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Oral history interview with Norm Costa

Norm Costa has lived in the Portland metro area since 1958. He transitioned from an engineering career to running his own beauty salon in Lake Oswego for several years during the 1960's. More recently, Costa has worked for decades as a gay rights activist, mostly working with local health departments on HIV prevention efforts. This interview describes many aspects of the gay experience in Portland over the course of those years, including his experience with politics and activism, personal experiences, gay-oriented clubs and businesses over the years, and the spread of the HIV virus in the early 1980's.

Costa, Norm

Oral history interview with Frodo Okulam

Frodo talks about her life as a lesbian, in the late 1960s onward. She discusses her gender identity as a child, dealing with her sexuality as a teen, how she got her name and what the Lord of the Rings meant to her, starting the Portland Chapter of the Tolkien Society of America, and her spirituality as a Wiccan and member of the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church).

Okulam, Frodo

Manuscript of Wallowa River and Valley

An unfinished typescript with hand corrections of J. H. Horner’s work, Wallowa River and Valley. The manuscript details the history of the Wallowa Valley region in northeastern Oregon from approximately 1805 through 1950. The document includes extensive details on the origins of many place names in the region. The manuscript also includes a history of the Nez Percé people and their cultural traditions which Horner wrote in collaboration with Otis Halfmoon. Topics covered in the manuscript include Chief Joseph and the events of the Nez Percé war of 1877, settlement of the Wallowa Valley region, and local participation in World War I and World War II. John Harland Horner (1870-1953) was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Enterprise, Oregon, in 1911. He served as Wallowa County's deputy assessor from 1918 to 1924, before being elected county assessor in 1924. Horner also had a long-standing interest in the history of Wallowa County. For more than thirty years, he collected historical information and interviewed most of the area's early settlers and local Native Americans.

Horner, J. H., 1870-1953

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.)

Agriculture and animals

Photographs related to agriculture, horticulture, and animals from approximately 1920 - 1945. The bulk of the photographs depict people, animals, and scenes at fairs and livestock shows, probably the Multnomah County Fair in Gresham, Oregon, and the Pacific International Livestock Exposition in Portland, Oregon. Other images depict topics such as cats, dogs, wild birds, poultry, and Tusko the elephant; farms and farmland; flowers, flower shows, and gardens.

Oregon Journal (Firm)

Northwest School of Photography

Photographs taken by Jerry Jiro Yasutome and other unidentified students at the Northwest School of Photography in Portland, Oregon. They include photographs of the processing lab and students in classes as well as portraits taken by the students.

Yasutome, Jerry Jiro, 1919-1994

Vanport Flood photographs

Photographs of the damage caused by the Vanport Flood in May 1948 taken by Jerry Jiro Yasutome and other unidentified students at the Northwest School of Photography in Portland, Oregon.

Yasutome, Jerry Jiro, 1919-1994

Columbia Steel Casting Company

This series contains photographs of steelworkers and equipment detailing the steel casting process used for making large steel components for Liberty Ships constructed in Portland (Or.) area shipyards during World War II.

Supplemental descriptive information contributed in 2019 by Chris Horn, Facilities Director for Columbia Steel.

Atkeson, Ray

Oral history interview with Helen G. Rees

This oral history interview with Helen G. Rees was conducted by Anne Cummins at Rees' home in Fairview, Oregon, on December 13, 1995. The interview was conducted as part of the Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series, which was a series of interviews about telephone operators in rural areas in the early 20th century, conducted by Anne Cummins in the early 1990s.

In this interview, Rees discusses her family background and early life in Sherman County. She also talks about the family background of William A. Rees and his early life in Shaniko. Rees then discusses her life in Shaniko after her marriage to William A. Rees. She speaks at length about the telephone system in Shaniko in the 1930s and early 1940s, describing how the system worked and the equipment used, and she talks about some of the telephone operators. She closes the interview by talking about the different ways the operators served the community beyond the job of answering and directing phone calls.

Rees, Helen Guyton, 1910-

Gertrude Glutsch Jensen speech on preservation of the Columbia River Gorge

This speech by Gertrude Glutsch Jensen was delivered around 1981 to a group of people gathered at her home in Portland, Oregon, under the auspices of Senator Mark Hatfield. The speech was also broadcast on KOIN radio. In the speech, Jensen talks about the history of Columbia River Gorge preservation efforts and discusses her own preservation work. She presents arguments in favor of proposed legislation to designate the Gorge as a national recreation area, and advocates immediate action by way of a presidential proclamation to designate the Gorge as a national monument. She also describes the current state of the Washington side of the Gorge. She closes the speech by talking about Chanticleer Point.

Jensen, Gertrude Glutsch, 1903-1986

Gertrude Glutsch Jensen speech on preservation of the Columbia River Gorge

This speech was delivered by Gertrude Glutsch Jensen on May 28, 1981, to an unknown audience. She repeats remarks made to the Portland Women's Forum at the Western Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon, on May 5, 1981. A person identified only as Mr. Short delivers introductory remarks. Jensen discusses the history of Columbia River Gorge conservation efforts by the Portland Women’s Forum and the Columbia Gorge Commission. She advocates immediate action by way of a presidential proclamation to designate the Gorge as a national monument; reads a letter she received from former Oregon Governor Oswald West regarding the Gorge; and talks about her friendship with conservationist Horace M. Albright. She presents arguments in favor of proposed legislation to designate the Gorge as a National Recreation Area. Jensen closes the speech by talking about the 1937 Columbia River Gorge Commission report, and Short makes closing remarks.

Jensen, Gertrude Glutsch, 1903-1986

Oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman

This oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Getman's offices at World Vision in Washington, D.C., from June 3-8, 1988. In this interview, Getman discusses his family background and early life in Luverne, Minnesota, particularly the development of his religious and political beliefs. He then discusses attending Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, and working with Young Life ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he heard Mark Hatfield speak for the first time. He talks about his longstanding admiration for Hatfield; his involvement with Young Life ministries in New England; and his work for Gerald R. Ford, including a story about being with the Ford family on the night of the 1976 presidential election. He then describes how he came to be on Hatfield's staff; discusses other staff members, particularly Doug Coe and Gerry Frank; and talks about how the staff and Hatfield interacted. Getman discusses his duties as legislative director, Hatfield's relationship with the Republican Party, and the senator's stance on several issues, including abortion. He speaks at length about Hatfield's personality, spirituality, and legislative agenda. He also talks about preacher Billy Graham, as well as the evangelical voting bloc. He discusses the Reagan administration's push for privatization and his own opinion on the limits of the private sector, particularly in regard to health care. He speaks about Hatfield's efforts to mitigate the damaging effects of privatization in his role as chair of the appropriations committee. He then talks about his work on legislation regarding Africa, particularly South Africa. He discusses the events surrounding Rajneeshpuram, and being in Africa on vacation during Hatfield's real estate scandal. He closes the interview by reflecting on the legacy and accomplishments of Hatfield's political career.

Getman, Thomas R.

Oral history interview with LeRoy Haynes, Jr.

This oral history interview with the Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr., was conducted by Jan Dilg at Haynes' office in Portland, Oregon, from October 8 to December 5, 2018. Haynes was nominated by Oregonians to be interviewed as part of a program by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library to enhance and expand the range of voices in the library's collections. Interviewees are selected from the pool of nominees by a staff committee appointed by the historical society's executive director. The interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on October 8, 2018, Haynes discusses his family background and early life in Beaumont, Texas, including his experiences with racism and segregation as a black person. He talks about the black community in Beaumont, his early education, and his early involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his involvement in the civil rights movement, including his training for and participation in non-violent protests. He then talks about his involvement in the Black Power Movement and the Black Consciousness Movement. He discusses his role in the development of the Black Panther Party; talks about the history of the struggle for freedom for black people; and discusses his experience in college while organizing for civil rights. He talks about his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and briefly discusses his experience at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

In the second interview session, conducted on October 29, 2018, Haynes continues discussing his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and his experience at the Perkins School of Theology. He also talks about the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his career as a pastor in Texas; talks about navigating the conservative attitudes in Dallas to accomplish his goals; and describes his accomplishments. He goes on to speak about his involvement with the Albina Ministerial Alliance in Portland, Oregon. He discusses his work, in both Oregon and Texas, for programs regarding AIDS and HIV, as well as addiction. He then briefly talks about serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He discusses his love of education and talks about earning his doctorate of ministry from Brite Theological Seminary and doing post-doctoral work at the Boston University. He describes being recruited to serve as pastor of Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Portland, and as presiding elder of the Alaska & Oregon/Washington Districts and in the Alaska-Pacific Region of the 9th Episcopal District. He shares his first impression of Portland and describes his congregation and the church building. He revisits the topic of his involvement in the Albina Ministerial Alliance and talks about his work toward police reform.

In the third interview session, conducted on December 5, 2018, Haynes discusses serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He talks about his involvement with the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and his continued activism. He reflects on the challenges he faced as a civil rights activist, and how he applied the lessons he learned during that time to his community activism in Portland. He also talks about the different forms that racism takes, particularly describing the difference between his experiences in Texas and Oregon. He discusses his book, "God's Prophet in Non-Violence: The Theology and Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," and talks about what he hopes readers take from it. He closes the interview by talking about his work with the Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of the interview, awards he's received, and his hopes for the future.

Haynes, LeRoy, Jr., 1949-

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil Edwards was conducted by Irvin Luiten from May 18 to 26, 1988. In the interview, Edwards discusses his family history and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and early interest in government. He then talks about his experiences working for the Oregon Legislature beginning in 1933. He discusses the old Capitol building, which burned down in 1935; campaigns he worked on, and the role of lobbyists. He also talks about working as secretary for Governor Charles Sprague. Edwards then describes his service in the National Guard during World War II, particularly working with horses and dogs. He talks about returning to work in Oregon government after the war ended, including serving on the Racing Commission; being fired by Governor Mark Hatfield; lobbying for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association; and returning to the Legislature to work as a secretary. He discusses the numerous committees he was secretary for, including the agriculture committee, fish and game committee, and land-use board. Edwards next discusses his tenure as secretary of the Senate from 1965 to 1975, focusing on many of the legislators he worked with, including Clarence Barton, Debbs Potts, and Jason Boe. He also speaks at length about redistricting, as well as the duties of the secretary of the Senate and Senate rules.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Oral history interview with Frankie Bell

This oral history interview with Frankie Bell was conducted by Vinita Howard from November 12-30, 1992. In this interview, Bell discusses her family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon. She discusses her education and attending the University of Oregon. She talks about the difficulty of starting a family while still attending college and trying to have a career. She discusses the various part-time jobs she held until she began working at the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon, in 1966 as a tour guide. She talks about working at the information desk at the Oregon Legislature from 1967 to the time of the interview in 1992, including facing sexism on the job. She describes her observations on the Legislature over her two and a half decades there, including on lobbyists, rumors, and inaugural changes. She also talks about the history of the Capitol building, as well as organizing holidays and exhibits at the building; the gift shop; and school tours. She closes the interview by speaking briefly about the personalities of many legislators over the years.

Bell, Frankie (Frances Estelle), 1937-

Oral history interview with Robert F. Smith

This oral history interview with Robert F. Smith was conducted by Clark Hansen at Smith's office in Medford, Oregon, from August 30 to September 1, 1995. In this interview, Smith discusses his family background and early life in Burns, Oregon. He talks about his interest in basketball while attending Willamette University. He also talks about running a ranch and multiple other businesses after graduation; his flying hobby; and his involvement with a number of civic organizations. He goes on to talk about being recruited to run for the Oregon Legislature by members of the Oregon Republican Party, and his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1960 to 1973. He discusses his campaigns, committees, fellow legislators, and legislation that he worked on. He talks about Tony Yturri, Monte Montgomery, Bill Holmstrom, Stan Ouderkirk, Clarence Barton, and Stafford Hansell. He discusses legislation on agriculture, taxes, labor, forestry and land use. He also talks about how his leadership style as speaker of the House from 1969 to 1973, and about his legislative agenda. He closes the interview by discussing the social life of legislators.

Smith, Robert F. (Robert Freeman), 1931-

Oral history interview with Donald Dickey

This oral history interview with Donald Dickey was conducted by Neil Vanderburg and Bob Zybach at the Green Valley Care Center in Eugene, Oregon, from August 18-19, 1990. The interview was conducted as part of the Soap Creek Valley History Project, which was conducted by the Oregon State University Research Forests to better understand the history, ecology, and culture of the Soap Creek Valley in Benton County, Oregon. Maxine Ann Dickey was also present and occasionally contributed to the interview. The interview was conducted in two sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on August 18, 1990, Dickey discusses his family background and early life in Berry Creek, in the Soap River Valley area of Oregon, including his memories of snowstorms, life on the family farm, and other families that lived in the area. He also briefly discusses his 35-year career in rodent control for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In the second interview session, conducted on August 19, 1990, Dickey describes the wildlife in the Berry Creek area, his recreational activities and social life, and people and places in neighboring towns. He speaks at length about the sawmills in the area. He then revisits the topic of his 35-year career in rodent control for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He closes the interview by discussing his marriage.

Dickey, Donald C. (Donald Charles), 1914-1990

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