Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It’s practically historic! Interviews with Eugene brewers from 2012

Check out these Eugene, Cascades & Coast - Travel Lane County interviews with Eugene’s craft brewers, including those at Ninkasi and Oakshire, for a look at their individual brewing history and the overall craft brew culture in Eugene Oregon.

You can find more brew pub information on the Eugene Cascades & Coast site.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beercology exhibit: San Diego Museum of Man

Our fabulous exhibits and graphic arts student, Patch Leishman, took a trip to San Diego last week and visited the Museum of Man to see the Beercology exhibit.

He took these wonderful pictures, but if you can visit yourself he highly recommends it — it’s up through summer 2014.

For those who can’t make it, there’s an informative web site!

For those who would like more photos, there’s a Flickr set

Saturday, April 5, 2014

OHBA Intern Report! Brian Morin tells all.

Winter term Brian Morin, a library science graduate student at Drexel University, worked with me on surveying and digitizing some of the university records pertaining to hops research at OUS. His main goal was to learn more about library/archival practice, how we do what we do, but he was also really interested in digital librarianship. 

Here he is with Associate University Librarian Shan Sutton at the Tap into History event March 28 — see how fun it was? 

Brian helped me determine metadata standards (how do we records the “this is about” information for scanned items) and a workflow practice for digitizing print and microfilm records. He worked through the microfilm from the Botany and Plant Pathology Department Records (RG054) and Crop Soil Science Records (RG95) — and fear not, those will be online soon!

Introduction

In the winter quarter of 2014, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for The Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center (SCARC). This particular internship was under the supervision of Tiah Edmunson-Morton, an archivist who recently began development of the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA).  According to the homepage, “OHBA is the first archive in the United States dedicated to preserving and telling the intertwined story of hops and beer” (Oregon Hops & Brewing Achives, What is OHBA?, 2014).  This paper will discuss learnings from processing records for the OHBA database and my overall experience as an intern for SCARC.

Findings

The majority of work I did as an intern revolved around researching record group ninety-five microfilm. Record group ninety-five contains records from the Crop Science Department –the records of particular concern for OHBA – and covered material from 1947-1963. The majority of records had to do with correspondence between the Crop Science Department and hops and brewing professional organizations such as the Malting Barley Improvement Association, The United States Brewers Associations, and the United States Brewers Foundation. These professional organizations would provide funds to Oregon State University to conduct research on hops and barley to improve their yield and production. Of particular concern for brewers were fungus such as downy mildew that could ruin hops crops. Professors would provide progress reports on their research to these organizations and include advice on how to solve certain issues pertaining to hops and barley farming.

SCARC also had paper records that were of great interest to OHBA. Of particular note was the North American Barley Genome Mapping Project information, which outlined a research project that applied contemporary genetic tools to barley improvement. Complete research projects by professors at the University were also available. The projects included technical topics such as: Atmospheric Conditions Influencing Pollen Shedding in Hops and Evaluation of Experimental Hop Lines.

The records reviewed mostly concerned research projects and logistical discussions between the Crop Science Department and the many hops and barley improvement associations, as well as communications with the United States Department of Agriculture. One may assume that these communications are plain and matter of fact, but the passion and spirit of hops and brewing does come through in some communications between the professors and brewing organizations. Take for example a letter from Walt Jendrzejewski dated February 23, 1961. Jendrzejewski was the County Extension Agent for Klamath Falls writing to Wilson H. Foote, a professor in the Farm Crops Department, concerning protein percentage in malting barley. His manner in describing this situation is unique,

“…I can’t help but recall a little saying which goes, “Anything worth doing is worth doing for money”…Most farmers and businessmen are more responsible to profit incentives that are county agents, college professors and other missionaries.  Even preachers should perhaps have a better understanding of the incentive function of profits” (RG095 Folder 101 record 003a). 

It is communication such as this that demonstrate the passion and reality of hops farming in the Pacific Northwest. The records I researched have many other examples of such communications between researchers and other entities.

Internship Experience at SCARC

I gained many technical skills through the internship which included processing and researching via microfilm. OHBA’s website is being designed as a digital repository so much of the work was centered on transferring records from microfilm to electronic format.  Another skill I obtained was the use of the Zotero database to create records for all of the documents uploaded (added to the OHBA Brewing Bibliography). This technical experience was invaluable for an aspiring archivist, especially in a marketplace that increasingly demands information system skills.

Not only did I learn technical skills during the internship, I was also given significant advice and mentoring. Interacting with Tiah and seeing how she conceived of and developed OHBA provided a lot of insight into archival management. The rest of the SCARC staff were excellent sources of information and experience as well. I feel greater confidence in heading into the professional world after this experience with the archivists and information professionals at SCARC.

Conclusion

In his article The Power of Archives: Archivists’ values and value in the Postmodern Age, the archivist Mark Greene comments on how archivists can influence society, “How do we do that? The answer is twofold. First, archivists must recognize power is grounded in values…Second, we archivists must recognize and exercise our power.” OHBA is an excellent example of SCARC upholding the values of a land grant institution by preserving the history and culture of hops and brewing in the Pacific Northwest. Through much advocacy and passion, Tiah and the staff dedicated to OHBA demonstrate the power archivists have by educating on a topic relevant to the residents who Oregon State University is dedicated to serving. They uphold the values of democracy and collective memory important to an informed citizenry.