Category: Digital Collections

New Collection: Shobundo Senjafuda Collection

Earlier this year, Special Collections and University Archives acquired a new collection of Japanese votive slips, or fuda, which are now available for viewing and research in the SCUA reading room.

Fuda, also called nōsatsu, are Japanese votive slips printed using a woodblock process. Originally, created in the 11th century by religious pilgrims as devotional items, these slips have become part of a vibrant collecting and exchange culture in Japan and abroad. The religious senjafuda are generally unadorned, consisting of only the pilgrim’s name, and pasted to the walls of temples and shrines. The more detailed and luxurious kokanfuda, featuring many subjects including kabuki characters and mythological creatures, are collected and traded by members of a nōsatsu-kai, or exchange clubs. Individual nōsatsu clubs generally commission artists, carvers, and printers to produce new slips for trading at nōsatsu-kai meetings and events.

Yokohama nōsatsu-kai circa 1950s

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Colonel John “Watermelon” Redington and the Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) December 13, 1883, image 1.
Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) December 13, 1883.

Available at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is a collection of correspondences, scrapbooks, newspapers, and miscellaneous papers pertaining to Colonel John “Watermelon” Redington (1851-1935). An Oregon scout turned newspaper man, this eccentric character was editor of the Heppner Weekly Gazette in Heppner, Oregon during its frontier days. The Colonel published quite an unusual periodical for such a small western town, and University of Oregon alumnus Brant Ducey used Redington’s editorial career with the Heppner Weekly Gazette as the focus of his master’s thesis (John Watermelon Redington: “Hell on Hogthieves and Hypocrites” 1963). To add to the bulk of resources available on John “Watermelon” Redington, the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) has also made digital issues of the Heppner Weekly Gazette available online from the period of his editorial management. Drawing upon the research already completed by Brant Ducey and the resources made available by SCUA and ODNP, this post takes a quick look at the editorial career Redington which Ducey remarked as perhaps one of the most unique moments in the history of Oregon’s periodical publications.

Scrapbook in the John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.
Scrapbook in the John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.

As Brant Ducey explains in his research, Colonel Redington was propositioned with an offer to run the Heppner Weekly Gazette following his service in both the Nez Perce and Bannock Indian wars. He was hesitant to accept the job, as an editorial position didn’t quite match the excitement of his nomadic life as an Oregon scout. Though after hearing that the previous publisher of the paper had been run out of Heppner by the town “baddies,” Redington felt that the proposition might provide enough of a challenge to stay entertained.

"The Original Boy Scout." John. W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.
“The Original Boy Scout.” John. W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.

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

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.

Moorhouse Photography Collection: Judgement in Cataloging

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Working in the Digital Scholarship Center as a student image cataloger, I have been exposed to multiple collections that are being digitized and shared on Oregon Digital. One of the primary collections I have worked with is the Lee Moorhouse photograph collection. Moorhouse was a photographer in the Pacific Northwest around the turn of the 20th century. He had a wide range of photographic subjects, but two prominent ones I have come across are the touring shows that came to Pendleton, OR and various Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. At the turn of the century some of the vaudeville acts that performed in Pendleton had a heavily racist element in their show. In his photography of Native Americans, Moorhouse would pose his models with a hodgepodge of Native American objects, part of a tradition of white artists’ creating stereotyped representations of Native Americans. As the cataloger of these photographs, it was my responsibility to add accurate and relevant subject headings that would help researchers find them. Often, I could easily identify and record the subject matter of a photograph. However, in these troubling photos, how do I accurately describe what these images are?

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New Resources for LGTBQ Special Collections

The University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives holds a number of fascinating collections focused on LGBTQ history at the UO and throughout Oregon.



Creating Change: Forty Years of LGBTQ Activism at The University of Oregon is a new digital exhibit that celebrates the long history of LGTBQ activism at the University of Oregon. First staged as a physical exhibit at the Eugene Airport (Mahlon Sweet Field), its transitioned into a digital exhibit in time for the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Standing Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Concerns at the University of Oregon.


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