Cataloging Update

30 07 2012

The Oregon State Hospital Museum received a matching grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission for materials to aid in cataloging and rehousing artifacts at the Oregon State Hospital.  We turned in our interim grant report today with the results of the cataloging efforts.  To date we have cataloged over 4423 individual items representing 522 different types of materials.  These include everything from chairs (44) to alarms (3) to theracycles (2).

The grant has allowed the museum to purchase PastPerfect museum software, an electronic database which will allow us to track individual items.  The database now has records* for:

  • 1508 Objects
  • 93 Photos
  • 219 Archival Collections
  • 162 Library Materials

Each record has space for us to attach a photo of the material and fields to track size, medium, type, creator, place of origin, etc.  The great part about this database is that we can also tag records with different categories and names, which will make finding materials for exhibits and research much easier.

The second half of the grant project includes purchasing archival quality storage materials to help us rehouse the collections and preserve them for future generations.  This will mean replacing the wadded newspaper used to quickly pack materials before the building was torn down.

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Outstanding Volunteers!

5 05 2010

Intern Anna Levy examines a bottle found at OSH

April was National Volunteer Month and, true to form, we’re a little bit late in recognizing five Willamette University student interns who have accomplished some outstanding things in the last few months: Dakota Coleman, Chelsea Greenberg, Anna Levy, Celia Meiners-Wilson, and David Solomon.  Since January they have spent long and sometimes tedious hours cataloguing, measuring, and photographing hundreds of artifacts.  All of this hard work, however, completed the inventory in the physical plant (one of the larger storage areas of historic material at the hospital) and put us one step closer to meeting the goal of inventorying all historic material on the Salem campus.

Interns (from L-R) Dakota Coleman, David Solomon, Chelsea Greenberg and Celia Meiners-Wilson examine a glass jug

Bits and Pieces

6 01 2010

Miscellaneous parts found during inventory. Item in lower right corner was later found to be a piece broken off of a set of cast iron scales.

These miscellaneous parts were found during the inventory process.  While they may look like junk (and many of them may turn out to be just that), the innocuous looking metal piece T2009.002.053 proved to be much more.  About three weeks after it was found, it was identified as a missing piece from a set of Henry Troemner scales. 

Henry Troemner started manufacturing commercial scales in 1838 in Philadelphia and received a contract to make scales for the US Mint.  Sometime after 1856, they started making pharmaceutical scales.  The company is still in business today. 

Not every item inventoried is historic or will become part of the museum, but every item found is numbered and kept until it can be identified.   

Henry Troemner Scales (T2009.002.108) reunited with its missing piece (T2009.002.053)

We Need Your Help!

2 01 2010

Objects stored in the Gold Room

OSH has collected a lot of objects over the years.  Some are easily recognizable, others are not.  We need your help identifying these objects!  Starting this week we will periodically post an image and description of an unidentified object on the Artifact ID page.  Please help by submitting information or recollections about the object as a comment on the page.  Comments will be saved and filed in the collections management database.

MHP Mystery

28 12 2009

Mysterious tag found on several objects in the collection.

Several items inventoried have tags on them, like those in the picture above,  that read “MHP Collection.”  Does anyone know anything about these tags or what “MHP” stands for? 

Four items have been found so far with this tag on them.  These include: 

  • Krasno-Ivy Flicker Photometer made by the Clinical Instruments Co.
  • Electro-Shock Therapy Apparatus
  • GE Cardioscribe
  • Framed photograph of unidentified building (see image below)


Photo of the Eastern Oregon State Hospital (T2009.002.197). This framed photo also bears the mysterious MHP tag.