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Photo Art Commercial Studio photographs

  • Org. Lot 791 - 1944
  • Collection
  • 1944

The Photo Art Commercial Studio Collection represents the work of one of Portland’s premiere commercial photography firms. The collection consists of hundreds of thousands of negatives, plus prints, slides, and film footage, from 1936 to 1998. This exceptional collection is rich in Northwest scenic views, portraits, photographs of community events and organizations, and business products and operations. Prominent Northwest photographers, such as Ray Atkeson, photographed for the studio.

Photo Art Studios was opened in 1925 by Claude F. Palmer who had operated a small photo studio as a teenager. Photo Art began as a photofinishing operation, expanding in later years to commercial and advertising photography, motion pictures, and photo murals. In 1959, John Patterson, an Oregonian who was studying photography, joined the staff of Photo Art. In 1965, Patterson became a partner in the business with Claude Palmer; Patterson assumed full ownership in 1978 after Palmer’s retirement.

Palmer, Claude F., 1899-1991

Oregon Black History Project photographs collection, circa 1850-1960.

  • Org. Lot 679
  • Collection
  • 1850 - 1960

Photographs documenting African-​American history in Oregon, circa 1850-1960 that were collected during the Oregon Black History Project and some used to illustrate "A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940," by Elizabeth McLagan. Subjects include portraits of African-​Americans in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon; residences of African-​Americans in Portland, including images of Vanport, Or. and the Vanport flood of 1948; African-​American clubs, social groups, sports, and other activities; and African-​American businesses in Portland, among other subjects. Some of the photographs are copies of images originally printed in newspapers such as the Portland Times and the Advocate.

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

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs photographs, 1953-1988.

  • Org. Lot 587
  • Collection
  • 1953 - 1988

Photographs and other materials that were assembled for the Northwest Black Heritage exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, documenting the history and activities of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs and its constituent groups. The photographs depict the presidents of the Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs, including Katherine Gray, the association's first president; state and regional conventions; affiliated clubs; community service activities; winners of the association's Katherine Gray Memorial Scholarship; and federated girls' clubs associated with the organization. Also included is a photograph of the exhibit panel and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other materials used in the exhibit panel.

Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs

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.

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

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

Kiser Photo Co. Photographs

  • Org. Lot 140
  • Collection
  • 1901-1999

The Kiser Photo Co. photographs include images produced by the Kiser Brothers, the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Official Photographic Co., the Kiser Photo Co., and the Winter Photo Co. from 1901-circa 1927. Other imprints include Fred H. Kiser Studios, Kiser Studios, and Scenic America Company. The collection contains both vintage black-and-white and hand-colored prints, including stereographs and panoramic photographs, as well as copy prints made from original Kiser negatives. The bulk of the images are examples of Kiser's landscape and mountain photography in Montana, Oregon, and along the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Highway, among other places, as well as of various places in Portland, Or. Other subjects include the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Mo., 1904; the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Or., 1905; landscape photographs taken for various railroad companies, 1903-1916; photographs of ships and shipbuilding in the Portland, Or. area, taken for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, 1918-1919; and photos of Kiser studio buildings in Portland, 1909-1923.

The collection also contains contemporary photomechanical reproductions of Kiser photographs, dating from 1903-circa 1930. These include postcards, photomechanical prints both loose and in albums, and publications containing reproductions of Kiser work. There are also background materials that contain biographical notes Fred H. Kiser and the history of his work with photography that were gathered during collection processing and date from 1903-1999.

Many images in the collection were made by the Kiser Brothers or Kiser Photo Company and its photographers but were produced for sale to the public over a long period of time, first by the Kiser Photo Company and then the Winter Photo Company. After Kiser sold part of his business to Winter in 1915, it appears that Kiser continued to make prints from earlier images for which Winter held the negatives, possibly by making copy negatives from original prints. Photographer Benjamin Gifford also bought Kiser negatives and produced them for sale; many of the copy prints in this collection were made from Kiser negatives that are housed in the Gifford and Prentiss photograph collection, Org. Lot 982.

Note on dates and photographers’ negative numbers: Kiser and Winter often issued prints of the same images over a long period. Prints sometimes include copyright dates in the photographer’s imprint. The dates provided in this guide include: actual date of photograph if known, copyright date if known, or circa dates derived from photographers’ negative numbers and image content. Kiser Brothers did not use a negative numbering system as far as can be determined. Kiser Photo Co.’s earliest assigned numbers represent the firm’s output but also may be for images made by the Kiser Brothers but marketed later. They are low numbers preceded by an “x”. Kiser seems to have adopted a consecutive numbering system by about 1906. The numbers are handwritten in pencil on the verso of prints. After he purchased part of the business in 1915, Winter appears to have continued the consecutive numbering system from where Kiser Photo Company left off. After 1915, Kiser appears to have adopted a new numbering system, using a “C” prefix.

Kiser, Fred H., 1878-1955

Monteith family photograph collection, 1847-1854

  • Org. Lot 1388
  • Collection
  • 1847 - 1854

This collection is comprised of two (2) daguerreotypes showing portraits of brothers Thomas and Walter Monteith, who founded the town of Albany, Oregon, circa 1849. They traveled to Oregon from New York in 1847 and settled adjacent land claims, sharing a house which straddled the two claims.

Gary Scott photographs collection

  • Org. Lot 1386
  • Collection
  • 1970-04-22

This collection contains black-and-white photoprints of images taken by Gary Scott on the occasion of Oregon Governor Tom McCall's visit with the students of Parkrose High School and Fremont Jr. High School, in Portland, on April 22, 1970. This marked the first celebration of Earth Day in Oregon. Those in attendance included personnel from both Parkrose High School and Fremont Junior High School.

Digital Collection consists of retouched high resolution scans created by Gary Scott from original prints.

Scott, Gary

Photographs of Vanport, Oregon, circa 1948

  • Org. Lot 1364
  • Collection
  • 1942 - 1948

Photographs of Vanport, Oregon before and after the flood of 1948, including images of Dale Skovgaard and his family, who lived there at the time.

Skovgaard, Dale

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.)

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

OHS Maps Collection

  • OHS Maps
  • Collection
  • 1500 - ?

The OHS Maps Collection contains over 25,000 maps that focus on Western exploration and the Oregon Territory. Available types of maps include those of the Oregon Territory, the state, cities and counties, and special subjects such as mining, forestry, railroads, coasts and rivers, soils, farmlands, land claims, Native Americans and explorations.

Columbia Rediviva collection

  • Mss 957
  • Collection
  • 1785-1852

The collection consists of correspondence, journals, ship logs, administrative records, and ink sketches relating to the ship Columbia Rediviva. A mix of original materials and reproductions are present. Among the originals are: the journal of John Hoskins, written during the Columbia's journey around the world in 1791-1792; the journal of George Barrell, 1806, written on board the brig Venus from Boston to Malaga, and on the schooner Louisiana from Malaga to New York; Barrell's account of stores on board the Columbia, 1792-1793; letters of Joseph Barrell to Samuel Webb, 1785-1801, and to John Hoskins, 1790; letters from Colburn Barrell and Robert Haswell, 1801; owner's accounts, 1787-1793; accounts of the Columbia and Lady Washington, 1787-1790; receipts; and four ink sketches by George Davidson depicting incidents in the voyages of the Columbia.

The reproductions held in this collection include the journals of Robert Haswell and Owen Smith, 1787-1789; and a file of receipts and other papers concerning outfitting of the Columbia, 1790 (on microfilm). Also included are publications of Robert Gray's wife Martha's petition to congress for a pension and memorial, 1848-1852.

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

Abraham Lincoln letters

  • Mss 324
  • Collection
  • 1858-1861

One autograph letter, A.L.S., from Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Ill. to Simeon Francis in Oregon, 1860 Aug. 4, discussing the upcoming presidential election and prospects for the winning of various states. Collection also includes photostatic copies of three additional letters: Lincoln to James Thornton, 1858 Dec. 2; Simeon Francis to Lincoln, 1859 Dec. 26; and David Logan to Lincoln, 1861 Sept. 5.

Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865

Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories

  • Mss 2988-SR
  • Collection
  • 2000 - 2013

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) was established in Portland, Oregon, by Tom Cook in the early 1990s. Since then the organization has collected archival materials and oral histories from organizations and individuals active in lesbian and gay issues in the Portland area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these oral histories were gathered by Portland State University students, from the late 90s to present.

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

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.

Brown, Clawson, and Parvin Family Papers

  • Mss 2506
  • Collection
  • 1739-1978

The collection includes correspondence, clippings, documents, and ephemera, most of which relate to Zimiri Parvin, James Nassau Brown, Mamie Parvin Brown, Vivian Z. Brown, and Verne Clawson Brown. There are also some materials on the Sutton, Taylor, and Price families, all related by marriage to the Parvins and Browns. Included are: musical compositions by Zimiri Parvin, letters from James Nassau Brown to his wife Mamie, a biographical article by Doris Huffman (1976), diplomas and certificates, high school yearbooks, a pocket diary of Josephine Taylor Sutton containing recipes, a program for a banquet honoring Susan B. Anthony in Salem in 1900, a Taylor family history document from the late 18th century, a group of baggage tags from hotels, and a collection of bank notes from the early 19th century. Among James Nassau Brown's letters is one of 1903 from Salem describing a typhoid epidemic.

Lee Owen Stone papers, 1903-1977

  • Mss 2423
  • Collection
  • 1930 - 1977

Collection includes: Correspondence, sermons, awards and certificates, files from his activity in the Urban League of Portland and other civil and philanthropic associations, Minutes of meetings for Men's Club of St. Philip's Church, missionaries' quarterly reports, etc.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

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.)

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.

Correspondence Collection

  • Mss 1500
  • Collection
  • 1800 - ?

Collection of materials assembled by the Oregon Historical Society comprised of various letters written from or to individuals in Oregon, ca. 1820-1973.

Oregon elections collection, 1846-1888

  • Mss 1231
  • Collection
  • 1846 - 1888

Collection assembled by the Oregon Historical Society regarding elections in Oregon. Included are Poll Books for Sauvie Island (1859), Astoria Precinct (1857), Elkton Precinct (1856), Santiam Precinct (1860), and Butte Creek (1872); contributors to the 1873 election fund; certified documents of electors, president and vice-president, U.S. (1876, 1880, 1888); and newspaper clippings and list of contributors to the 1888 election. Additional materials include oversize ballots and tally sheets (in 2 flat boxes), and 1860-1862 election materials (1 reel of microfilm).

Oregon. Constitutional Convention (1857)

Oregon Constitutional Convention records, 1857-1859

  • Mss 1227
  • Collection
  • 1857 - 1859

Documents created during the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857. Includes: committee reports, drafts of articles and schedules, general notes, corrections, and other materials. Sections of the constitution represented include: preamble and bill of rights; suffrage and elections; distribution of powers; Legislative Department; Executive Department; education and school lands; finance; militia; corporations and internal improvements; seat of government; general provisions; boundaries; schedules, and related papers. Also includes printed speech of James Hughes of Indiana, on the admission of Oregon, delivered in the House of Representatives, 1859 February 10.

Oregon. Constitutional Convention (1857)

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