Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Libby Solomon
- 1989-10-25 - 1989-11-22 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 4 audiocassettes (3 hr., 30 min., 11 sec.)
Name of creator
Elisabeth "Libby" Lorrayne Solomon, nee Willer, was born in Russia in 1909, in an area that is now part of Ukraine. She came to Portland, Oregon, with her family in 1914. She attended Reed College, but had to quit school due to an illness. When she recovered, she had the opportunity to act as a lab assistant for a doctor and take classes at medical school. She attended the University of California San Francisco, but again had to quit due to illness. She returned to Portland and continued to work in a medical lab. She also joined the Democratic Party and became a precinct committeewoman. She met Gus J. Solomon through her political activities and they were married in 1939; they later had three children. She was a civil rights activist and a writer. She died in 2004.
Name of creator
James "Jim" Strassmaier was the Oral Historian at the Oregon Historical Society from 1986 to 2001.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This oral history interview with Libby Solomon was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Solomon's apartment in Portland, Oregon, from October 25 to November 22, 1989. In this interview, Solomon discusses her family history and early life in Russia and Portland, including assimilating to American culture as a young child; the death of her older sister, Roza Willer; her Jewish upbringing; and her education. She then discusses her brief education at Reed College and her love for microscopic work. She briefly discusses her Democratic politics. She talks about working in medical labs with various doctors, particularly Edmund Sears. She discusses her involvement in the Democratic Party and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation, as well as the people she met through those organizations, including Monroe Sweetland, Ruth Haefner, and Gus Solomon, who became her spouse. She speaks at length about Gus Solomon's appointment to the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She discusses some of her later activities, including taking classes at the Portland Art Museum School, and serving on the Portland art and zoo commissions. She also talks about her and Gus Solomon's decision to quit all clubs and organizations that had discriminatory admittance policies. She closes the interview by discussing her work on integrated housing.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
An oral history with Gus Solomon, spouse of Libby Solomon, is designated SR 1226 at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Libby Solomon, by Jim Strassmaier, SR 1231, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.