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Portland State University Oral History Series

  • SR Portland State University Series
  • Collection
  • 1989

A collection of oral history interviews of Portland State University faculty, conducted by other Portland State University faculty.

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

United States District Court Oral History Project

  • USDCHS
  • Collection
  • 1966-2008 (bulk 1984-2008)

Since 1984, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society to interview judges, lawyers and other legal professionals affiliated with that Court.
With an appeal rate at around 10%, the decisions made by the District Court of Oregon have been deeply influential on the laws and peoples of the state. It has presided over decisions on public land disputes and fishing rights, as well as civil rights and law enforcement. The stories of the people that make up this judicial body provide a valuable tool for helping the public understand the pivotal role the court has had on Oregon’s history.

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.

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.

World War II Oral History Series

  • WWII
  • Collection
  • 1994-1997

A series of oral histories conducted in conjunction with an OHS museum exhibit. These interviews are mostly with veterans of WWII, and some are with individuals active in the war effort at home.

Portland Neighborhood History Project

  • Mss 2577-SR
  • Collection
  • 1976-1979

The Portland Neighborhood History Project was one of the first extensive oral history projects in Oregon. In the late 1970s, the Parks Department recruited volunteers to interview elders in their own neighborhoods in order to gather first hand accounts of the history and development of the various neighborhoods in Portland. The interviews were later donated to the Oregon Historical Society.

Oral history interview with Don Clark

  • SR 1166
  • Collection
  • 1994 August 30 - 1998 March 27

Clark discusses family heritage, education, and career beginnings in the criminal justice system; experiences as Multnomah County sheriff; campaign for the Multnomah County Commission; modernization of county government in Oregon; Mt. Hood freeway and regional transportation planning, Burnside Consortium, Columbia Villa, single-payer health care, and numerous other subjects of policy and politics of city and county in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Clark, Donald Edward, 1933-

Trails to Oregon Exhibit Oral History Series

  • SR Trails to Oregon
  • Collection
  • 1992-11-04/1993-02-05

The oral history interviews included in this oral history series were conducted in 1992 and 1993 for the purpose of inclusion in the Trails to Oregon exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society.

Strassmaier, James

Oral History Interview with Bette Lee

  • SR 11258
  • Collection
  • 2014-06-17 - 2014-12-29

Bette Lee discusses her activism and career in photographing protests, beginning in the San Fransisco Bay Area in the 1980s, and later in Portland, Oregon. She discusses several specific photographs, many of which can be found in the transcript. Protests and movements discussed include the Portland Alliance, Indie Media, World trade Organization, Iraq War, Occupy Wall Street, Livermore Action Group, etc.

Lee, Bette

Oral History Interview with Vera Katz, by Linda Brody

  • SR 9044
  • Collection
  • 1992-04-28 - 1992-05-19

Vera Katz discusses her early life and education, and later political career through 1982. Her family immigrated to the United States during world War II and she grew up in New York, where she became involved in Modern Dance, studying under Martha Graham. After moving to Portland to support her husband's art career, she became involved in local politics, ultimately becoming a State Representative in 1972, where she was a part of the 1973 Women's Caucus, which passed many landmark pieces of legislation. She also discusses her plans for the future.

Katz, Vera, 1933-2017

Oregon Wine Oral History Series

  • SR Oregon Wine Oral History Series
  • Collection
  • 1990-2003

A series of oral history interviews collected between 1999 and 2003 with prominent winemakers in Oregon.

Herman Bohlman lecture notes, circa 1900-1920

  • Coll 542
  • Collection
  • 1900 - 1920

The collection consists of notes for lectures given by the nature photographer Herman T. Bohlman. Lectures include talks on birds in the Crater Lake region, on the California Condor, and wintertime birds. The collection additionally contains a handwritten schedule of talks, loose notes, the envelopes in which the notes were originally stored, and a photograph by Bohlman of a black chickadee family which was found with the notes.

Bohlman, Herman

William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946

  • MSS Finley
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 1946

William L. Finley's papers primarily document his work as a wildlife conservationist, author, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker from about 1900 to 1940. The collection also documents the work his wife Irene Finley and photography partner Herman Bohlman. The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2014:062) is made up of correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the wildlife conservation work of William and Irene Finley. Among the topics addressed in the correspondence include: song bird protection laws in Oregon, requests to Finley for use of his photographs, the forming of an Oregon Fish and Game Commission, biological surveys conducted by Finley, legislation in California repealing meadowlark protection, and letters by Finley to various organizations regarding the presentation of one of his lectures. A highlight among the correspondence is a thank you letter from Finley to President Theodore Roosevelt for his establishment of wild bird reservations. The clippings are newspaper articles written by Irene and William Finley about encounters with wildlife, nocturnal bird sounds, and their filming of wildlife at Paulina Lake. The four articles all appeared in editions of the "Oregon Sunday Journal."

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

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

Marian Wood Kolisch Oral History Collection

  • SR Marian Wood Kolisch Collection
  • Collection
  • 1974-06-17 - 2003-05-25

A series of interviews Oregon photographer Marian Wood Kolisch conducted with local figures in the arts, business, and politics. Many of these interviews were conducted at the same time she took portraits of these individuals.

Kolisch, Marian W.

Oral history interview with Charles Luce, by Gene Tolefson

  • SR 1571
  • Collection
  • 1984-09-07 - 1984-11-20

Luce discusses his early life, law school, and his work with the Bonneville Power Administration and public utilities, including legal cases, negotiations with Canada, and being appointed Administrator.

Luce, Charles F. (Charles Franklin), 1917-2008

Oral history interview with Cherie Hiser, by Jim Morris

  • SR 3125
  • Collection
  • 1981-12-06

Hiser discusses The Center of the Eye in Colorado, photographers she has worked with, photography techniques, portrait photography, her recent photography projects, including portraits of gay men and tattooed people, photography as therapy, studying photography with Minor White, and teaching photography.

Hiser, Cherie

Oral history interview with Claire Argow, by Roberta Watts

  • SR 9090
  • Collection
  • 1977-11-28 - 1977-12-02

Argow discusses her education and career in social work and criminology in New England, particularly Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, and in Oregon. She also discusses prison conditions, capital punishment, advances in corrections in Oregon, her work with the Oregon Prison Association, teaching at Pacific University, her work with the Oregon Women’s Correctional Institution, women and crime, and moving to Oregon in 1945.

Argow, Claire

Oral history interview with Lawrence Leighton Smith, by Linda Brody

  • SR 9343
  • Collection
  • 1980-05-12

Smith discusses his early musical education, his career as a pianist and conductor, mostly in New England, and his experiences as conductor and music director for the Oregon Symphony in Portland, Oregon.

Smith, Lawrence Leighton

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