Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris

Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris [Index] Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris [Sound Recording 02]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 169

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris


  • 1988-08-26 (Creation)


.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (54 min., 49 sec.) + index (5 pages)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sherma Jwayad Norris, nee Sherma Sharr, was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1914. In 1935, she and Nicholas Jacob Jwayad were married; they later had three children. She was a founding member of the St. Sharbel Parish in Southeast Portland, and she managed the bookstore on the Portland Community College Cascade campus. Nicholas Jwayad died in 1976. Sherma Jwayad retired in 1978, and in 1979 she and Marvin Norris were married. Norris died in 1997.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris was conducted by Robert J. Gassner on August 26, 1988. The interview was one of a series conducted in 1988 by Oregon Historical Society volunteer Robert Gassner with members of the Syrian and Lebanese community in Portland, Oregon.

In this interview, Norris discusses donating a photograph to the Oregon Historical Society. She then talks about her family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Syrian and Lebanese community. She discusses Syrian and Lebanese clubs and organizations, including the Syrian Star Society, which later became the Syrian-Lebanese Social Club; and talks about Lebanese- and Syrian-owned businesses in Portland, particularly those run by her family. She briefly outlines the events of her life. She talks about her education at St. Mary's Academy and her childhood friends. She talks about her involvement in the Republican Party and support of Governor Victor Atiyeh; the members of the Syrian and Lebanese community that were friends with her parents; and speaking Arabic at home as a child. She speaks at length about her family, siblings, and children. She closes the interview by describing a recent trip she took with her daughter.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

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Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

The photograph discussed in this interview is included in Photo File 1278-88, Oregon Historical Society Research Library. The photograph, taken circa 1930, shows the Syrian Star Society at the society's clubhouse at SE 62nd and Francis, Portland, Oregon.

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Sherma J. Norris, by Robert J. Gassner, SR 169, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the Portland's Syrian/Lebanese-American Community series.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

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Accession area