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Oral history interviews with John Helmer, Jr, by Jim Strassmaier

A model life history including: Swedes in Oregon; intergenerational family relations; retail business in three generations; personal spiritual conversion (Presbyterian); military service as pilot in World War II, Pacific theatre; postwar experience in Japan; Helmer clothing store, fortunes through recession of early 1980s.

Helmer, John, 1923-

Series 1: Manuscripts, circa 1910-1942

This series consists of typewritten and handwritten manuscripts of newspaper and magazine articles, books, lecture notes, circa 1910-1942. Some were submitted to publications such as Pacific Monthly, Sunset Magazine, Century and Nature Magazine. Many describe particular species of birds. Authors include William L. Finley, Irene Finley, Phoebe Finley, Kenneth Reid, and Ed Averill.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Series 2: Publications, 1905-1945

This series consists of publications, including typescripts and newspaper clippings of articles written by William and Irene Finley and Ed Averill for the Oregon Journal and the Sunday Oregonianbetween 1935 and 1945 The articles describe bird, fish and mammal species, wildlife refuges, and trips taken by the Finleys. Some are editorial in nature, such as advocating for a new Portland zoo or calling for certain limits on hunting. The series also includes articles written for Nature, National Geographic, and other publications.

Series 3: Correspondence, 1909-1911, 1926-1940

This series consists of correspondence between William Finley and individuals in agencies, associations, commissions, academic institutions, and societies such as the National Association of Audubon Societies, state and federal Departments of Fish and Game, and the State of Oregon, as well as individuals, including Theodore Roosevelt and Oregon Governor Oswald West. It also includes correspondence related to the drafting of a bill proposal for a new State Fish and Game Commission for Oregon, and Finley’s subsequent appointment as Chairman, as well as bills for wild bird protection that led to the establishment of Oregon’s first wildlife refuges and private land reserves. Also included is correspondence between William and Irene Finley, between the Finleys and Campbell Church, pertaining to the Finleys' 1926 Alaska trip. Other topics addressed in the correspondence are exchanges with journal editors concerning Finley’s articles and photographs; Finley’s inquiries about providing lectures for a planned Midwest and East Coast trip that was later cancelled due to illness; requests for his photographs and requests for lectures. Also represented is the issue of illegal sale of hats using wild bird feathers at millineries in San Francisco and Los Angeles leading to the loss of species; Finley’s concerns regarding the attempted removal of meadowlark protection in California, due to a public perception that they negatively impact agriculture; arrangement and negotiation of a traveling demonstration train for the purpose of wild bird educational exhibits (activism).

Series 5: Trip Notes, 1926-1938

This series consists of trip notes, most of which pertain to the Finleys' 1926 Alaska trip. Other notes document a 1931 Alaska trip by Arthur Pack and William Alakangas, a 1929 trip to Arizona and New Mexico, a 1927-28 trip to the eastern United States, and a 1938 trip to Oregon's Paulina Lake.

Series 7: Personal Materials, 1899-circa 1920

This series consists of personal materials and includes academic materials and ephemera from William Finley's student days at the University of California, William and Irene Finley's 1906 wedding book, and Phoebe Finley's notebook on costume design from the 1920s.

Series 8: Motion Picture Films, circa 1927-1935

Series VIII consists of several of Finley's motion picture films and related materials, such as film ownership notes, lecture posters, title lists and title placards. The films are silent, black and white 35mm safety film copies of earlier nitrate films and are grouped into three subseries. The first group consists of six films of the Pacific Northwest and Montana and date from 1927 to circa 1930. They document forests, Bonneville Dam, waterfowl, salmon, Crater Lake, and elk and mountain goats in Montana. The second group consists of five Alaska films documenting the Finleys' 1926 Alaska trip, various Aleutian Islands, Kenai, and Mt. McKinley. The third group consists of short film segments. They show the Finleys on board a ship, probably from one of their Alaska trips, and in Arizona and New Mexico. The latter includes footage of cactus and desert wildlife and birds. All films have been transferred and include a BetaSP or MiniDV duplication master and a VHS or DVD use copy. Most of the films have been made available online.

Series 9: Photographs and Painting, circa 1900-circa 1940

This series consists of photographs and a painting. The bulk of the photographs are prints used in or similar to those in Finley's American Birds, taken by Finley and/or Herman Bohlman. Other photographs depict wildlife, including bears, mountain goats, birds and wolves; fish ladders at Bonneville Dam; and the Finleys and their children and grandchildren.

Series 6: Organizations and Issues, 1909-1946

This series consists of files pertaining to various organization and issues. Organizations represented include the Isaac Walton League, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey, and the Oregon State Planning Board. Issues include reclamation in the Klamath and Malheur basins, salmon and Bonnevile Dam, stream pollution, and mountain lions. Also included is a 1915 report by Stanley Jewett, "Report on Birds Seen at Netarts Bay."

Mss 114

Consists of correspondence (1848-1869) concerning the conduct of Indian affairs in Oregon, enlistment of a state militia, and efforts to establish a Union League Council. Correspondents include Benjamin Alvord, Jesse Applegate, Benjamin Bonneville, Samuel Culver, Addison C. Gibbs, and Joseph Lane. Also included is a diary (1857) kept by Palmer while on a voyage from Oregon City to Washington, D.C. via Panama; typescript copies of diaries (1854, 1856, 1860-1861) recording his travels throughout the Pacific Northwest; hand written copy of an agreement (1854) between the United States, represented by superintendent of Indian Affairs, Joel Palmer, and the Calipooia Indian tribe; and articles of incorporation (1862) of the Columbia River Railroad Company.

Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881

Vanport Photographs

Photographs of the aftermath of the flood that destroyed Vanport, Or. on May 30, 1948. The images depict the damage to buildings, bridges, roadways, and other structures in both Vanport and Portland, Or. Includes postcards and snapshots, as well as photographs taken by the Camera Art Studio of Portland, Or.

Camera Art Studio (Portland, Or.)

Oral history interview with Tim Gauthier, by Jim Stassmaier

Gauthier discusses his personal and professional life, including his career in National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), with special attention to his role, in tandem with President Ed Barnes of I.B.E.W. 48 [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers], in establishing the Market Recovery Program (M.R.P.) in 1982. He also discusses the union response to the economic downturn of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Strassmaier, James

Oral history interview with Ellen Goldberg, by Annica Eagle and Spencer Trueax

Ellen Goldberg is a lesbian activist who was one of the co-founders of the Mountain Moving Café, a collectively run restaurant that was created to engender networking, collaboration, and particularly political organizing. The café, with its large dance floor and performance stage, featured different entertainment every night of the month and was well-known for it's Wednesday Women's Nights (on these evenings, men were turned away). An earlier interview with Goldberg, addressing the café and radical political organizing, was conducted in 1978 (SR6314).

Goldberg, Ellen

Oral history interview with Sally Cohn, by Jade Davis and Erin Babcock Musick

Sally Cohn is a lesbian activist who has been involved with many organizations in Portland, Oregon since the 1970s. She discusses several topics including her involvement with the Lesbian Community Project, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, lesbian stereotypes, women’s softball, and what it was like to fight anti-gay ballot measures. She also talks about her appearance on national television doing her “hand whistling.”

Cohn, Sally H.

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