School of Nursing Archives Gets a New Home

Annual Aumni Mtg 10 Web copy
Class of 1963 Alumni enjoying an archives display at Reunion

By Karen Lea Anderson Peterson, MA – Archivist, Assistant Professor

OHSU Historical Collections & Archives


Bertha Hallam, first librarian of the University of Oregon Medical School, began collecting historical documents, artifacts and publications when she was hired in 1919. This collection exists today and has grown exponentially. Over the years, however, the collection fell short in adequately documenting the vitally important history of nursing.

Even though Barbara Gaines, R.N., Ed.D., OHSU School of Nursing professor emeritus, was instrumental in providing  a stream of School of Nursing records and some personal papers to the archives, we still were unable to provide a full spectrum of information to our patrons. Fortunately for OHSU and our patrons, the School of Nursing was preserving their own history and developing what is known as the School of Nursing Archives. 

Just as in the OHSU Archives developed by Hallam, the materials at SON were at first found in various locations. Members of the SON Alumni Association decided the first step in preserving these materials was to provide a centralized and secure location followed by the arduous work of housing and inventory.

For decades, the SON Archives has been safely guarded under lock and key in the basement of the School of Nursing, lovingly cared for by members of the Alumni Association. But the time has come for these historical materials to be shared with the world. They will soon join the rest of the OHSU Archives stored in a controlled environment in the Old Library. They will be given the same care that they have enjoyed throughout the years but will also be given access to onsite visitors. Additionally, we will post an online guide to the collection on our website, alerting researchers from all over the world about this incredible collection.   

Keep an eye out for more information about this exciting new addition to the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives and don't hesitate to contact us with questions or comments.

Karen Peterson



Maija Anderson