Last week (and then some) at the School of Dentistry

On March 25th, HC&A began the process of boxing up the records of Oregon Child Growth Study and the papers of Dr. Bhim Sen Savara, which had been stored in the basement of the School of Dentistry, between the generators and the bomb shelter.











The materials in the Child Growth Study Collection document part of a study that was conducted from the 50’s through the 80’s. The records are part of a very limited, very unique, yet incredibly in-depth and extensive study on early development. The unique nature of these materials mean that access to the collection is a strong priority, with continuing high use anticipated. The study was so well-documented that there is a monograph discussing the process and results, which HC&A now has copies of.
The Crew

The group tasked with boxing up the collections and preparing them for transfer to HC&A was headed by Karen Peterson, Archivist:








Assisting was Max Johnson, HC&A Student Assistant:








Jeff Colby, HC&A Assistant helped out in the afternoons:










Maija Anderson, Head of Historical Collections & Archives and HC&A Student Assistant Amy Frazier pitched in. HC&A also received amazing help from current dental students, Vinny and Seth:








The Materials

Preparing the records of the Oregon Child Growth Study was the primary goal of the team. The records consist of circa 350 plaster casts of jaws, circa 400 binders of patient data, no less than 60 linear feet of negatives and prints, and a variety of instruments, human remains and articles related to the study. In addition, we appraised, retrieved and boxed all of Dr. Savara’s files which include three 4’ high file cabinets of materials.





















































All of the materials were covered in a thick layer of dust which became airborne upon physical contact. We used document-sensitive wipes and a vacuum to remove the major levels of dust prior to boxing and packing.

The Process

Starting with the dental casts, Vinny and Seth removed the dust layers from each of the boxes, placed them archival document boxes, then stuffed them with tissue for transfer. Once the casts were complete, we moved on to the binders. Initially we believed the binders would fit in the document boxes, however the binders were too big – we ended up removing them completely and foldering the contents in situ to protect them.

Jeff and Max brought down more materials to help deal with the massive amount of photos and negatives. Max boxed up the negatives and Jeff worked on rebindering parts of the study.

On the second day, we continued to box up the bindered materials, Max learned how to pop a lock using a screw driver to access some negatives, Maija appraised and packed books from departmental libraries, and we boxed up and inventoried the infant study.




























The remainder of the first week entailed finishing up the binders and beginning the process of boxing up and inventorying Dr. Savara’s files. Almost the entirety of the collections were prepared by Friday afternoon.















We finished up the last few details on Monday, including inventorying and boxing the last of the file cabinets, cleaning the space (campsite rule), bringing leftover preservation materials back up to the library and finalizing the master inventory.








The process went incredibly smoothly – a huge thanks goes out to our colleagues at the School of Dentistry for their support!

Max Johnson, HC&A Student Assistant