Guide to the Charles Leon Robinson Photograph Album

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Robinson, Charles Leon.
Title: Charles Leon Robinson Photograph Album
Dates: 1912-1914 ( bulk )
1912-1916 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet, including 212 photographs (1 oversize box)
Collection Number: P.215
Summary: The Charles Leon Robinson Photograph Album was assembled by Robinson during his student years at Oregon Agricultural College. The album documents student activities and student life during the early-mid 1910s and includes several items of ephemera. Robinson graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1914 with a B.S. in horticulture.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 

Biographical Note

Charles Leon Robinson enrolled at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in September 1911 and graduated with a BS in Horticulture in June 1914. Robinson participated in a variety of student activities including the Agricultural Club, Llewelling (Horticulture) Club, the local chapter of the YMCA, intramural basketball, and the Oxford Club.

After completing his degree he worked in orchards and berry farms near Salem, Medford, and Hood River; in 1915, he became field man for the North Pacific Fruit Distributors in Wenatchee, Washington. Robinson served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919 and became a horticultural inspector in Yakima, Washington after his discharge. About one year later, he became Supervisor of Horticulture for the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Olympia; he still held this position in 1924.

Robinson was born in Marshall, Minnesota, in 1893. Prior to attending OAC, he resided in Forest Grove, Oregon, with H.N. Robinson. In 1919, he married Elsie Caspar, a 1916 graduate of OAC.

Content Description

The Charles Leon Robinson Photograph Album was assembled by Robinson and documents his student years at Oregon Agricultural College. The album includes 212 photographs and several ephemeral items. Many of the photographs have handwritten captions or descriptions. Most of the photographs are snapshots or postcard-size prints.

The photographs document many student activities and student traditions at Oregon Agricultural College during the 1910s and include images of the Oxford Club, commencement, May Day activities, homecoming rook bonfire, tug-of-war, and Senior Flunk Day. A variety of athletic events and recreational sports are depicted in the album, including football, basketball (men's and women's), wrestling, tennis, track and field, canoeing, and baseball. Images of military cadets; students studying, probably in the Oxford Club; and a horticulture exhibit are included.

Most of the photographs depict locations on the Oregon Agricultural campus; however, images of outings to the Oregon coast, including the Peter Iredale shipwreck; Marys Peak; and Newport are included. The album includes an image of flooding in Corvallis.

Of special note are an image of Cosmopolitan Club members; a group of supporters of women's suffrage, perhaps at a YMCA/YWCA conference or convocation on the Oregon coast; and a 1913 Halloween party with several attendees in blackface.

The ephemeral items include a telegram addressed to the Oxford Club, ticket stubs, football ephemera, ribbons, and buttons.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Charles Leon Robinson Photograph Album (P 215), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information :  

The album was donated to the Oregon State University Archives in 1996 by the creator's son, Ken Robinson.

Related Materials :  

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center includes many collections of photographs and ephemera documenting the student experience during the early-mid 1910s. These include the A. Freeman Mason Scrapbook, Willetta Moore Photograph Album (P 269), Nicholas Schneider Photograph Collection (P 148), and Harold Troxel Vedder Photograph Collection (P 190).


  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
  • Subject Terms :
  • College sports--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • College students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Ephemera.
    • Photograph albums.
    • Photographic prints.

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