We will be cheering on the UO women’s basketball team as they compete in this weekend’s NCAA Division I Championship. Led by record-setting junior Sabrina Ionescu, the team reached the Final Four for the first time in the program’s history. Read more about this historic accomplishment in a recent article on Around the O.
The history of UO women’s basketball extends back to the 1894-1895 school year, when students competed infrequently on interclass teams.
We proudly celebrate the recent accomplishments of the UO women’s track and field team winning third place, winning 1st place in the distance medley relay, and winning the 3,000m individual title at the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The current exhibit, “Oregon Spirit: The Legacy of Track and Field,” highlights some key moments in the history of women’s track and field. The Women’s Athletic Association was founded in 1913, which offered additional opportunities for women to engage in athletics beyond physical education courses. According to the 1914 edition of the Oregana:
The first athletic organization ever to be perfected in the University in the interests of women’s athletics is the Women’s Athletic Association, which was organized during the past year. The purpose of this association is to encourage athletics among the women of the University and to develop a physically more efficient Oregon woman. (p.261)
Women participated in intramural, interclass and intercollegiate contests. The exhibit includes two field day programs featuring track contests held on the hockey field, and on cemetery ridge.
And her spirit’s always loyal,
And we’ll have the world to know
That the bonds can ne’er be broken,
Formed in the dear old U.O.
—“There’s a Pretty Little Village,” circa 1910
University of Oregon Libraries is pleased to announce an exhibit titled Oregon Spirit: The Legacy of Track and Field, now on display from January 7th to March 22nd in the Special Collections and University Archives Paulson Reading Room.
The University of Oregon proudly celebrates over 100 years of track and field. Led by illustrious coaches, student-athletes defied the limits of human performance before an audience of devoted fans. Drawing upon 20 collections, these curated items reveal a palpable spirit that transcends generations. The legacy of track and field is built on enduring tradition and dynamic innovation.
In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, we are highlighting a recent acquisition of two short sketched vignettes in watercolor documenting University of Oregon student life during and after World War I.
“Over Here: A Striking Scenerio [sic] of Present Day Events,” 1918 (18 pages)
A vignette of a day in the life of a young woman living in Eugene during World War I. The sketches depict a morning routine, Villard Hall, the Rex Theatre.
“When the Boys Came Home: A Scenario in One Act,” 1919 (11 pages)
Depicts the expectations and realities of soldiers returning to campus. Each page contains a perception of those on the home front and the actual scenario of soldier reintegration into civilian life. The sketches include Eugene City Hall, and Obak Amusement Co. (a student favorite for billiards and bowling).
—Lauren Goss, Accessioning and Processing Archivist
In the fall of 1977, John Landis and his Universal Pictures production crew came to Eugene, Oregon, to begin filming their college comedy Animal House on the campus of the University of Oregon. They recruited dozens of UO students as extras, and used many well-known campus buildings and landmarks as locations. The video above is a compilation of behind-the-scenes footage shot by local TV news crews, including the iconic parade scene shot in Cottage Grove, Oregon, as well as the demolition of the Delta house in the early 1980s. The news footage all comes from the KEZI-TV/Chambers Communications Corp. records (Coll 427), and the still images come from University Archives Photographs (UA Ref 3) in Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA).
Some of this same footage, plus additional clips and images from SCUA, is also available in a related video produced by the University of Oregon’s Communications & Marketing department to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the the film’s release. An article in the summer 2018 issue of the Oregon Quarterly explores the film’s local history and its ongoing impact as a cult favorite.
Both videos demonstrate how archival footage can be combined in different ways and recontextualized to tell new stories about history.
As a student delving into this archival collection of behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes, this project felt transportive as I immersed myself in images from the past forty years. It was also a learning experience in the context of the culture of UO, as well as the evolution of what we deem as socially responsible in relation to comedy. Archival video footage and images are unique in their ability to present the viewer with a view of the world as it used to be, which can lead to greater understanding of how the past influenced the present.
You don’t need to be a student at the University of Oregon to find something in KEZI-TV news collection to connect with. Parents, alumni, faculty members, fans of the movie, and all types of Eugenians will come across familiar sites as they stood forty years ago. From downtown Cottage Grove run amok to John Belushi finagling a horse through Johnson Hall, this collection provides us with a vision of our campus and the surrounding area through a retro, Hollywood lens.
For me, the image of Belushi playing his guitar in a booth at the EMU fishbowl resonates strongly. To see a Hollywood star sitting by the same windows many of us have gazed through while working on a project or getting lunch with friends makes the connection between then and now all the more palpable.
Of course, the film isn’t without certain problematic tendencies. While I’m not excusing the myriad punchlines that come at the expense of a variety of social communities, I will say that this archive is a fun look into the loose atmosphere of the film set. Furthermore, this film still serves as the largest vehicle for the city of Eugene’s representation in Hollywood lore, as it grossed over $140 million and spawned an entire generation of knock-offs. Because of this, our archival collections serve as an important look into the creation of Eugene and the University of Oregon’s Hollywood immortality.