[Libs-Or] OLA Author Showcase: Matthew Cowan, Oregon Historical Society

Charles Wood wuchakewu at gmail.com
Sun Aug 26 18:30:25 PDT 2018

Matthew Cowan has been the Archivist for Moving Images and Photography at
the Oregon Historical Society since 2013. Please download and read his
latest article, “Wild Wild Archive: Analog Videotape of the Rajneesh
Movement at the Oregon Historical Society,” here:


Whether you were fascinated by the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country,
were around when the Rajneeshees took over the town of Antelope, Oregon, or
are just an Oregon librarian who wants to learn everything there is to know
about our crazy state, this article is for you.  Feel free to share it far
and wide across this wild country.

>From Matthew’s article, “The role of OHS in this project was simultaneously
one of promoter, conservator, and researcher. For a number of reasons, film
and video collections are often the type most difficult to provide public
access: they are tricky to incorporate into book or manuscript-based
library catalogs; their size makes them difficult to make available online;
and they require huge amounts of staff time in order to flesh out the
descriptive metadata. By promoting the collection and the story to the
filmmakers, OHS was able to find funding to digitize the entirety of the
collection, something that would have been unlikely without external
support. Moreover, while the physical tapes will continue to be stored in
temperature and humidity-controlled vaults at OHS, after 30+ years, the 300
hours of digitized footage is now accessible for use by future researchers
and members of the public. Furthermore, the success of *Wild* *Wild Country
*has led to an increase in visibility for the collection as a whole and, in
turn, for the institution. It was a multi-year process, one in which OHS
played a relatively small role, but the end result has successfully shined
a spotlight on one of the largest and most diverse media collections on the
West Coast.”

Best wishes,

Charles Wood

OLA Communications
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