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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.

Women collection, circa 1899-1950

  • Mss 1534
  • Collection
  • 1899-1950

Collection of materials assembled by the Oregon Historical Society relating to women in Oregon, ca. 1899-1950. Included in the collection are postcards with anti and pro-suffrage images, the correspondence and diary of Mrs. Sylvia Thompson, the correspondence of M.H. Wicoxon, scrapbook of the League of Women Voters, papers of various women's political groups (including anti-suffrage groups) and newspaper clippings regarding women's rights, legal status and prominent women.

William L. Finley letters and scrapbook, 1946-1962

  • Mss 2654
  • Collection
  • 1946 - 1962

Collection includes: Scrapbook and letters, 1 vol. and 1 folder, 1946-1962, regarding personal matters, the Izaak Walton League, conservation, etc.

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

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

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 The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.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

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

Vortex I music festival photographs

  • Org. Lot 666
  • Collection
  • 1970

The collection consists of 17 black-and-white photographs of attendees and performers at the Vortex I music festival. The photographs depict crowds arriving at the festival, performers on stage, audience members dancing, and attendees sunbathing in the park.

The Vortex I music festival, also known as Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life, was a rock festival held at Milo McIver State Park near Estacada, Oregon. Members of Governor Tom McCall’s staff in collaboration with members of the Portland counterculture community planned the state-sponsored festival. Vortex I officially ran from August 28 to September 3, 1970 to coincide with the American Legion annual convention held in Portland the same week.

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.)

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church collection, 1940-2015

  • Coll 189
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 2015

The collection covers various aspects of the history of the church and of its leader, Rev. O.B. Williams, and his wife Willa Jackson Williams. It includes a variety of photographs, with a large percentage of the images relating to the various church groups, including choirs, youth groups, and ushers. A large collection of members’ memorial cards, the pastoral anniversaries of Rev. Williams, some bibles and hymnals (many annotated by Rev. Williams, including two dated 1867 and 1890), church financial records and meeting minutes, and a collection of materials from Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1961 visit are included. A small collection of the Williams’ personal photographs and ephemera can also be found in collection.

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church (Portland, Or.)

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.

Tsuboi Family home movies

  • MI Tsuboi
  • Collection
  • 1925 - 1960

The collection contains home movies filmed by members of the Tsuboi Family circa 1925-1960. The films depict Japanese American family scenes and feature locations around Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia, including the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, downtown Portland, Pendleton Round-Up, the Oregon Coast, Seattle, Yosemite National Park, and Los Angeles. Also included in the collection is footage taken in Northeast China, Japan, and on voyages across the Pacific Ocean.

Tsuboi Family

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

Tom McCall speech on Vortex I music festival

  • SR 9089
  • Collection
  • 1970

This speech by Tom McCall was given at Portland Television Studios in 1970 and broadcast on KGW-TV. This audio recording of the speech was made by an unknown individual from the television broadcast. The broadcast begins with a weather report and two commercials.

In the speech, McCall discusses the actions taken by the Portland and Multnomah County governments in response to protests expected to be held by the People's Army Jamboree against an upcoming American Legion convention. He describes plans for the music festival known as Vortex I as a way to mitigate the possibility of violence.

After the speech, the recording includes additional commercials and remarks by news analyst Floyd McKay. The recording ends with audio from the evening news broadcast about McCall's speech, including excerpts of the speech and McKay's remarks.

McCall, Tom, 1913-1983

Theodore Roosevelt letter to George Himes, 1900 Feb 21

  • Coll 301
  • Collection
  • 1900

Typed note, signed, from Theodore Roosevelt when governor of New York, to George H. Himes, assistant secretary of the Oregon Historical Society, complimenting Himes and the Society on their work. This letter was a response to Himes' letter of February 13th, 1900, a transcript of which is included.

Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

The Bo's'n's Whistle

  • BW-OSC
  • Collection
  • 1941 - 1946

The Bo's'n's Whistle was a publication distributed to the employees of the Kaiser Shipyards in Oregon and Washington between 1941 and 1946. The first publication was released on July 18, 1941 under the editorial direction of Chick Johnson, and was given its distinctive name by Edgar Kaiser the General Manager of the shipyard. Subsequent issues released bi-weekly, along with a special issue on September 27, 1941 commemorating the launch of the "Star of Oregon". Distribution expanded to the Vancouver and Swan Island Shipyards in April 1942, with Hal Babbit, director of public relations for Kaiser Company serving as editorial supervisor.

The format of the Bo's'n's Whistle changed from a magazine to a weekly newspaper beginning March 10, 1944, with separate editions for each of the three shipyards - Oregon Shipyard, Swan Island, and Vancouver. On September 7, 1945 The Bo's'n's Whistle was again consolidated into one edition for all three shipyards, and on January 1, 1946 it was moved to a twice-monthly publication schedule. The final issue of The Bo's'n's Whistle was published on May 24, 1946. At its peak, The Bo's'n's Whistle was circulated to 90,000 employees, with over 4,000,000 copies distributed over its lifespan.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

Ted Hallock audio recordings

  • SR 24523
  • Collection
  • 1966 - 1993

This collection of audio recordings consists predominantly of political advertising work created or managed by Ted Hallock for his public relations agency. Most of the materials are open-reel tapes and date from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. All but two recordings in the collection are unprocessed.

The processed recordings consist of interviews conducted in 1968 and circa 1975. The 1968 interviews were conducted by an unidentified woman with staffers for U.S. Senator Wayne Morse's re-election campaign. Also on the reel tape with the staff interviews are variations of political ads, produced by Hallock's company, for the Morse campaign. The interview conducted circa 1975 was with Aaron Brown, who became the first black judge in Oregon in 1969 and later served as a judge on the Multnomah County District Court. The interview was conducted by an unidentified woman for Grassroot News Northwest.

Unprocessed recordings in the collection include political campaign materials for Oregon politicians such as Ted Kulongoski, Jim Weaver, Les AuCoin, Wayne Morse, Bob Straub, Mike Lindberg, Connie McCready, John Kitzhaber, and Bob Duncan. The recordings also include advertisements on political topics including sales taxes, ballot measures regarding zoo funding, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. There are also business advertisements, including ads for Douglas Community Hospital, Bidwell & Co., and John's Landing.

Hallock, Ted

Stella Maris House collection, 1940-1973; bulk : 1960-1972

  • Mss 1585
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 1973

Ranging in date from 1940 to 1973, the Stella Maris House Collection consists of printed material, correspondence, and administrative, financial, and legal records created and collected by the Portland, Oregon-based social justice group during the course of their work. The collection demonstrates the local evolution of social issues key to the history of the United States during the 1960s. Over a third of the archive's content is dedicated to Oregon's migrant labor rights movement, and it also features records documenting the area's civil rights movement, urban renewal projects, interstate highway infrastructure, and social welfare programs initiated by the Economic Opportunity Act.

The bulk of the collection consists of printed material created by a number of local and national organizations between 1960 and 1972, then collected by the Stella Maris House. This portion of the archive includes programs, reports, studies, surveys, correspondence, brochures, and flyers generated by civil rights, migrant rights, and peace movement groups. Items of note include the Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project's plans for urban redevelopment (Series B), an African-American employment survey conducted by the Metropolitan Interfaith Commission on Race (Series E), and records documenting the Housing Authority of Portland (Series I). The collection also features printed material created by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Series E), the Valley Migrant League (Series J), and the United Farm Workers (Series J). Newspaper clippings that document events important to social justice movements constitute a substantial part of the collection.

A small but significant portion of the collection was created by the staff members of the Stella Maris House; it includes notes by the staff documenting the meetings of local groups. These meeting notes often provide remarkably candid insights into the workings of area groups. Additionally, Stella Maris House staff members also contributed group and program histories to the collection.

Stella Maris House (Portland, Or.)

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

Soap Creek Valley History Project

  • SR Soap Creek Valley History Project
  • Collection
  • 1989

The Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories consist of oral histories conducted primarily in 1989-1991 by the Oregon State University Research Forests to better understand the history, ecology, and culture of the Soap Creek Valley in Benton County, Oregon.

Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project

  • SR Hatfield
  • Collection
  • 1987 - 1988

Restricted until very recently, this series of interviews was conducted with Senator Hatfield’s congressional aids, staff and advisors. Senator Hatfield had a long and distinguished career in public service. He began his career as an Oregon State Legislator. He was both Oregon’s youngest Secretary of State and Governor. Later, he was a United States Senator from Oregon for 30 years, the longest term of any senator from Oregon. He is perhaps best known for his early and consistent opposition to the Vietnam War.

Interviewees include: Douglas Coe, associate director of The Fellowship, who has had close relationships with many American politicians; Martin Gold, a member of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, appointed by George H.W. Bush, he was counsel to Bill First, Howard Baker and Mark Hatfield; Loren Hicks, counsel to Hatfield and later held many judgeships in Oregon, including circuit judge for Marion County; and Sam Mallicoat, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War, and Chief of Staff for Senator Hatfield during his first senate term.

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.

Robertson, Burns, and Failing families papers

  • Coll 784
  • Collection
  • 1786-1988

Many of Portland's early settling families created long-lasting ties with one another through marriage and business relationships. Often leaving areas such as New England and San Francisco, the first generation of transplants found Portland to be a small town of new opportunities for trade and business from 1840-1855. Family relationships, such as those seen between the Robertson, Corbett, and Failing families beginning in the 1850s, often lasted for generations. Starting with the joint venture between Henry Winslow Corbett and brother-in-law Thomas Robertson (1817-1900), multiple other partnerships were later formed, including Robertson Heavy Hardware, Corbett, Failing and Company, Foster and Robertson and Corbett, Failing, and Robertson.

The Robertson family represented a crossroads of Portland familial relationships. Beginning with the arrival of Thomas Robertson and his wife Mary Freeland (Corbett) Robertson, from New York, multiple generations of the Robertson family went on to marry into different branches of other old Portland families, such Couch, Lewis, and Reed. Through these relationships, they also gained ties with several family lineages from the East Coast. Individuals in these families later attended elite schools, traveled widely and participated in family businesses to great success. They also contributed to Portland's civic life, becoming city or state officials, and serving as early supporters for institutions such as the Portland Art Museum and Reed College.

Robertson family

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

Radio news report on the death of Charles Sprague

  • SR 9505
  • Collection
  • 1969-03-13

This audio recording consists of a radio announcement, delivered by reporter Robert Bruce, about the death of former Oregon Governor Charles Sprague. The recording was taped from the broadcast of the announcement on an unidentified radio news program. In the segment, Bruce reads from statements by Governor Tom McCall and senators Robert Ellstrom, Jason Boe, and Robert Smith. Bruce then plays excerpts from an oral history interview that he conducted with Sprague in 1962.

Bruce, Robert M. (Robert Mason), 1915-1972

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.

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.

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

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