The Oregon Collection is primarily books about the Northwest or by Northwest authors. It’s always been heavily used, in part because much of it has always been findable through the card catalog and now in our on-line catalog. But where do fundamental collections like this get started?
The Oregon Collection actually debuted in San Francisco! It was assembled as part of the Oregon exhibit for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition by Allen Eaton (1878-1962). Graduating from UO in 1902, Eaton played an important role in the development of the cultural community in Eugene. He opened the first book and art store in the city, organized its first art exhibition, and taught the University’s first art appreciation class. He was the youngest member of the Oregon Legislature, serving five terms as representative for Lane County.
After the Exposition closed, the Oregon books came to the University and formed the nucleus of the Rare Book Collection. We continue to add newly published and vintage materials to the Oregon Collection, to ensure that researchers have access to the full spectrum of books by and about Oregonians, now and in the years to come.