Documenting University of Oregon History Project

The Documenting UO History Project aims to research, document, and disseminate major portions of university history by making extensive use of the UO Libraries’ University Archives collection, engaging students and faculty in the process, and developing a variety of resources for dissemination. The project has four major goals:

  1. Improve access to and the user experience with university history
  2. Engage university students and faculty in the creation and dissemination of university history
  3. Support instruction that fosters academic success
  4. Document diverse university history

Previous university archivists, historians, and faculty have documented various aspects of the history of the University of Oregon through books, ephemera, and online projects. Major works include books by Henry Sheldon, as well as smaller pamphlets and volumes by a variety of local historians. Online resources include the documentation of the architecture of campus on the “Historic Knight Library: Art & Architecture” website by Edward Teague. However, much of the major historical events and milestones remain hidden in a variety of resources and lesser known events and individuals are buried in a multitude of collections. In addition, the university lacks a comprehensive historical timeline and online presence regarding the history of the university. The University Archives receives numerous requests from faculty and students that these resources are significantly needed for a variety of courses and projects across campus. Thus, this project aims to fill this gap and involve faculty and students in contributing to the project.

Major Project Goals

Improve access to and the user experience with university history.

This project will identify the core resources and collections in the University Archives that document the major events, core individual, and hidden history of the university history and then contribute detailed overviews through a variety of mediums to showcase the historical research and data. This will include the following:

  • Interactive timeline
  • Frequently asked questions page. All posts and work to date can also be found on the SCUA blog here.
  • Physical and Electronic pamphlets for historical walking tours—including major, lesser known, and diverse university events and individuals. This resource will be for students, faculty, and the general public, as well as UO Ambassadors Program, UO Alumni Association, and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Engage university students and faculty in the creation and dissemination of university history.

Through the above initial research work, we will identify a list of university history events, individuals, and hidden history that can be incorporated into various university course curriculum and completed by students. The research and final work will be uploaded to the decided medium, such as a dedicated website and/or blog.

Support instruction that fosters academic success.

We will work collaboratively with faculty to incorporate this project into their course curriculum, as well as providing instruction and overseeing the research. The project will also investigate the possibility of developing an entire class course devoted to this historical research and work, either through a FIG or Freshman Seminar.

Document Diversity On Campus

Throughout the review and culling of records to document major milestones, events, and individuals, the project will identify gaps in the records and reach out to diverse university offices and students groups to gather and donate their records to fill the void in this historical information. Further details about this project, Documenting Diversity at UO, can be found here.

See the SCUA blog for recent posts on the Documenting UO History Project.