We offer a range of services to make our collections accessible from anywhere. See options below for searching our collections, getting research help, accessing materials, transferring historical records and arranging a class or tour.
Search our collections
- Search archival collections such as University records, faculty papers, community collections and more by keyword in Archives West.
Get research help
We offer a variety of ways to access our collections. See options below.
If you need a small number of items from our collections (1-10), we would be happy to provide you with digital copies. Submit one request per item.
In-person access to materials that we cannot make available digitally must be scheduled at least one week in advance. We will make every effort to make the best use of your time onsite. Contact us to discuss your research needs, identify materials of interest, and to schedule a research appointment.
Appointments are scheduled in OHSU Library space on the Marquam Hill campus, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., depending on staff availability.
Detailed directions will be provided via appointment confirmation email.
Requested materials will be available when you arrive. Materials not previously requested will require another appointment to allow the items to be located and pulled for use.
A staff member will be present during the length of your appointment to provide further assistance and guidance on how to carefully handle our unique materials.
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.
Transfer records or donate materials
Our University Archives document the history of OHSU and its predecessor institutions. Holdings include administrative records, photographs and artwork, campus publications, research data and personal papers, in analog and digital formats.
For OHSU-created records bound by the Records Retention Schedule (OHSU network connection required), consult the schedule and contact University Archivist, Steve Duckworth, and the OHSU Legal Department to discuss options for permanent retention and to arrange a records transfer.
For OHSU-created records not bound by the official retention schedule, such as records of student organizations, faculty research, and more, please contact the University Archivist, Steve Duckworth, to discuss options.
To donate other items, please visit the "Donate Materials" section of the Support Historical Collections & Archives tab to learn more.
Plan a class visit or tour
Our staff and facilities are available for classes 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 and can help select materials for a specific class session or series.
Please contact us to arrange a class visit or tour.