technology Department Photographs Collection.

Coming to OSU, I knew that it was a heavily science oriented university. However, I did not realize how ingrained food technology was in the early and mid 20th century. Being able to dig through the various collections that SCARC has, has been a lot of fun, especially with seeing the wide variety of food research that can be done.

Fun fact: The Patent Committee Records collection holds the patent for maraschino cherries (my favorite things when I was little!) It also holds the patent for canned crab, as well as yeast ready-mix. 

Another thing I found out through researching this week, there are a lot of past professors from the university that have buildings named after them (especially in the food technology and agriculture departments). Obviously the names of buildings come from somewhere, I just didn’t realize the heavy emphasis on those in the food technology department. 

There are also a large amount of pictures (and collections) of the testing of foods from the early 20th century. Looking through Oregon Digital has produced some great finds, like the picture above. It’s a picture of dehydrated beef (sounds a bit wonky) circa 1940. 

The next section I’ll be researching is Food Technology, which is really similar to Food Research (the topic I researched this week), but I think it will also yield some interesting finds!

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Food history guide: first week thoughts

According to the OAC catalog, this class was "a course designed to give advanced students of Home Economics training in application of principles of cookery to conditions found in the camp." P047:0013, 1918.

According to the OAC catalog, this class was “a course designed to give advanced students of Home Economics training in application of principles of cookery to conditions found in the camp.” P047:0013, 1918.

This first week has been very fascinating and eye opening! I didn’t realize just how many different facets of food topics and sources we have here at Oregon State. From personal notes detailing camp cooking to very old books telling you how to make your own vinegar and how to make long lasting butter, this week has been very informative!

Side note: Did you know that according to a scientist roughly 100 years ago, you can determine the sex of an egg by if the ends are wrinkly or smooth? If wrinkly, it’s a male egg, if smooth all over it’s a female egg. Don’t just take my word for it though, take Dr. Chase’s http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/books/drchase/chas.pdf!

There were also some challenges that I didn’t expect (i.e. some of the collections didn’t have easily navigable collection lists, or some didn’t have all that much information about what was in the box.) Also, there are a TON of different avenues to find information, so learning to methodically check through various search engines and sites was quite the task. Spiraling down a rabbit hole is easy to do when you find a fascinating topic!

Now that I’ve figured out a good system (or at least a method to my madness), I think the rest of the term will go smoothly. I’m looking forward to finding much more information, and most of all, history!

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