Search our collections
- Archival collections:
Search collection guides by keyword in Archives West
- Rare books and publications:
- Digitized images and materials; born-digital items:
- Historical sources research guides:
Class and subject guides
We support broad access to our collections through online collection guides, the library catalog, digitization, and reference assistance.
Request a reproduction:
HC&A provides a full range of services, including photocopies and scanning, to support access to our collections. Please consult our Service Fee Schedule for a complete list of services and payment options.
Reproduction request form and guidelines
HC&A staff do not conduct research on behalf of patrons, but can provide references for independent contractors upon request.
We consult with the OHSU community on using university history and historical collections for outreach and community engagement. Our role is identifying relevant materials for research and presentation, and overseeing preservation and display of materials. We can provide references for independent contractors with expertise in historical research, visual design, content development, and project management.
Helpful tips for a successful historical research visit:
- Think well ahead of hard deadlines, and schedule in advance.
Archival research is slow research, and often involves sifting through many records. Your research may take several visits, depending on how many materials you’re using.
- Do some broad, preliminary research on your topic.
Archival materials aren’t an efficient introduction to a large well-understood topic (such as “the history of psychiatry”). Before consulting archival records, check published sources such as historical review articles or books to get a big picture idea of your topic.
- Be prepared to expend some time and effort.
While archival records document specific circumstances, we may not have individual records that address your specific question. You may need to piece together evidence from several different sources to advance your knowledge.
- Understand that archives standard practices are designed to protect the materials, but we can always consider alternative options.
Archival materials are rare and often one-of-a-kind records of the circumstances they document, and must be safeguarded against loss or damage. Additionally, as a HIPAA-covered entity, OHSU upholds strong standards to protect patient privacy. Some records are restricted from access due to the inclusion of protected health information (PHI) or to other privacy concerns. Please ask us if you have questions about our practices.
- Ask questions during your visit, and ask for help if you become frustrated.
While we are generally not able to estimate how long your research will take, or answer questions of historical trivia on the spot, we have extensive experience in assisting researchers in using our collections. Do not hesitate to ask questions if a document strikes your interest in another source, if you are confused by something, or if something is just not adding up and you need some clarification.
Adapted from “How can you help archivists to help you? Reference service from our side of the desk,” by Samantha Thompson, Archivist, Region of Peel Archives, January 23, 2019.
Please schedule a visit to use materials that you have identified for your research in our collections (see "Search our collections" tab above). We schedule research visits by appointment between 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday, depending on availability. On-site research access to collections is free to the public.
We host researchers in our reading room, Room 300 in the Old Library/Auditorium building on the OHSU Marquam Hill campus.
NOTE: Our reading room is currently accessible via stairs only. If this poses an accessibility issue for you, please note your needs in the "additional notes" field when booking your appointment, and we will make arrangements to meet you in an accessible library space.
Our staff and facilities are available for classes, meetings, and tours. We will work with you to plan a customized experience for your group.
We encourage instructors to incorporate our resources in the history of the health sciences into their classes. We will work with you to select materials and schedule our research room for a specific class session or series.
Please contact us to arrange a class or visit.
Our collections are built primarily through donations. Our staff work with the OHSU community and the general public to ensure that historic materials are stewarded responsibly and preserved for the future. If we are unable to accept a donation, we will assist you in identifying a more appropriate repository.
We actively collect books, papers, photographs,artifacts, memorabilia, and other materials pertaining to the history of OHSU and the history of the health sciences. We are strongly interested in the personal collections of alumni and employees. To discuss the donation of your personal collection, please contact us.
Note: A tax professional can assist you in determining whether your gift is tax-deductible.Library staff are prohibited from assisting donors in determining the value or tax status of donations. Your Old Books answers many common questions about the value of books. Consult with a qualified appraiser to obtain a detailed evaluation of your collection. Our colleagues at Oregon Historical Society have created this useful list of appraisers and conservators for individuals looking to determine the value of a donation.
In collaboration with the Library Technology Department, we provide a digital preservation environment and deliver digital assets management consultation services for OHSU units. This service safeguards OHSU's digital assets, and provides education and support for the OHSU community with centralized internal digital media management and sharing. We work with OHSU community members on how to use the Library's digital assets management system in order to enhance the description, tracking, security, access, and sharing of creative works like digital photography, video, and sound.