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Oregon Journal (Firm)
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Al Monner news negatives

  • Org. Lot 1284
  • Collection
  • 1936-1974

The vast majority of this collection is made up of negatives created by Al Monner for the Oregon Journal. A small number of negatives were likely created by fellow Journal photographer Ralph Vincent, also for the Oregon Journal. While it's likely that almost all the negatives in this collection were created as part of Monner's work for the Journal, some images may also be his personal work. Most of the negatives are black and white, with a handful of color images taken in the 1950s and 1960s. A small selection of images from 1936 to 1938 were likely taken during Monner's time at the Oregonian newspaper. Large-format negatives from 1936 to 1959 have been processed and inventoried, while 35mm film from 1959 to 1974 remains unprocessed.

The photographs highlight over 30 years of current events in and around the Portland area, with a smaller number taken elsewhere in the state. Yearly events, such as the Portland Rose Festival and the Pendleton Round-Up, are featured prominently. A substantial number of images from the 1940s show Portland war efforts during World War II, featuring photographs of shipyards, soldiers, and rationing efforts at home. A small number of photographs also show early incarceration of Japanese Americans. Monner also frequently photographed dam-building efforts on the Columbia River at Celilo Village, The Dalles, and Bonneville.

Also included are photographs of accident scenes, fires, explosions, new building projects, sporting events, contest winners, and important national figures visiting the Portland area. Taken together, the collection displays the breadth of Monner's work as a photojournalist, covering the everyday to the exciting.

Monner, Al (Alfred Anthony), 1909-1998

Oral history interview with Al Monner

  • SR 1068
  • Collection
  • 1993-02-25 - 1993-03-04

This oral history interview with Al Monner was conducted by Donald J. Sterling at Monner's home in Portland, Oregon, from February 25 to March 4, 1993. The interview was conducted in two sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on February 25, 1993, Monner discusses his family background and early life on a farm in Kaskela, Oregon, including his education, his sister, and his recreational activities. He then talks about moving to Portland in 1923, his high school education, and his early interest in photography. He speaks about working for a public library, attending Linfield College, and working as a developer and photographer for Brubaker Aerial Surveys. He discusses working for Photo Art Studio, his friendship with Ray Atkeson, and his involvement with the Wy'east Climbers.

In the second interview session, conducted on March 4, 1993, Monner revisits the topics of his family background, and working as a developer and photographer for Brubaker Aerial Surveys. He speaks about his early career as a photographer for the Oregonian newspaper and describes his photography equipment. He then discusses his career as a photographer for the Oregon Journal newspaper, his photography equipment, and some of his assignments. He also talks about his freelance work, as well as photography he did for himself; photographers he worked with, including Minor White; and his involvement with the Mazamas and mountain climbing. He speaks about his marriage to Catherine Elizabeth Gnadinger, and about his children, their careers, and their families. He speaks at length about photographing Portland's Romani community and Native Americans. He then talks about Catherine Elizabeth Monner's death in 1961 and his retirement activities. He closes the interview by discussing famous people and events that he photographed.

Monner, Al (Alfred Anthony), 1909-1998