New Children’s Literature Collection | Avery Johnson Papers

We are pleased to announce that a new finding aid in our Children’s Literature collection is now available on Archives West.

The Avery Johnson papers (Ax 820) have been processed with an updated finding aid available online. The collection contains Johnson’s original illustrations for children’s literature publications and related correspondence and contracts.

Avery F. Johnson (1906-1990) was a children’s book illustrator who worked in a variety of materials including ink, watercolor, charcoal, graphite, and scratchboard. This collection of original illustrations and proofs includes Johnson’s work in these materials for publications on a range themes, primarily composed of juvenile historical fiction and folktales.


Figures 1-3

Figures 1-3


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Posted in News

New Children’s Literature Collection | Cornelius DeWitt Papers

We are pleased to announce that a new finding aid in our Children’s Literature collection is now available on Archives West.

The Cornelius DeWitt papers (Ax 347) are primarily composed of original illustrations created for children’s books. Also represented in the collection are dummies, sketchbooks, proofs, personal and travel artwork, correspondence, and production notes.


Figure 1 – The Human Body

Cornelius Hugh DeWitt (1905-1995) was a German-born children’s book illustrator and illustrated numerous books for publishing houses such as Golden Books and Western Publishing in the mid-twentieth century. Illustrations of the sciences feature heavily in DeWitt’s illustrated publications including works on ethnography, anthropology, biology, geology, geography, and physics. Some notable publications on these themes include The Human Body (1959, Figure 1), The Golden Geography (1952), and the Regions of America series (such as The Story of the Mississippi). DeWitt was also a contributor to one of Golden Books largest and most financially successful publications, The Golden Encyclopedia (published in multiple editions with various editors from 1946-1988). Read more ›

Posted in Collections, Manuscripts

5 Things You Didn’t Know Existed in the EMU 50 Years Ago

A still from "EMU recreations," filmed by student Ken Settlemier in 1966.

The EMU is celebrating its reopening Thursday and Friday—the building is full of new food, new spaces and even a Duck Store. But fifty years ago, the EMU was a lot different.

This is a video filmed in 1966 by a political science student named Ken Settlemier, who was trying to show how crowded the EMU had become. According to an article in the Oregon Daily Emerald, the film didn’t really achieve what it had intended when shown to the EMU Board—but today, provides us with a snapshot of student life in the EMU half a century ago.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know existed in the EMU in 1966:

1. A barber shop.

 2. Smoking.

3. A daily print newsroom.

The Emerald is now a daily online publication with two news magazines a week; in 1966, it printed every day from Monday to Friday.

4. Ping-pong.

5. A bowling alley.

Bonus points: A girl falling asleep.

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Posted in Digital Collections, Events, Moving Images, This Week in History, University History

Celebrate Archives on Ask An Archivist Day – October 5 2016


On October 5, archivists around the country will take to Twitter to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist about any and all things archives.

Tag Special Collections & University Archives at @uoregonlibnews to ask questions, get information, or just satisfy your curiosity!

You’re always welcome to ask us all questions on other days too- but you knew that, right?

Posted in Events, National Celebrations, News, University Archives

October 1: View highlights and hidden gems at Archives Fest!


Posted in Events, News

Printed Waste

One of the most interesting aspects of working with special collections materials is the physical nature of the items themselves. Who owned them? How were they used? How were they made? This post primarily concerns the last question.

IMG_2569While cataloging a copy of an 1808 edition of Milton’s poems, I noticed something odd about the binding. On the marbled endpapers, underneath the decorative swirls and spots, there was printed text. The darker blue marbling had fully obscured many of the words, but in the gray or clear areas whole words and even phrases were visible.

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Collections, Rare Books

Death Valley Days at the Western Legends Round Up Festival

The theme of the 2016 Western Legends Round Up Cowboy Lifestyle & Film Festival in Kansas, Utah is Death Valley Days. Some may remember Death Valley Days as the television show President Ronald Reagan performed on in 1955.

Reagan performs on the television show Death Valley Days, 1955

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Posted in News
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