History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings, 1956-1980

Overview of the Collection

Van Loan, Lillian Schroeder.
History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings
1956-1980 (inclusive)
1956-1969 (bulk)
0.9 cubic foot, including 22 reel-to-reel audiotapes and 11 audiocassettes, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
OH 03
The History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings consist predominantly of oral histories conducted in 1956 by Lillian Van Loan for her doctoral dissertation on the history of Oregon State College and subsequent interviews done by Ilona Fry in 1980 on the development of liberal arts at Oregon State University.
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Research Center
Special Collections and Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 5417372075
Fax: 5417378674
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Additional Reference Guides

Preliminary container list available online.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Lillian Schroeder Van Loan conducted oral histories of Oregon State faculty and administrators for her doctoral dissertation, Historical Perspective of Oregon State College, submitted in 1959. Van Loan completed her Ed.D. degree at Oregon State College in 1959.

An oral history program was established within the Oregon State University Archives in 1970 with Ilona Fry as oral historian. The initial focus of the oral history program was the development of the liberal arts at Oregon State University and recorded the recollections of liberal arts faculty and OSU administrators. The oral histories conducted by Van Loan in 1956 were used to inform this latter work. Fry left Oregon State in September 1980 and the Archives' oral history program became inactive.

Edward C. Allworth graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1916 and joined the college faculty in 1925 as manager of the Memorial Union, a position he held until his retirement in 1963.

E.B. (Edward Benjamin) Beaty earned a BS degree in electrical engineering from Oregon Agricultural College in 1903; he became a faculty member in mathematics in 1908 and continued until his retirement in 1947. Ralph S. Besse served as a farm management extension specialist and administrator in the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1922 until his retirement in 1953. Arthur G.B. Bouquet completed a BS degree in horticulture at Oregon Agricultural College in 1906 and was a faculty member in the Oregon State College Horticulture Department from 1909 until his retirement in 1950.

Ava Milam Clark served as Dean of Home Economics at Oregon State College from 1917 until 1950. Bertha Davis attended the primary and secondary departments of Corvallis College and earned her BS degree in domestic science and arts in 1889 and MS in home economics in 1909. As of 1925, she was manager of Wagner's Cafe in Corvallis. Melissa Martin Dawes joined the faculty in modern languages at Oregon Agricultural College in 1915; she served as chair of the Modern Languages Department from 1930 until her retirement in 1960.

Gordon W. Gilkey earned a fine arts degree in printmaking from the University of Oregon in 1912. He worked for the War Department in Europe after World War II on the restitution of fine art. Gilkey joined the art faculty at Oregon State College in 1947 and retired from Oregon State in 1978 as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Henry Hartman joined the horticulture faculty at Oregon Agricultural College in 1919 as a pomologist and served as a Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State until his retirement in 1960. Helen Holgate graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1895 with a BS in domestic science and arts; she later worked in the Clerical Exchange at OAC. J. Granville Jensen joined the Geography Department faculty in 1946 and served as department chair from 1946 to 1964.

E.B. Lemon graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1911 with a degree in business; he was a faculty member in the School of Commerce until 1943 and served as University Registrar from 1922 to 1943 and as Dean of Administration from 1943 until his retirement in 1950. Lora Maud Hansell Lemon earned a BS in Commerce from Oregon Agricultural College; she married E.B. Lemon. Dendrologist Oliver Matthews traveled extensively in Oregon for more than 40 years in pursuit of trees, particularly the biggest of each species.

Miriam Orzech was Assistant Director and Academic Coordinator for the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) from 1969 to 1974, when she became Director of the program. Linus Pauling earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1922 and became renown for his work as a scientist and peace activist. He met Ava Helen Miller at OAC and they were married in 1923. Charles V. Ruzek was a Professor Soils at Oregon State College from 1914 until his retirement in 1954.

James Wilson Sherburne joined the Oregon State faculty in 1938 in the Psychology Department. He became Dean of the the General Extension Division of the Oregon State System of Higher Education in 1956. Sherburne returned to Oregon State University later in his career and retired in 1972. Nona Snell's husband was the nephew of Margaret Comstock Snell. Gertrude Strickland joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College as an Intructor of Household Art in 1920; she became head of of the Clothing, Textiles, and Related Arts Department in 1948 and retired in 1953.

Ernest W. Warrington began his career at Oregon State College as the Campus YMCA General Secretary in 1921; in 1928, he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Religion Department. Warrington retired in 1952. Jessamine Chapman Williams joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College in 1923 as head of the Foods and Nutrition Department, a position she held until 1944. Williams retired in 1946. Clytie May Workinger headed the teacher placement office, as Placement Secretary, from 1923 until her retirement in 1955.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings consist of 22 oral history interviews and 5 other sound recordings. The components of the collection are individually number OH03a:01 thru OH03a:20 and OH03b:01 thru OH03b:05. Sound recordings and transcripts are available for all components of the collection except two tape recordings of the Library dedication (OH03a:21). The bulk of the oral histories were conducted by Lillian Van Loan in 1956 (16 interviews) and Ilona Fry in 1980 (4 interviews).

Van Loan interviewed the following Oregon State faculty, administrators, and alumni: Major E.C. Allworth, E.B. Beaty, Ralph Besse, Arthur G.B. Bouquet, Ava B. Milam Clark, Bertha Davis, Melissa Martin Dawes, Henry Hartman, Helen Holgate, E.B. Lemon, Lora Lemon, C.V. Ruzek, J.W. Sherburne, Gertrude Strickland, E.W. Warrington, Jessamine Williams, and May Workinger. The interviews address a variety of topics including the development of academic programs at Oregon State; campus buildings and facilities; college presidents, especially William Jasper Kerr and Thomas M. Gatch; programs and activities during World War II; agricultural research and the Experiment Station; the establishment and growth of the Memorial Union; and student activities.

Ilona Fry interviewed four Oregon State alumni, faculty, and administrators in 1980: Gordon W. Gilkey, J. Granville Jensen, Miriam Orzech, and Linus Pauling. The interview of Gordon Gilkey documents Gilkey's work with the restitution of artworks in Europe after World War II, his years as a faculty member and administrator at Oregon State, and the development of humanities and social science academic programs. Jensen's interview provides information about the geography and natural resources academic programs at Oregon State; the relationship between the geography departments at OSU and the University of Oregon; international programs; and geography faculty. The Orzech interview is focused on the Educational Opportunities Program and academic support services for minority students at Oregon State; Orzech discusses the Chicano Student Union, Black Student Union, and Native American Students Association as well asracial prejudice in Corvallis. Pauling discusses a variety of topics in his interview, including his Nobel Prizes, the effects of Vitamin C, his student years at Oregon Agricultural College, his peace activities and protests against nuclear testing, and his chemistry research.

Two of the oral histories in the collection were conducted by other interviewers. The interview of Oliver V. Matthews was conducted in 1959 by Dean McCulloch and Charlies Ross and addresses Matthews' explorations and study of Oregon trees. The interview of Nona Snell was conducted by Veronica Sitton; Snell dicusses her husband's aunt, Margaret Snell, the homes that Snell built on Monroe Avenue, and her involvement with the Village Improvement Society and the planting of trees in Corvallis.

The collection includes several other sound recordings, including a lecture by Ava Milam Clark in 1963 on her personal philosophy and the early history of home economics at Oregon State; farewell speeches by the wives of Oregon State Presidents, James H. Jensen and A.L. Strand, on the occasion of the Jensens' departure from Oregon State in 1969; and This is OSU recorded in 1962 for the Voice of America. A recording of students in the Air Force Cadet Moonflight Simulator is included as well as two audiotapes of the Library dedication. The Library dedication tapes are undated, but are likely of the 1963 dedication of the new Kerr Library building.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings (OH 03), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Processing Note

This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Acquisition Information

The sound recordings and copies of the transcripts were housed at the Horner Museum for a period of time and transferred back to the Archives from the Horner Museum collections in 1996.

Related Materials

Lillian Van Loan's dissertation based on the 1956 interviews is available online in ScholarsArchive@OSU. The Archives' holdings include the papers of several of the interviewees: E.C. Allworth; Ralph Besse; Arthur G.B. Bouquet; Ava B. Milam Clark; J. Granville Jensen; E.B. Lemon; Lora Lemon; and Oliver V. Matthews. The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers are held by the Oregon State University Libraries' Special Collections. Additional materials pertaining to the topics in the interviews are available in the Agricultural Experiment Station (RG 025), College of Home Economics and Education (RG 141), Educational Opportunities Program (RG 230), Horticulture Department (RG 187), and Memorial Union (RG 099) Records. Additional oral histories documenting the development of degree programs in the humanities and social sciences at Oregon State are part of the A.L. Strand Oral History Collection (OH 07).

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Agriculture--Research--Oregon.
  • College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Geography--Research--Oregon.
  • Geography--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Home economics--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Humanities--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Minority college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Social sciences--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • World War, 1939-1945--War work--Schools.

Personal Names

  • Gatch, Thomas M.
  • Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947.
  • Snell, Margaret Comstock, 1843-1923.

Corporate Names

  • Educational Opportunities Program (Oregon State University)
  • Oregon State College--Faculty.
  • Oregon State College--History.
  • Oregon State College. Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Oregon State College. Memorial Union.
  • Oregon State University--Alumni and alumnae.
  • Oregon State University--Faculty.
  • Oregon State University--History.
  • Oregon State University. Dept. of Geography.
  • Oregon State University. Library.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Audiocassettes.
  • Audiotapes.
  • Oral histories (document genres)

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Allworth, Edward C. (interviewee)
    • Beaty, Edward Benjamin. (interviewee)
    • Besse, Ralph S. (Ralph Stephen), 1887- (interviewee)
    • Bouquet, A. G. B. (Arthur George Bristow), b. 1885. (interviewee)
    • Clark, Ava Milam, 1884-1976. (interviewee)
    • Davis, Bertha. (interviewee)
    • Fry, Ilona June. (creator)
    • Gilkey, Gordon. (interviewee)
    • Hansell, Lora Maud. (interviewee)
    • Hartman, Henry, 1889- (interviewee)
    • Jensen, J. Granville (John Granville), 1911-2001. (interviewee)
    • Lemon, E. B. (Erwin Bertran), 1889-1979. (interviewee)
    • Matthews, Oliver Vincent, 1892-1979. (interviewee)
    • Orzech, Miriam Weitz, 1931- (interviewee)
    • Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994. (interviewee)
    • Ruzek, C. V. (Charles Vladis), 1887-1968. (creator)
    • Sherburne, James W. (James Wilson), 1905- (interviewee)
    • Strickland, Gertrude. (interviewee)
    • Williams, Jessamine C. (interviewee)
    Corporate Names
    • Oregon State University. University Archives. (creator)