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Camp Watson, Oregon sketch, 1865

  • Mss 5279
  • Collection
  • 1865

A single pencil sketch of Camp Watson, Oregon dated to 1865. The First Regiment Oregon volunteer Cavalry maintained Camp Watson from 1864 to 1869 during the conflict with members of the Bannock, Shoshoni, and Paiute peoples known as the Snake War.

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne, 1839

  • Mss 5285
  • Collection
  • 1838

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne painted by missionary Hamilton Campbell during his journey by ship from New York to Oregon in 1839. The collection also includes a typescript document signed by Ben Campbell Holladay explaining the provenance of the painting.

Campbell, Hamilton, 1812-1863

Alice E. Wilson sketchbook

  • Mss 5286
  • Collection
  • 1898 - 1899

Sketchbook, 1 vol., August 1898-August 1899, filled with charcoal sketches of houses and scenery on the Oregon Coast including: Garibaldi, Tillamook and Seaside.

Wilson, Alice E.

J.H. Horner Papers, 1889-1985

  • Mss 6031
  • Collection
  • 1889 - 1985

The collection consists principally of the typescript (with corrections in hand) of Horner's work, Wallowa River and Valley, dealing with regional history, as well as the Nez Percé Indians. Other papers include correspondence (ca. 1889-1985); legal documents (1898-1931); patents for window construction (1921-1922); and manuscript materials (undated). Horner's main correspondent is Otis Halfmoon, a Catholic Nez Percé who assisted with the author's manuscript. The collection also includes a list of other contributors that assisted Horner in his research

Horner, J. H., 1870-1953

Columbia Rediviva collection

  • Mss 957
  • Collection
  • 1785-1852

The collection consists of correspondence, journals, ship logs, administrative records, and ink sketches relating to the ship Columbia Rediviva. A mix of original materials and reproductions are present. Among the originals are: the journal of John Hoskins, written during the Columbia's journey around the world in 1791-1792; the journal of George Barrell, 1806, written on board the brig Venus from Boston to Malaga, and on the schooner Louisiana from Malaga to New York; Barrell's account of stores on board the Columbia, 1792-1793; letters of Joseph Barrell to Samuel Webb, 1785-1801, and to John Hoskins, 1790; letters from Colburn Barrell and Robert Haswell, 1801; owner's accounts, 1787-1793; accounts of the Columbia and Lady Washington, 1787-1790; receipts; and four ink sketches by George Davidson depicting incidents in the voyages of the Columbia.

The reproductions held in this collection include the journals of Robert Haswell and Owen Smith, 1787-1789; and a file of receipts and other papers concerning outfitting of the Columbia, 1790 (on microfilm). Also included are publications of Robert Gray's wife Martha's petition to congress for a pension and memorial, 1848-1852.

OHS Maps Collection

  • OHS Maps
  • Collection
  • 1500 - ?

The OHS Maps Collection contains over 25,000 maps that focus on Western exploration and the Oregon Territory. Available types of maps include those of the Oregon Territory, the state, cities and counties, and special subjects such as mining, forestry, railroads, coasts and rivers, soils, farmlands, land claims, Native Americans and explorations.

Oregonian glass negatives

  • Org Lot 139
  • Collection
  • 1850-1930

This collection consists of glass negatives taken by photographers for the Portland, Oregon based newspaper, The Oregonian. Most of the photographs in this collection are undated but the bulk of the photographs are believed to be taken between 1890 and 1920.

Oregonian (Firm)

Spruce Production Division lantern slides

  • Org. Lot 1062
  • Collection
  • 1917-1919

Lantern slides depicting activities of the Spruce Production Division in Oregon and Washington State during World War I.

United States. War Department. Spruce Production Division

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

Vanport flood photographs collection, 1948

  • Org. Lot 131
  • Collection
  • 1948

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.)

Photographs of Vanport, Oregon, circa 1948

  • Org. Lot 1364
  • Collection
  • 1942 - 1948

Photographs of Vanport, Oregon before and after the flood of 1948, including images of Dale Skovgaard and his family, who lived there at the time.

Skovgaard, Dale

Gary Scott photographs collection

  • Org. Lot 1386
  • Collection
  • 1970-04-22

This collection contains black-and-white photoprints of images taken by Gary Scott on the occasion of Oregon Governor Tom McCall's visit with the students of Parkrose High School and Fremont Jr. High School, in Portland, on April 22, 1970. This marked the first celebration of Earth Day in Oregon. Those in attendance included personnel from both Parkrose High School and Fremont Junior High School.

Digital Collection consists of retouched high resolution scans created by Gary Scott from original prints.

Scott, Gary

Monteith family photograph collection, 1847-1854

  • Org. Lot 1388
  • Collection
  • 1847 - 1854

This collection is comprised of two (2) daguerreotypes showing portraits of brothers Thomas and Walter Monteith, who founded the town of Albany, Oregon, circa 1849. They traveled to Oregon from New York in 1847 and settled adjacent land claims, sharing a house which straddled the two claims.

Kiser Photo Co. Photographs

  • Org. Lot 140
  • Collection
  • 1901-1999

The Kiser Photo Co. photographs include images produced by the Kiser Brothers, the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Official Photographic Co., the Kiser Photo Co., and the Winter Photo Co. from 1901-circa 1927. Other imprints include Fred H. Kiser Studios, Kiser Studios, and Scenic America Company. The collection contains both vintage black-and-white and hand-colored prints, including stereographs and panoramic photographs, as well as copy prints made from original Kiser negatives. The bulk of the images are examples of Kiser's landscape and mountain photography in Montana, Oregon, and along the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Highway, among other places, as well as of various places in Portland, Or. Other subjects include the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Mo., 1904; the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Or., 1905; landscape photographs taken for various railroad companies, 1903-1916; photographs of ships and shipbuilding in the Portland, Or. area, taken for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, 1918-1919; and photos of Kiser studio buildings in Portland, 1909-1923.

The collection also contains contemporary photomechanical reproductions of Kiser photographs, dating from 1903-circa 1930. These include postcards, photomechanical prints both loose and in albums, and publications containing reproductions of Kiser work. There are also background materials that contain biographical notes Fred H. Kiser and the history of his work with photography that were gathered during collection processing and date from 1903-1999.

Many images in the collection were made by the Kiser Brothers or Kiser Photo Company and its photographers but were produced for sale to the public over a long period of time, first by the Kiser Photo Company and then the Winter Photo Company. After Kiser sold part of his business to Winter in 1915, it appears that Kiser continued to make prints from earlier images for which Winter held the negatives, possibly by making copy negatives from original prints. Photographer Benjamin Gifford also bought Kiser negatives and produced them for sale; many of the copy prints in this collection were made from Kiser negatives that are housed in the Gifford and Prentiss photograph collection, Org. Lot 982.

Note on dates and photographers’ negative numbers: Kiser and Winter often issued prints of the same images over a long period. Prints sometimes include copyright dates in the photographer’s imprint. The dates provided in this guide include: actual date of photograph if known, copyright date if known, or circa dates derived from photographers’ negative numbers and image content. Kiser Brothers did not use a negative numbering system as far as can be determined. Kiser Photo Co.’s earliest assigned numbers represent the firm’s output but also may be for images made by the Kiser Brothers but marketed later. They are low numbers preceded by an “x”. Kiser seems to have adopted a consecutive numbering system by about 1906. The numbers are handwritten in pencil on the verso of prints. After he purchased part of the business in 1915, Winter appears to have continued the consecutive numbering system from where Kiser Photo Company left off. After 1915, Kiser appears to have adopted a new numbering system, using a “C” prefix.

Kiser, Fred H., 1878-1955

Portland General Electric Photograph Collection

  • Org. Lot 151
  • Collection
  • 1880 - 1965

Negatives documenting company activities, including electrical infrastructure, employees, power generation and distribution throughout Portland, the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Cascade Range. Additional general images include streetcars and trains, street lighting, power line installation, Rose Festival floats, office buildings, car barns and bridges. Of particular note are dam building projects at Bull Run and along the Clackamas River (1910-1930), and early electric stations in Oregon City at Willamette Falls.

Portland General Electric Company

William L. Finley Photographs Collection, 1901-1940

  • Org. Lot 369
  • Collection
  • 1901 - 1940

Images of wildlife, primarily birds of the western United States, c.1900-1940s, photographed by William Lovell Finley and his associate Herman T. Bohlman, with the help of his wife, Nellie Irene Barnhart Finley and others. The collection includes fine images of adult and immature birds, chicks, eggs, and nests. Many show habitat. Others document the camera equipment and techniques used to make the photographs.

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

Cartes-de-Visite photographs

  • Org. Lot 500
  • Collection
  • 1855 - 1905

Cartes- de- visite are a form of card photograph popular from around 1860 to the early 1900s, typically used for portraiture. The common construction of these cards consists of a thin albumen print mounted on a thicker card backing measuring 2.5 x 4 inches. André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri patented the process of creating these photo cards in Paris in 1854, streamlining the process of commercial portraiture. Cartes- de- visite were traded among friends and visitors and they were popularly displayed in albums. In the United States, cartes- de- visite were a staple of commercial photographers during the Civil War as a means of selling inexpensive portraits of soldiers and their loved ones. Photographs of celebrities, military, and political figures were also popular for collecting and trading. Cartes- de- visite were superseded by Cabinet cards, a similar, larger format of roughly 4.5 x 6.5 inches, in the 1870s, but they remained popular into the 20th century.

This artificial collection was accumulated from accessions containing cartes- de- visite photographs acquired prior to 2010 by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. The cartes- de- visite were originally part of a topical photograph collection and were separated into their own collection to address preservation concerns. The numbering scheme for the collection reflects their original placement within the topical photograph collection. As a result, numbering in this collection is not sequential. The collection includes portraits taken from about 1855 through the early 1900s. Many of the portraits have attached biographical information. Portraits by many well-known Oregon photography studios are represented in this collection, including Joseph Buchtel, Andrew B. Paxton, Isaac G. Davidson, Peter Britt, and F. A. Smith. The collection also contains images of locomotives, ships, buildings, and landscapes in the Pacific Northwest.

Also included is the Photographer Study Collection, which contains sample work from several studios in Oregon, California, and Washington. The portraits in this series are unidentified with the exception of a small selection of portraits that were identified after the collection was assembled.

In addition to Oregon-related materials, the collection includes cartes- de- visite of notable military, political, and celebrity figures from the late 19th century. The most common subjects are American Civil War portraits, a series of illustrations of George and Martha Washington, European notables cards, and advertisements.

Minor White negatives

  • Org. Lot 52
  • Collection
  • 1938-1940

This collection consists of 210 black-and-white negatives shot by Minor White during his time in Oregon betwen 1938 and 1940. The bulk of the negatives, and of particular note, are White's photographs of numerous buildings and blocks - primarily cast-iron-fronted - near the Portland waterfront, which include, in part: the Miles Building, the Hotel Portland, the New Market Block, the Snow Building, the Opitz Building, and the Starr Block. Many of these buildings are no longer standing.

White, Minor

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs photographs, 1953-1988.

  • Org. Lot 587
  • Collection
  • 1953 - 1988

Photographs and other materials that were assembled for the Northwest Black Heritage exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, documenting the history and activities of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs and its constituent groups. The photographs depict the presidents of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs, including Katherine Gray, the association's first president; state and regional conventions; affiliated clubs; community service activities; winners of the association's Katherine Gray Memorial Scholarship; and federated girls' clubs associated with the organization. Also included is a photograph of the exhibit panel and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other materials used in the exhibit panel.

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs

Rev. Lee Owen Stone Collection

  • Org. Lot 651
  • Collection
  • 1903 - 1977

Photographs documenting the career of Rev. Lee Owen Stone, (4/24/1903-3/10/1977), at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 120 N. E. Knott St., Portland. Rev. Stone was Vicar of St. Philips from 1936 until his retirement in 1972. He was active in community agencies and the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. Rev. Stone was a founder of the Portland Urban League. In addition, he established the St. Philips Church Cooperative (Lee Owen Stone) Preschool. Rev. Stone was Portland's first black Episcopal priest, and hist first wife, Leota A. Stone, was one of Portland's first black public school teachers.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

Photo Art Commercial Studio photographs

  • Org. Lot 791 - 1944
  • Collection
  • 1944

The Photo Art Commercial Studio Collection represents the work of one of Portland’s premiere commercial photography firms. The collection consists of hundreds of thousands of negatives, plus prints, slides, and film footage, from 1936 to 1998. This exceptional collection is rich in Northwest scenic views, portraits, photographs of community events and organizations, and business products and operations. Prominent Northwest photographers, such as Ray Atkeson, photographed for the studio.

Photo Art Studios was opened in 1925 by Claude F. Palmer who had operated a small photo studio as a teenager. Photo Art began as a photofinishing operation, expanding in later years to commercial and advertising photography, motion pictures, and photo murals. In 1959, John Patterson, an Oregonian who was studying photography, joined the staff of Photo Art. In 1965, Patterson became a partner in the business with Claude Palmer; Patterson assumed full ownership in 1978 after Palmer’s retirement.

Palmer, Claude F., 1899-1991

Carleton E. Watkins photographs, 1861-1885

  • Org. Lot 93
  • Collection
  • 1861 - 1885

This collection contains stereographs, cartes de visite, cabinet and boudoir cards, photograph albums, mammoth plates, and other loose prints taken by landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins, 1861-1885. Watkins photographs that were taken before he lost his Yosemite Art Gallery studio in 1876 to Isaiah W. Taber are known as his "Old Series." Watkins photographs taken after 1876 are referred to as his "New Series." The collection contains both Old Series and New Series images and includes some of Watkins' photographs printed under Taber's imprint..

The bulk of the stereographs and mammoth plate photographs in this collection were taken during Watkins' trips to Oregon to photograph Portland, the Willamette River, and the Columbia River in 1867 (Old Series), as well as in 1882, 1883, and the winter of 1884-1885 (New Series). There are also some stereographs that were taken by Watkins on his 1882 voyage to photograph Puget Sound in the Washington Territory and Victoria in British Columbia. Other mammoth plates, cartes de visite, and stereographs depict views of places in California, including Yosemite and Mariposa County, the Farallon Islands and other scenes of the California coast, San Francisco, Round Top, Mount Lola, and Mount Shasta, as well as views of Utah taken for the Union Pacific Railroad. There are also cabinet card portraits taken by Watkins of various people, including Oregon railroad financier Simeon Gannett Reed and members of the family of Cornelius C. Beekman (1828-1915), banker from Jacksonville, Or.

The collection also contains two photograph albums assembled by Watkins and originally owned by Charles H. Prescott (b. 1839), manager of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co. from 1881-1887. One album, "Sun Sketches of Columbia River Scenery," contains images taken by Watkins during his trips to the Columbia River Gorge circa 1882-1883, and the second album, ""Great Storm of the Winter of 1884-5. Columbia River, Or.," contains images that he took during a winter blizzard in December and January of 1884-1885 that snowed in an Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. train on its tracks along the Columbia River. The collection also contains one group of stereographs entitled "Watkins' Pacific Railroad" that were originally taken by Alfred A. Hart, official photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad, between 1862-1869 and reprinted by Watkins under his own imprint after 1870.

Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916

Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series

  • Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series
  • Collection

A series of oral history interviews and an essay by Anne Cummins. She interviewed individuals who worked as telephone operators in rural areas in the early part of the 20th century.

Oral history interview with Rudolph Luscher, by Susan Gaughan

  • SR 1038
  • Collection
  • 1984-08-16

Luscher discusses his family background and dairy farming in Clackamas County, Oregon, and the changes in milking technology and the dairy business over the 20th century. Bill Tegart was also present.

Luscher, Rudolph

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