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News Releases
General Joel Palmer, pioneer of 1845. Oregon Historical Society Library, Cartes-de-visite Collection; Org. Lot 500; b5.f843-1; OrHi 27903, ba000968
General Joel Palmer, pioneer of 1845. Oregon Historical Society Library, Cartes-de-visite Collection; Org. Lot 500; b5.f843-1; OrHi 27903, ba000968
Oregon Historical Society Launches New Digital Collections Site, Providing Broad & Open Access to Archival Materials (Photo) - 05/22/17

Portland, OR -- In 2015, the Oregon Historical Society embarked on an ambitious two-year project to build an infrastructure to create, collect, preserve, and provide access to digital materials in its vast historic collections. Today, OHS announces a major milestone in this project with the official launch of OHS Digital Collections (https://digitalcollections.ohs.org).

This new website allows online public access to a rich variety of materials from the OHS Research Library, including items from our manuscript, photograph, film, and oral history collections. Behind the scenes, these files are safeguarded using a series of digital preservation workflows, systems, and storage processes called the OHS Digital Vault.

While collections will continue to be added to the site on an ongoing basis, featured collections at launch include:

* Photographs from Oregon conservation pioneers William L. Finley, Irene Finley, and Herman Bohlman, part of the Reuniting Finley and Bohlman project, a current year-long collaboration with Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center. This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.

* Newspaper photographs from the Oregon Journal nitrate negative collection, consisting of images from the Portland paper taken during the 1920s and 1930s. This digitization project-in-progress is funded by a grant from the Jackson Foundation.

* Papers of Joel Palmer, 1848-1880, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Oregon Territory and an Oregon State Legislator. Digitization was done in collaboration with the University of Oregon Special Collections.

* Landscape photographs by the renowned San Francisco photographer Carleton E. Watkins taken during his visits to Oregon and the Columbia River in the 1860s and 1880s.

* Early twentieth century photographs from Portland's Kiser Photo Co., one of the most successful and widely known commercial studios in the American West.

* Selected oral histories, including interviews from the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN).

* Over 1100 portraits from the OHS Cartes de Visite Collection, 1861-1893.

"We're proud to announce the availability of this platform, which we view as a cornerstone of our organizational mission to make Oregon's history open and accessible to all," said OHS Digital Archivist Mathieu Deschaine. "We look forward to continued additions that will illustrate the breadth and diversity of our holdings and encourage their use for teaching, learning, and research."

OHS Digital Collections and the OHS Digital Vault are funded by a generous grant from The Collins Foundation, with additional support from a bequest from the estate of William Bilyeu. Ongoing digitization is supported by private and public funders. Support for the expansion of the OHS Digital Vault to build further capacity to digitize rare and unique items can be made through donations to the Oregon Historical Society's FORWARD! capital campaign.

Begin exploring OHS Digital Collections at https://digitalcollections.ohs.org.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state's collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon's history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon's cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

Oregon_Trail_Mural_-_Bob_Setterberg.png
Oregon_Trail_Mural_-_Bob_Setterberg.png
Public Celebration of SW Portland's Historic Sovereign Building & Mural Restoration set for Saturday, May 20 (Photo) - 05/17/17

Portland, OR -- The Oregon Historical Society will host a public celebration marking the completion of the restoration of the Sovereign Building and Mural this Saturday, May 20, from 3pm -- 4pm at OHS (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland). The celebration will include the screening of a time-lapse video documenting the restoration of the Sovereign and the mural, as well as an opportunity for guests to meet mural artists Richard Haas and Dan Cohen. Clips of the documentary can be found on the Oregon Historical Society's website. This event is free and open to the public.

The Sovereign Hotel building was sold in 2014 by the Oregon Historical Society to 1922 Sovereign LLC, but the Society retained ownership of the well-known mural of historic Oregon scenes that graced the building's facade. The sale agreement anticipated that the repairs that needed to be made to the building would impact the mural, and required that the mural be preserved and that OHS and 1922 Sovereign LLC would share the cost of the preservation. Renovations were led by Emerick Architects and R&H Construction and subcontractor D&R Masonry.

"The mural has been a fixture on the Portland Park Blocks for decades and is a true Portland icon," said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. "Our visitors frequently comment on their love of the mural, and we are excited to now have the mural restored to its full glory."

1922 Sovereign LLC, in partnership with the Oregon Historical Society and Jessica Engeman, Historic Preservation Specialist from Venerable Group, Inc., selected Dan Cohen to handle the mural restoration, which began in May 2016. Cohen is a classically trained painter, sculptor, and muralist who currently lives and works in the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles, and New York City. Notable local projects include the Oaks Bottom Wildlife mural at Portland Oaks Bottom Refuge, one of the largest fine-art murals in the nation. His work is known across the country, and he worked closely with the original muralist, Richard Haas, throughout the restoration process.

The 14,000 square foot mural is made of Keim silicate paint and was originally commissioned by the Oregon Historical Society in 1989. According to Richard Haas' website, "the west face of this multi-part mural, painted on four sides of a six-sided building, depicts four, thirty-feet-high participants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-05. The south face bears a trompe l'oil freize of the Oregon Trail and the John Jacob Astor fur trade."


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state's collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon's history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon's cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

Grand Prize winner Eshani Jha and her mom
Grand Prize winner Eshani Jha and her mom
53 Oregon Students Qualify for National History Day(R) Competition to be Held near Washington, D.C. (Photo) - 05/08/17

Portland, OR -- Fifty-three students from across Oregon have qualified to advance to the National History Day(R) competition after successfully submitting their work at Oregon History Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The students who qualified to advance in the competition received first or second place in their category.

Each year, one project is awarded Best Entry at Oregon History Day, and the winner receives round-trip air fare to Washington, D.C. for the National History Day(R) Contest, which will take place at the University of Maryland at College Park campus June 11-15, 2017. This year, Eshani Jha from Stoller Middle School in Beaverton received top honors for her documentary "Mahatma Gandhi: Messenger of Peace." This award is made possible through generous grant funding from Joseph E. Weston Foundation, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Trust, the Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, and the H.W. and D.C.H. Irwin Foundation.

Each fall, OHS kicks off the Oregon History Day program alongside over half a million 6-12 grade students across the country. OHS Education Manager Kristen Pilgrim works closely with educators throughout the state, and students use the OHS Research Library and digital assets like the Oregon History Project and Oregon Encyclopedia to conduct research on the annual theme. The 2017 National History Day(R) theme is "Taking a Stand in History," and students can present their final project in the form of a paper, website, exhibit, performance, or documentary, and can work individually or as a group.

More than a half-million students and 30,000 teachers participate in NHD annually. Through historical research on topics of their choice and interviews with multiple judges, students learn research and reading skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-esteem and confidence. For more information on National History Day(R), visit www.nhd.org.

A full list of participants of the 2017 Oregon History Day contest, including those who have qualified for nationals, can be found at www.ohs.org/oregonhistoryday.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state's collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon's history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon's cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

Public Lectures about Historic Conservation Photos Tour Oregon - 04/27/17

** Press images available online at http://bit.ly/2p8eMIG **

Portland, OR -- Photos and manuscripts by noted conservationist William L. Finley, his wife Irene, and Herman T. Bohlman helped in establishing wildlife refuges in Oregon. Now those photographs, manuscripts, and other documents are becoming available online and will be shown at lectures around Oregon in late April through early June.

William L. Finley's interest in wildlife conservation began when he and his boyhood friend, Herman T. Bohlman, began photographing birds around Oregon at the turn of the twentieth century.

The Oregon Historical Society Research Library and Oregon State University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives Research Center are collaborating to make more than 40 years of photographs, manuscripts, publications, correspondence, and other materials created by William Finley, Irene Finley, and Herman Bohlman available online. The project, "Reuniting Finley and Bohlman," is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.

The project began in July 2016 and will be completed by June 30, 2017. This digitization effort allows the collection, which is physically divided between the Oregon Historical Society in Portland and Oregon State University in Corvallis, to be united in its entirety for researchers and conservationists to access in a single digital space. Many of the photographs and documents are already available on Oregon State University's digital collection website at http://oregondigital.org/sets/finley-bohlman. The collection will also be made available on the brand new OHS Digital Collections website, which is set to launch on May 22, 2017.

The entire digital collection will include approximately 6,500 photographs and 8,600 pages of manuscript material. The photographs include Finley and Bohlman's trips to Malheur Lake, the Klamath Lakes, and Three Arch Rocks on the Oregon coast -- and, these photographs played a key role in President Theodore Roosevelt's decision to create wildlife refuges at those locations. A fourth wildlife refuge near Corvallis was named in honor of William Finley. More information about Finley can be found on The Oregon Encyclopedia at https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/finley_william_l_1876_1953_/#.WQI3m_krKUk.

The public lecture and slide presentation series, "On the Road with Finley and Bohlman," started in Burns, Oregon on April 25 and will also be offered at these locations:

› April 27: Oregon Institute of Technology, College Union Auditorium, Klamath Falls, 7pm -- 8pm
› May 13: Oregon State University, Valley Library's Willamette Room, Corvallis, 6pm -- 7:30pm
› May 14: Netarts Community Club, Oceanside, 2pm -- 3:30pm
› June 7: Oregon Historical Society, Portland, 6:30pm -- 7:30pm

More information about the series, including details on related nature walks, is available at http://www.ohs.org/finley.



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About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state's collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon's history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon's cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.