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DSCI 350M/LIB 350M Humanities Research Data Management

A course guide for Humanities Research Data Management

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Kate Thornhill


This guide has content that is adapted from the following universities & academic libraries

Special thank you to Emily Moore from UO Libraries Special Collections and Archives, and Frida Heitland, DSCI 350M/LIB 350M Winter 2024 Graduate Teaching Assistant, for aiding in the development of this course research guide.

Where to Find Primary Sources

Finding Primary Sources

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Primary sources can be found in many different places, but the most common places to find them are libraries, archives, museums, and in the case of digitized primary sources, online databases.

  • Libraries carry many primary sources, especially newspapers (often on microfilm or in a database), memoirs, autobiographies, maps, audio and video materials, and published collections of letters, diaries, and interviews. Many of these can be found using the library's catalog. Many library materials can be borrowed.
  • Archives are collections of materials, often rare or unique, generated or created by individuals or organizations, that are of historical value and which are kept and preserved for the use of current and future communities. Many archives are located within libraries or museums, and are usually dedicated to a particular organization, geographic area, subject, or some combination of these. Materials that are collected by archives are often collections of papers, manuscripts, photographs, maps, drawings, sound or video records, objects, and many other formats, many of which are primary sources.
  • Museums collect, preserve, and display objects of historical or cultural significance. Primary sources found in museums include artifacts, art, maps, tablets, sound and video recordings, furniture, and realia.
  • Databases of primary sources often include digitized or scanned primary sources that are related by subject, time period, or institutions that maintain the original sources.

Notable Digital Collections in Oregon Digital

Oregon Digital

Oregon Digital (OD) is the University of Oregon's portal for storing and accessing digital materials. A collaborative effort between UO and Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries & Press, OD is home to more than 500,000 digitized works including historic and modern photographs, manuscripts, and publications. A curated selection of UO materials can be explored here

Historic Oregon

Ellmaker Family Papers (1768-2005)

The Ellmakers were a prominent pioneer family who first settled in Lane County, Oregon in the 1850s following their journey across the United States on the Oregon Trail. The collection includes a series of photo albums that document family life.

Willis Dunagan Diaries and Legal Papers (1858-1897)

Willis Dunagan was a farmer in Marion County, Oregon, who documented daily activities, financial records in a series of papers and diaries.

The Healers Project

The Healers Project: Decolonizing Knowledge Within Afro-Indigenous Traditions is a collaborative research project documenting the healing practices, languages and ecological knowledge of Caribbean and U.S. Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples. 


Oregon Maps

This online selection of maps includes materials from the early 19th century through the current day and documents information including indigenous knowledge, migration patterns and tourism. 

Western Waters Digital Library

The Western Waters Digital Library is a collection of historical and contemporary resources focused on the Columbia River Basin, and includes maps, photographs and text materials. 

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) Slides and Photographs

The OIMB collection contains images of marine and terrestrial organisms documented on the Pacific Northwest coast.

Oregon Culture

Northwest Folklife Digital Collection

This collection includes primary source materials documenting folklife and traditional art and artists in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, dating from 1966 to the present. 

Oregon Latino Heritage

The Oregon Latino Heritage collection showcases materials collected by students as part of Latino Roots, a course taught at UO.


Angelus Studio (1880s-1940s)

The Angelus Studio was a professional photographic company based in Portland, Oregon. The collection provides extraordinary documentation of Portland, the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905, Oregon landmarks and commercial operations including logging and fish packing. 

Opal S. Whiteley (1897-1992)

Opal Whiteley was an author and speaker raised in a logging camp in Lane County, Oregon. Her collection of photographs captures daily life, as well as Whiteley's interest in nature and botany. 

Lesbian Intentional Community: Ruth Mountaingrove Photographs (1950-1999)

Between the 1960s and 1990s, scores of young women who identified as lesbians came to Eugene, founding communities of collaboration and creativity. This collection of photographs documents the motivations, struggles and daily life in these feminist and lesbian intentional communities.

University of Oregon and Eugene

Laura J. Bock Papers (1962-1969)

Laura J. Bock was a student at UO who took part in civil rights activism and anti-Vietnam protests at the University. The collection contains political ephemera, including flyers, posters, underground newspapers, personal notes and correspondence.

UO Archives Photographs

This collection contains modern and vintage photographic prints related to UO, including buildings, historic scenes, events and scenes of campus life. 

National Japanese American Student Relocation Council Records (1942-1946)

The National Japanese American Student Relocation Council was created by university administrators as a means of relocating Japanese American college students to other universities and colleges away from the West Coast during World War II. The collection includes correspondence, newsletters, speeches, minutes of meetings, and ephemera.

Notable Oregon GLAMs with Primary Sources

Notable Oregon GLAMs with Primary Sources

  • The Oregon Historical Society's research library is home to the world's largest collection of Oregon-related materials, documenting the peoples, places and events that have shaped Oregon's history. 
  • The Old Aurora Colony's collections include letters, records, music manuscripts and photographs documenting 19th century life in the Aurora Colony, one of America's most successful communal societies. 
  • The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education houses artifacts and archives documenting the experience of Oregon Jews and includes photographs, oral history interviews, music and written records. 
  • The Columbia River Maritime Museum of Astoria, Oregon collects and preserves the history of the Columbia river and the Pacific Northwest. Their Ted M. Natt Maritime Library holds journals, manuscripts, printed volumes, photographs and the first printed map of the Columbia River.