- This case study looks at the establishment and development of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives. It addresses planning, implementation, results, and lessons learned.
Oregon is a special place, known for stunning natural beauty, a good amount of rain, and a predilection for pushing the boundaries of cultural norms. Its cities are surrounded by rural landscapes of agricultural farmland and forests; much of our history and heritage is intertwined with the politics of environmental protection and land use, the economics and sustainability of farming, and social considerations related to labor and employment. Oregonians are generally interested in knowing who grows their food, and who brews their beer.
While scholars and laypeople alike are interested in digging into the topic, there was no single repository dedicated to gathering the history of hops farmers, scientists, and craft brewing communities. A project to collect and provide access to these primary materials would be invaluable for informed scholarship and accuracy of the historical record. Inspired by an involved community, a growing body of scientific research, and a need for documentation and aggregation, in 2013 the OSU Libraries and Press’ Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) established the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives (OHBA). OHBA’s mission is to preserve the story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon through a range of diverse activities. OHBA is the first archive in the United States dedicated to saving and telling these intertwined stories, capturing all facets of the industries and uniting social and cultural aspects with the scientific research work at OSU.