The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) digital collection contains more than 7,000 images, donated throughout the years to OIMB by faculty, students, visiting faculty, and those with a passion for the local Coos Bay marine environment and the Oregon coast. The oldest images date from the 1920s and document the changes in the OIMB campus and the Coos Bay community over past decades. The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology has been offering marine biology courses year-round since the 1960s. Subject matter in this collection ranges over a wide selection of topics, as varied as the interests of those who have contributed their works. Native marine plants and animals, aerials, maps and charts, the history of OIMB, research projects embarked upon at OIMB, historical land use of the Coos Bay area, and natural vistas can all be found in this collection.
A significant portion of the slides are of marine and coastal flora and fauna – micro to macro. A wide variety of marine organisms are represented in this collection: diatoms, red algae, green algae, brown algae, cyanobacteria, porifera (Sponges), cnidaria (Jellyfish and sea anemones), ctenophores, various worm phyla (platyhelminthes, nemertean, aschelminthes and annelids), arthropods (crabs and shrimp), molluscs (sea slugs, snails, and mussels), echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers), fish, marine birds, marine mammals (sea lions and whales) and obscure marine phyla such as ectorprocts, endoprocts, phoronids, chaetognaths, and hemichordates.
Land and estuarine life forms are also represented, including vascular plants (trees, marsh plants and wildflowers), fungus, ferns, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology is located on Coos Bay, a historically important waterway for two major industries in Oregon: timber and fishing. The histories of both industries are portrayed in this collection, showing all aspects of each operation. For example, slides encompassing the timber industry include clear-cutting and burning, log rafts, loggers, different stages of forest regrowth, and political statements of the timber industry. Other aspects of local land use include shipping channel dredging and filling, pollution, driftwood sculptures and changes in the Coos Bay waterfront throughout the past century. The evolution of OIMB from its beginnings in the early 1920s until current times is likewise depicted.
The collection is rounded out with slides of natural views from around the south-central Oregon coast. These views encompass marshlands, mudflats, geological formations, waterfalls and seascapes which include the Sunset State Park, views from Cape Arago, and the beautiful South Slough.