Rutherford Family Home Listed in National Register

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Rutherford Family Home circa 1922
The Rutherford Family Home, circa 1922. Photo from the Rutherford Collection at PSU Library.

The Northeast Portland family home of Otto and Verdell Burdine Rutherford was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. According to Oregon Heritage, “the house is believed to be the first historic property in Oregon listed in the National Register primarily for its association with the Civil Rights era.”

Portland State University Library Special Collections holds the Verdell A. Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection, donated by their daughter Charlotte Rutherford to PSU in 2012.

Oregon Heritage describes the house on the corner of NE Shaver and 9th in historic Albina as “a modest bungalow that served as a family home and support center for civil rights causes for more than half a century.” They continue:

“It was home to three generations of the Rutherford family, each of which was active in civil rights in Portland. William Rutherford and his brother Henry moved to Portland from Columbia, South Carolina in 1897 to work as barbers in the prestigious Portland Hotel. In 1923 William moved into the 1905 house on Shaver Street in the King neighborhood of Albina. Here William and his wife Lottie raised their four children, including their third son Otto, instilling in them a love of community and respect for education and hard work.

Otto and Verdell moved back into the family home upon their marriage in 1936 and began their life of activism. A high point in their careers occurred in 1953, when Oregon’s Public Accommodations Act, under the sponsorship of then Representative Mark O. Hatfield, was passed. This landmark legislation occurred when Otto Rutherford was president of the Portland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Verdell was secretary, positions they held for several years.

Otto & Verdell Rutherford in 1982. Photo by Richard Brown.
Otto & Verdell Rutherford at their home in 1982. Photo by Richard Brown from the Rutherford Collection at PSU Library.

The Rutherford house, where Otto and Verdell raised their three children, was the location of much organizing for civil rights in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as being the first home of the NAACP Credit Union.

In later years, the Rutherfords worked arduously to document the history of the African American community in Portland. … Otto died in 2000 and Verdell followed shortly thereafter, in 2001. The house is still held by the family.”

Learn more about the National Register and recent Oregon place listings.

View the online exhibit Say We Are Here: Selections from the Verdell A. Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection

Learn more about the Rutherfords and see a larger selection of their family photos, scrapbooks, newspapers clippings, records, and more.

See the finding aid for the Verdell Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection, 1900s-1980s.

Read the Oregonian story “Modest Northeast Portland home wins historic designation for civil rights role.”

University Charges New Task Force on Copyright

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Task Force on Copyright Charge
August 17, 2015

Charge:  The Copyright Task Force is expected to address issues associated with the area of copyright ownership that arise within the PSU University community. The task force will identify existing resources, policies, and practices within the University, consider areas of risk within the community, and make recommendations to move the University forward in a dynamic technological, academic, and legal environment. In accomplishing its work, the task force should balance competing and complementary values that include respect for laws and intellectual property, the desire to foster scholarly creativity and enhance the creative works of all members of the academic community, advance excellence in teaching, and enhance student learning in an affordable educational environment.

In the course of its work, among other contributions as it sees fit, the task force is expected to:

  1. Determine what policies, guidelines, procedures, and educational efforts surrounding copyright already exist within the University. Identify what new policies and guidelines need to be created and what existing policies and guidelines should be revised, eliminated, consolidated, and/or relocated. Make recommendations for where the various responsibilities for copyright lie within the University.
  1. Identify needed actions and implement a process and timeline to update the University Copyright Policy. Make recommendations and create a suggested timeline to update the copyright sections of any new Intellectual Property Policies and Guidelines.
  1. Determine specific areas in which copyright ownership policies at our institution should be reviewed and updated, or newly-developed, and recommend the substance of appropriate policies that demonstrate respect for laws and intellectual property, foster scholarly creativity, promote excellence in teaching, and enhance student learning in an affordable educational environment. Although not intended to be an exclusive list of areas to address, the task force should specifically consider:
  • the use of streaming media, especially media that cannot be readily attained through purchase;
  • accessibility in an online learning environment, including captioning of audiovisual works;
  • copyright ownership and transfer of Open Educational Resources, including open textbooks, created by PSU faculty, staff, and students;
  • policies regarding the use of textbooks and other course materials authored by PSU faculty;
  • the grant or assignment of rights to external sponsors of University projects and external users of university facilities;
  • conditions under which the University has ownership in newly-created works; and
  • continuing obligations of the University to update and review copyright policies and practices and the appropriate place for these duties within the University community.
  1. Make recommendations to review and revise standards for the scope of individual duties of employment to provide guidance to employees as they perform various work-related tasks. With respect to faculty members, identify the concerns unique to faculty and make recommendations about how to address those concerns.
  1. Make recommendations to review and revise standards for the scope of individual duties of our students to provide guidance as they pursue their education.
  1. Make recommendations with respect to where our institution should fall on the continuum between limiting institutional risk and providing broad access to content at an affordable price for students and in a manner to enhance teaching and learning. For example, does PSU want to provide well-defined and distinct guidelines for use determinations? Or, does it want provide more flexibility in the context of use determinations?  Will checklists or FAQs be utilized?  Is documentation regarding the method and analysis of any use determination required or encouraged?
  1. Identify what areas of the University should have responsibility for providing copyright assistance and education to faculty, staff, and students. Make recommendations regarding the level of support needed to adequately address copyright issues affecting University teaching and research.
  1. Make recommendations regarding whether a University copyright officer position should be developed. If so, make recommendations for where such a position should fall within the institutional structure of the University and provide an assessment of the budgetary impacts of such a position. Propose qualifications and recommend job duties of a person holding the position.

Time Frame:  The task force should complete its work by June 30, 2016. It is expected that after this date, further work may need to be accomplished to implement task force recommendations.

Reporting and Status:  The task force will report to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sona Andrews and to the Vice President for Research and Strategic Partnerships, Jonathan Fink. The task force is further encouraged to keep the Faculty Senate apprised of deliberations as it proceeds. At the end of each academic quarter, the task force shall provide progress reports and recommendations to Sona Andrews and Jonathan Fink.


  • Sona Andrews, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Jon Fink, Vice President for Research and Strategic Partnerships

Task Force Membership:

  • Marilyn Moody, Dean, University Library
  • Joe Janda, Director, Innovation & Intellectual Property, Research and Strategic Partnerships


  • Michele Bromley, Inclusive Technology Coordinator, Disability Resource Center
  • Johannes De Gruyter, Executive Director, Office of Academic Innovation
  • Warren Harrison, Chair, Computer Science, faculty member
  • Jon Holt, World Languages and Literatures faculty member
  • Maura Kelly, Sociology faculty member
  • Tom Potiowsky, Chair, Economics, faculty member
  • Krista Stearns, Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel

Special Collections Mini-Exhibit: Wear your politics!

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Colorful, humorous, emphatic, sassy, serious, right to the point: a slogan on a pin sometimes sums it up perfectly. Oregon politician Gretchen Kafoury saved thousands of political and campaign buttons during her two decades in public office, her work with the National Organization for Women and the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus, her career as an educator, and a lifetime of volunteer activism.Pins

PSU Library’s Special Collections has gathered part of Kafoury’s pin collection in a display which shows some of the causes and events with which she was engaged. We also feel that many of these pins’ up-front statements reveal the unflagging energy, enthusiasm, values, and leadership for which Kafoury herself is remembered.

See the collection this summer in the display cases nearest to Special Collections in the first floor elevator lobby (south end), starting August 26, 2015.

Gretchen Kafoury (1942-2015) was a politician, activist, and educator. She served in the Oregon state legislature from 1977 until 1982, on the Multnomah County Commission from 1985-1991, and as Portland City Commissioner from 1991-1998. Her political record and her life before and after public office show her dedication to economic and social justice, community development, women’s rights, health care, and education. She co-founded the state chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus (OWPC) in the early 1970s. Key issues for her as a legislator and commissioner included hospital care, aid for victims of domestic violence, job and credit assistance for low-income women, and affordable housing.Gretchen Kafoury 200px

After her retirement in 2008, Kafoury donated a collection of documents from her time with NOW and the OWPC to Portland State University Library Special Collections. In 2015, her daughter Katharine made a second gift to Special Collections of documents and ephemera from Gretchen Kafoury’s political career.

To access the Gretchen Kafoury Papers and other Special Collections materials, please contact to make an appointment.

Listen to Julian Bond at Portland State in 1970

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Julian Bond, a writer, professor, politician, social activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement, died on August 15, at age 75.

In 1970, while serving as an elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives, Bond traveled to Portland and spoke at Portland State on the topic of “Racial Equality in the United States.” His talk included the following quote:

julian bond
Julian Bond in 2012. Photo by Eduardo Montes-Bradley [CC BY-SA 4.0].

“The processes which elevated the European — hard work, self-help, ethnic identification, political activism, economic separatism, intellectual striving — these can, at best, only minimally improve the condition of the mass of Black people in this country. While American society has always presented the opportunity for some Black people to rise to positions of influence and affluence, and while society presently presents the opportunity for general, if only minimal, improvements to be won through the regular channels, it has not yet shown any indication or willingness to change its three-hundred-year-old history of exploitation and suppression based on race, and an economic system which has always believed that property is more important than people.”

Originally recorded on a reel-to-reel audio tape, PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives staff recently transferred the audio to digital format.

Listen to Julian Bond speak at Portland State on May 22, 1970:

Professor Bond’s lecture at PSU is one of many in the Portland State University Library Oregon Public Speakers Collection. Between 1958 and 1979, Portland State University hosted over two hundred speeches, interviews, panel discussions, and readings by scholars, activists, politicians, authors, artists, and community members. The recordings in this collection reveal an era of vital dialogue and debate supported by the university and its community.

The original recordings of these events were captured on reel-to-reel tapes by Portland State audio-visual technicians. For a time, the tapes were available as a library resource, but after reel-to-reel technology was superseded the collection fell out of use and was not included when the library catalog went online. The tapes spent years in storage until their rediscovery by PSU’s University Archivist. With the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, new digital transfers of the original reel-to-reel audio recordings are now available to the public in the Oregon Public Speakers Collection.

Library Closed on Weekends Starting August 15

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Library hours are shifting as we move towards the end of the busier summer sessions. We will be closed on weekends from Saturday, August 15 through Saturday, September 26. Our regular fall term schedule starts Sunday, September 27.

photos of books on a shelf

We will also be closed Monday, September 7 for the Labor Day Holiday.

Here’s an overview of our hours over the next several weeks:

Monday, August 10 – Thursday, August 13
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday, August 14
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 14 – Sunday, August 15

Saturday, August 15 – Saturday, September 26
Weekdays, Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
*Closed Monday, September 7 for Labor Day

Weekends, Saturday – Sunday

As always, please check Library Hours for our full schedule.

Thanks to Library Donors!

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Portland State University Library had another extraordinary year.

copper beech tree and library windowsWe were able to do so much because of the generosity of library donors. Students who borrowed an iPad, reserved a study room, took a study break, and researched historical documents in Special Collections & University Archives all benefited from donor generosity.

On behalf of the University Library and the thousands of students who rely on the library, we extend our sincere thanks to our many donors.

The Donor Honor Roll for July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 is now available on the library website.

Would you like to support student success and faculty research with a donation to Portland State University Library? Learn more about the different opportunities for giving.

Upcoming Talk: Care & Repair of Books

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Monday, October 26, 2015
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Library Room 160

a book being bound
A book being bound. Photo courtesy of Carolee Harrison.

Do you have a favorite book from childhood with a torn page? Or a hand-me-down cookbook that’s seen better days? Have you ever wondered how a book is physically put together?

Join book repair expert Carolee Harrison from Portland State University Library Special Collections and University Archives and learn the basics of book structure and simple techniques for maintaining your personal library.

Carolee will share:

  • A brief history of book structure, with physical models
  • How to protect and repair your own books from your personal collection

These tips are directed towards understanding, storing, and repairing regular books in personal collections, not rare or unique materials.

This event is free and open to the public. PSU Library is hosting this event as part of Portland State of Mind.

See more information and photos on the Facebook event page.

Questions? Contact Joan Petit.
Portland State of Mind promo

BikePortland Article Draws on Library’s Ernie Bonner Papers

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The Ernie Bonner Papers in PSU Library Special Collections are the main source for Michael Andersen’s “The Secret History of Portland’s Weirdest Neighborhood,” the second in series of articles about the Lloyd District published by

Ernie Bonner (1932 – 2004) served as chief planner in Cleveland, Ohio before he was recruited to Portland as the City’s Director of Urban Planning in 1973. He acted as Portland’s chief urban planner until 1978. After leaving the City Council he worked as a Metro councilor, president of Sunlight Energy Systems, and as an energy conservation manager for Bonneville Power Administration. Later he worked or volunteered with various Portland groups including Riverfront for People, Metro 7, Portland Planning Commission, and the Park Blocks Foundation.

Ralph Lloyd
Ralph Lloyd, circa 1930.

The collection of Ernie Bonner Papers is comprised of materials from Bonner’s career, research, and urban planning projects. All of the documents are related directly to Portland, Oregon and are focused, with very few exceptions, on public planning. The material ranges primarily from the time Bonner was active in Portland planning and development (1970s-2003), but he also used and assembled a significant amount of historical material dating from 1919 through the early 1940s. Notably, for the BikePortland piece, it also includes a manuscript biography of Ralph Lloyd, the Los Angeles millionaire developer who purchased much of the land in today’s Lloyd District.

Michael Andersen writes:

For most of Portland’s history, the land we know today as the Lloyd District was best known for failure.

Holladay Park: named for a scoundrel who planted its trees and then gambled away his fortune. The state and federal buildings along Lloyd Boulevard: advance outposts of a government center that never arrived. And Lloyd himself: an oil multimillionaire who died all but cursing the city he’d fallen in love with 40 years before. …

But how did the Lloyd District become a suburb hidden in the middle of a city? And what happened as the 20th century ended that has started to open it back up — putting it on course to become what could be, 10 or 15 years from now, the most bike-oriented high-rise neighborhood in the country?

The answers to those questions tell a story about Portland, and a story about all American cities.

They also suggest a lesson that Portland, like all American cities, is still struggling to learn about itself.

Read “The Secret History of Portland’s Weirdest Neighborhood” at BikePortland.

See digitized materials from the Ernie Bonner Collection in PDXScholar.

Learn more about the complete collection of Ernie Bonner materials held by PSU Library Special Collections, including the Ernie Bonner Papers, 1919-2003 and the Ernie Bonner Oral History Collection, 1994-2004.

Headsets Now Available & Other Tech Updates

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Library Technologies staff have been busy adding more technology and equipment to improve your time in the Library.


Tech450pxTechnology To Borrow

Library patrons may now borrow headsets with microphones for use in the Library building. The two loaner headsets work well for videoconferencing in a tech-enabled study room or on a laptop. You can also borrow regular headphones (without microphones). Headsets and headphones check out for three hours from the Library Circulation Desk on the first floor.

We also loan mobile chargers that work with most Apple and Android devices.


Library Equipment

There is now a quick print computer on the Library’s second floor, near the book scanner and printers. At the quick print computer, you can sign-in for a brief period (15 minutes max) to print and go. This quick print station is at a lower height than the quick print stations in the Learning Ground on the first floor, so it is more accessible for people in wheelchairs.

We are updating about half of the computers on the second floor with new desktops and monitors.


Library Spaces

We’ve installed additional 3-prong and USB power outlets on the tables and carrels along the windows of the third, fourth, and fifth floors.

We now have two height-adjustable tables on the fourth and fifth floors, so you can read, write, or use your laptop while standing.


Coming Soon!

The group viewing room will be converted to a practice presentation room, bringing the total to three practice presentation rooms.

Projectable whiteboards will be installed in rooms 20 and 304, in place of the existing pull-down screens for the projectors.

The kiosk computers — the computers available for catalog searches that don’t require you to sign in — are being replaced. The new computers will run much faster.

The Sandbox touch-screen computers will be replaced with new Dell touch-screens. The new computers are much lighter and quicker than the existing ones.


Many thanks to the staff who have been working hard to keep our technology updated!