100 years of OSU farming research, homemaking advice now online

December 22, 2011
Extension publications
OSU Extension Service publications, some dating back to the 1800s, are now available online. Photo by Rachel Beck.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 6,000 documents from Oregon State University that cover a century of agricultural research and homemaking advice are now available to the public online.

Dating as far back as 1888, the publications were produced by OSU's Extension Service and the university's agricultural research centers around the state. The materials include annual research reports and instructional guides covering everything from agricultural techniques to housecleaning.

The project was the result of a partnership between OSU Libraries and the university's department of Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC).

"These publications represent more than 100 years of communicating the university’s research advancements for the benefit of Oregon’s communities, natural resources and economy," said Peg Herring, the head of EESC. “Now they’re digitally preserved, searchable and free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection."

The topics of the publications offer a glimpse of Oregon life over the past century and will delight Oregon history buffs. "Bulletin No. 1," issued in 1888, outlined how OSU's newly created agricultural research centers would operate. "Low Cost Menus for One Month," published in 1933, advocated giving three teaspoons of cod liver oil per day to young children to ensure healthy development. And a 1971 booklet titled "30 Days to Reality" explained what a credit card was and how it worked.

Oregonians can also find information from current publications to help with modern life. Recent titles in the database include "Canning Seafood" and "Composting With Worms."

All publications are available through OSU's institutional repository, ScholarsArchive@OSU. A direct link to the EESC publications is: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/3904. Users can also find names of specific publications through the library catalog (http://oasis.oregonstate.edu/) and Internet search engines. The descriptions for out-of-date publications contain a disclaimer advising readers to search for the most current information in the OSU Extension catalog.

"It’s a great publishing model, and a valuable partnership between EESC and OSU Libraries," said Sue Kunda, digital scholarship librarian. “The most current research-based information is in the OSU Extension catalog, and all publications are preserved online for the benefit of the university and the public."

Author: Rachel Beck
Source: Sue Kunda, Peg Herring