About Us

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling, 1944

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling, 1964

The Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center, is located on the fifth floor of OSU’s Valley Library and is home to more than 1,200 archival collections, many of which focus on the history of science and technology in the twentieth century.

The largest and most important of these collections is the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, donated by OSU alum Dr. Linus Pauling (1901-1994) in 1986 and consisting of over 500,000 items. The papers include Linus and Ava Helen’s manuscripts, correspondence, awards, research notebooks, personal libraries, photograph collections and much more.

The Pauling Papers are described in a six-volume published catalog and are gradually being thematically digitized for consumption on the web.  The major websites that we have published over the years are:

We have been the subject of a few news features over the years, and several of our projects have been reviewed as well. For links to some of the write-ups that are available online, please check out our Accolades page.

A six-part behind-the-scenes video tour of our facility, which provides glimpses of many Pauling artifacts that are rarely seen, is available here. A documentary on Pauling’s life, produced with our assistance by Oregon Public Broadcasting, is freely available here.

Please note that the Pauling Blog is not responsible for content hosted by the various websites to which it is linked.  The views and opinions posted on the Pauling Blog do not necessarily represent the official policies of Oregon State University or its affiliate organizations.

We can be reached through the comments section of this blog or by email at scarc[at]oregonstate[dot]edu

10 Responses

  1. […] to fame is the Maraschino Cherry, but that is an entirely different story.  Cliff Mead and his stellar crew in OSU Libraries Special Collections continue to do an outstanding job showcasing the amazing […]

  2. […] one to look at is The Pauling Blog from Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections. Linus Pauling was a 1923 OSU graduate, and winner of a Nobel Peace Price in both Chemistry (1954) and Peace […]

  3. Thank you for visiting Condon. You are always welcome and we are very proud that Linus Pauling spent much of his childhood in our charming small town. Come back soon and check out our recently (and underway) commercial building restorations on Main St. – on the National Historic Register!

  4. It’s a shame that you don’t describe the very important research that was conducted at LPI in the 1980s funded by my grants from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society that led to about 30 papers and to an invention licensed by Stanford for 17 years. It’s all in Google Scholar if you want to look for it. Three important human genes were defined and two of our papers, one sponsored by Linus Pauling in PNAS, received >1000 reference citations.

  5. Enjoyed reading about Dr. Pauling and the Alpha Helix, which I had never heard before. For the record, though, the ship did not waste any time between the refit in 1972 and the second Amazon expedition in 1976. Off the top of my head in 1973 it worked in both Baja California and then headed for research in Hawaii. The following year began a Pacific tour. After a stop in Australia, including work on bioluminescence around the Banda Sea in Indonesia, and an investigation of sea snakes in the Philippines. Heading back to North America the ship did research on salmon physiology in British Columbia, and in late 1975 or early 1976 headed down to the coast of Peru to participate in a multi-ship (including OSU’s research vessel) investigation in a program called CUEA, looking at El Nino. I believe OSU archives has some pictures of the Helix at sea during that time. After CUEA, the ship went through the canal and up the Amazon. My source here is my memory;I was a marine technician aboard the ship during those years.

  6. Thanks for your comment, Tom! We have edited the post to reflect your input.

  7. Hello, I’m currently researching about nuclear disarmament history for my organisation (WILPF). I enjoyed reading your website and was wondering if perhaps I could reuse (of course for non-profit purpose) the picture you posted in your “Baby tooth survey section” of the CNI report.

    Please let me know and thank you for this very interesting blog.

  8. Dear people,

    Thank you very much for this informative blog!

    I am writing to ask you for some information regarding Dr. Pauling and his residence(s). In early 1964, my father and I travelled to Big Sur to visit Dr Pauling, who was living with his wife in a small one-room house on land I believe he owned overlooking the Pacific Ocean. My father, Joseph Wythe, was (and still is) an architect, at that time practicing in Monterey.

    Dr. Pauling was interested in building a house. This is something that is commonly done with the proceeds of the Nobel Prize.

    In any case, my father made working drawings to present to Dr. Pauling, but he was not retained to do the house. My mother told me that another architect was chose to design the house, but I can find no reference to any house ever being built for Dr. Pauling at any time. (The only reference I can find is to a house in Oregon purchased by his mother after his father’s death.) According to the Pauling papers, the architect chosen by Dr. Pauling in 1964 was John Gamble, a colleague of my father’s on the Monterey Peninsula, but I cannot find any mention on the internet of a Pauling house by Gamble ever being built, and the last record in the Pauling papers about John Gamble is simply some checks written to him, which I assume were for his preliminary drawings.

    If you have any information about this, I would appreciate it, so that I can put to rest some unfortunate rumors about why my father was “passed over” in the selection of an architect for a residence which apparently was never built.

    Thank you very much for your time in this regard.

    Romi Wythe Elnagar

  9. This is a new request for the same project. We would like to use two more illustrations taken from tha article entitled “The Alphe Helix” https://paulingblog.wordpress.com/tag/william-astbury/. The two images are:

    With all my thanks in advance for your help,

  10. Hello! My name is Ramona Kamb. I randomly stumbled upon this blog, not being a student from OSU. I am actually Linus’ great-granddaughter! Very weird and interesting to see a complete blog and archive about someone who I view as familial and fond, a part of my family and family history.

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