Portland & Oregon: Historical Sources
Online Primary Source Collections
- American WestContains manuscripts, books, maps, photos, and other materials focusing on the American West.
- America's Historical NewspapersConsists of searchable digital facsimiles of local newspapers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read eyewitness reporting, editorials, letters, advertisements, obituaries, and reviews.
- American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Digital CollectionFrom the University of Washington, with scanned photographs, treaties, and reports.
- Century of Action: Oregon Women VoteCentury of Action celebrates 100 years of Oregon women's right to vote and advances the understanding of women's citizenship in Oregon's history.
- Columbia River Basin Ethnic History ArchiveMaps, documents, reports, newspapers, and more focusing on immigrant populations, including people identified as having African, Asian, European, or Latin American heritage, in the Columbia River Basin. This collection does not include Native American resources.
- Oregon DigitalDigital collections from University of Oregon and Oregon State.
- Oregon Historical Society Digital CollectionsAccess to Oregon Historical Society's digital collections, including historical photographs, papers, and the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories.
- Oregon History ProjectThe Oregon History Project is an online resource for learning about Oregon's past. In these pages, the work of historians and writers will help you explore the history of Oregon through the perspectives of people who helped shape the state.
- PDX Social History GuideLocation-based guide to the history of various communities in Portland. PDX Social History Guide brings their stories to the surface through interviews, mapping, art and photos. Each story features a summary, audio clip, and an image or map.
- Portland Planning Bureau: Historic Resources and PreservationProvides information about historic landmarks in Portland as well as historic Portland maps.
- Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Flickr CommonsOver 3000 historical photos of life in Oregon
- Portland Then and NowTumblr blog from the Oregonian showing what locations in Portland looked like historically and now.
- Portland State University Archives Digital GalleryThe Digital Gallery features images from the University Archives photograph collection documenting Portland State's rich history. The image collections, highlighting campus buildings and events, student life, and portraits of faculty and staff, can be searched and browsed by dates and keywords.
Local Collections and Archives
Using a special collections library or archive is different from using public and academic libraries. For example, not all of the items in the collection may be cataloged, and you will probably not be able to browse the collection. The organization may have limited hours. There may rules around what you can bring into the reading area: some will allow only pencils and not pens, and you should plan to leave your food and drinks at home.
To prepare for your visit, explore the organization's website to see what collections they hold. Check the organization's hours. And then contact the organization to make an appointment, as not all archives are open without appointment.
- Archives WestArchives West (formerly Northwest Digital Archives) provides information about archival collections at thirty-one archives in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
- City of Portland Archives & Records CenterHoldings include records generated by the City of Portland, including elected officials’ papers, department reports, planning maps, Ordinances and Resolutions, budget information, correspondence, and photos. Located on the 5h floor of the ASRC Building at PSU.
- Oregon Historical Society Research LibraryHoldings chronicle the history of Oregon from early European exploration to the present day. To use this library for free, Multnomah County residents should bring proof of address.
- Oregon Black Pioneers/Oregon African American MuseumThe mission of the Oregon Black Pioneers Corporation, also doing business as Oregon African American Museum Project (OBP/OAAMP), is to research, recognize and commemorate the culture and heritage of African Americans in the State of Oregon
- Oregon Nikkei Legacy CenterOregon Nikkei Legacy Center has a wealth of resources documenting Japanese American history and culture.
- Architectural Heritage CenterA non-profit resource nexus for historic preservation owned and operated by the Bosco-Milligan Foundation. Tthe AHC hosts dozens of programs, tours, and exhibits each year which help people appreciate, restore, and maintain older and historic buildings, neighborhoods, and traditional commercial areas.
Portland State Library Special Collections & Archives
- "Dikes are Safe at Present": The 1948 Columbia River Flood and the Destruction of VanportThis exhibit contains over 100 (re)discovered Columbia River flood photos from around western Oregon and examines the city it destroyed and the university that grew out of it. The exhibit highlights several rarely-seen photographs, documents, and ephemera.
- Say We are HereThis exhibit represents the depth and breadth of the Rutherford family's community service while also providing a rich overview of the institutions and events central to Black Oregonians over the past one hundred years.
- Planning in Portland & the RegionArchival collections and oral histories related to urban planning and land use in Portland and the Northwest. These include the papers of key Portland and Northwest area planners, Portland State University scholars, and activists.
Portland State University History
- The College That Would Not Die byCall Number: LD4571 .P4 D63 2000 (Reserves)ISBN: 0875952747Publication Date: 1999