Jeff Colby retires after four decades with the OHSU Library

Jeff Colby stands in blue jeans and a light sweater in between two red library carts filled with various boxes. Behind him, automatic doors in a brick library building..
Jeff Colby receives records from MindFreedom International for HC&A in 2014.

This week we celebrate our colleague, Jeff Colby, as he retires after four decades (you read that right, 40 years!) with OHSU. Jeff’s seen the Library, and the institution, through many changes over the years, and is intimately familiar with our history as part of both the Historical Collections & Archives and Access Services teams. Over the years, Jeff has completed some massive processing projects in the archives, and managed to handle all manner of requests and unusual situations at our service desk! We’ll miss his good humor and his knowledge of our collections and history, and wish him the happiest retirement.

Jeff’s on our wish list of oral history interviews to conduct once we are able to resume, but in the meantime, he answered a few questions as he looked back on a long and unique career at the Library:

What’s one of your favorite or most memorable projects that you’ve completed in your career at OHSU?

A couple memorable ones come to mind: The newspaper folio scanning project, which took 5 years(!) and scanning an 18th century book that created a mechanical voice-box. (See the digitized copy of Wolfgang von Kempelen’s 1791 Mechanismus Der Menschlichen Sprache in Digital Collections, or read more about the project on our old blog)

Jeff Colby, dressed in Star Trek uniform and ears, reporting for duty on the Enterprise, at the Library Halloween Party, 1987
Jeff Colby, reporting for duty on the Enterprise, at the Library Halloween Party, 1987.

Do you have a favorite collection here in Historical Collections & Archives?

Personal fave – the Charles Milton Grossman collection, because of his love for China and the multiple trips he arranged there. (See the Grossman papers guide, or read Dr. Grossman’s oral history interview to learn more)

You’ve seen a lot of history happen at OHSU during your time here. Are there any big changes that stand out in your memory?

It seemed like a new building was going up every year.

Is there anything special you’re looking forward to in retirement?

Seeing family in Cali and Kansas.

Any other favorites as you reflect on your decades in the Library?

All the great people I have worked with.

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