The Oregon Black History Project was a grant-funded project that conducted research on the history of African-Americans in Oregon up to the beginning of World War II. The project was directed by Elizabeth McLagan and culminated in her book "A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940," which was published by the Georgian Press of Portland, Oregon, in 1980.
The collection consists of administrative records, research files, and photographs gathered or created by the Oregon Black History Project. Most of the research files consist of notes and quotes, photocopies, or excerpts from primary and secondary resources concerning the history of African-Americans in Oregon from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century. Most of these source excerpts were assembled between 1976 and 1979. Topics include early African-American emigrants to Oregon; the slavery debate in Oregon; exclusion laws and other forms of discrimination or violence against African-Americans; African-American business, social, and activist organizations; and early 20th-century African-American newspapers such as The Advocate, the New Age, and the Portland Times.
Photographs include portraits of African-American Oregonians; African-American social groups and activities; residences; and businesses operated by African-Americans in Portland, Oregon. Some of the photographs are copies of images originally published in newspapers such as Portland Times and The Advocate.