Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University


The interview with Isabel McDonald begins with her description of growing up in Canada. As a student, McDonald was interested in science, but also spent time working in school libraries. Although she started college at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, she graduated from the University of Toronto with a library degree in 1947. Following graduation, she worked a succession of library jobs, some in Canada, some in the United States, including as a librarian at Reed College in Portland, at the Vancouver (British Columbia) Medical Association, and at the Stanford Medical School library. McDonald was hired as a research librarian at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center (ORPRC) in Beaverton, Oregon in 1961. McDonald explains how the Regional Primate Research Centers were created by Congress in order to conduct basic research on primate biology. The center in Oregon was the first of a series of centers built throughout the U.S. for this purpose. The relationship of the ORPRC library to the University of Oregon Medical School Library is examined, in particular the sharing of resources and technology. McDonald discusses the primates themselves and some of the research conducted on them along with how animal rights issues have affected the Center, including security during protests, harassment by protestors, and researching national animal rights leaders.


Transcript of oral history interview with Isabel G. McDonald, conducted December 1, 1997 by Heather Rosenwinkel


OHSU Oral History Project




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