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.