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The OPS Historical Archives

Posted By Denice Barsness, Friday, November 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012

What is an archive?  An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located.  They generally contain primary source (or original) documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual’s or organization’s lifetime, and are kept to show the function and evolution of an organization.  

The use of keeping official documents is very old. Archeologists have discovered archives of hundreds (and sometime thousands) of clay tablets going back to the third and second millennia BC.  Modern archival thinking has many roots in the French Revolution. The French National Archives, who possess perhaps the largest archival collection in the world, with records going as far back as A.D. 625, were created in 1790 during the French Revolution from various government, religious, and private archives seized by the revolutionaries.  

Archives in colleges, universities, and other educational facilities are typically housed within a library, and duties may be carried out by an archivist. Professors may also run a smaller archive. Academic archives exist to preserve and celebrate the history of their school and academic community.  An academic archive may contain items such as the administrative records of the institution, papers or images.  

Non-profit archives include those in historical societies, not-for-profit businesses such as hospitals, and the repositories within foundations. Non-profit archives are typically set up with private funds from donors to preserve the papers and history of specific persons or places.  

In general, archives consist of records that have been selected for permanent or long-term preservation on grounds of their enduring cultural, historical, or evidentiary value. Archival records are normally unpublished and almost always unique, unlike books or magazines for which many identical copies exist.  

The original OPS Historical Archives were the vision and passion of one of our founding fathers, Don Wong ( deceased 1999)  In 1987 the passing of this torch was entrusted to me.  The OPS collection is in its 25th Year of existence and represents a broad spectrum of documents:  historical photos, original programs, society minutes and copies of all newsletters.   The OPS archives is dynamic, with regular additions to its contents.   There are over 3,000 cataloged images in the collection.

There is an ongoing effort to collect PDF copies of manuals for all imaging devices including fundus, SLO, ultrasound and topography devices.  Digital copies of all Journals, Newsletters and Educational programs have been collected and cataloged.  Important OPS documents such as board minutes, presidential papers and committee reports are also included.

Donations to the collection are evaluated for content and relevancy by the OPS Historical Archives Committee     ( members:  Ken Timby, Alan Frohlichstein, Paula Morris, Cindy Montague ) Donations might be prints, slides or paper documents which add to the overall depth of the story of the OPS.  

At the present time a great deal of the OPS Historical archives is a closed collection. Copies of the manuals and some minutes are accessible on this OPS website.  Access to these images and documents must be made through the committee.   The OPS BOD is actively reviewing the archives and making plans to integrate more of the collection into an accessible format on the website.  

OPS members interested in participating on this committee are encouraged to contact Denice Barsness, OPS Historian at  

Donations of digital images, paper prints or slides of official OPS events, social gatherings and educational programs are always welcomes.    Donations should be clearly marked as to "return” or "not return”.  Once the items are digitized and cataloged they will be returned to the sender if requested.  There are budgetary funds available for this project- please contact Denice if reimbursement for postage is required.

AAO San Francisco 1979: John Johnson, Csaba Martonyi, Jean Martonyi, Don Wong; receiving award.

Denice Barsness (Bartlett then) September 1985, San Francisco Annual Meeting, with Frank Lazenby, OPS Photographer for many years…..

Mark Maio, Sheila Smith Brewer, OPS Mid Year Meeting, Rochester NY 1985

OPS Mid Year Meeting, Park City 1985.  Bruce Morris, Ken Christopherson (check out those shorts!) and Paul Montague.

Ditte Hess, Annual Meeting 1979, San Francisco
OPS Annual Meeting, Dallas 1992.  Joe Warnicki, Paula Morris, Pat Saine

Tags:  blog  cute  Educational Meeting  funny  Ice Breakers  New Life  PDC 

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