Aerial Photograph Collection
The Aerial Photograph Collection contains over 700,000 prints. Our earliest Oregon coverage is from 1929 but the majority of coverage exists for years 1935 to 2011. While the aerial photo lab is not open to the public, it is easy to make an appointment with our lab staff. You may also fill out our research request form to receive digital copies of images for a fee. The majority of our collection is vertical photography but we also have oblique imagery of the Portland area from the 1980’s to the late 1990’s. These oblique photos are available upon specific request.
How do I make a request?
Submit a request using our request form:
Keep in mind that a site map is required or you will be charged a $10 map fee. The map assists researchers with quickly and correctly finding your site.
How long does it take to fulfill a request?
Typical turnaround is 3-4 business days. However, larger projects or Phase 3 requests may require more time.
Is my site covered?
If your site is not located within the areas of these guides or is outside Oregon, please call 541-346-3051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for coverage information.
Can I make a request if I am not an academic researcher?
Yes! Please make sure you fill out the "Public Request" version of our request form. Contact us with any questions.
Can I view photos before purchasing digital copies?
When submitting your request, under the "Duplication & Delivery" section and under "Research only, do not scan," check the "Do not scan" button. This will alert us to pull photos but contact you before proceeding with scanning. This is done when you are unsure of which years you would like for your site or if you would like to know pricing before the final processing of your request.
How long will I be able to access the photos I purchase?
Due to the volume of requests we receive, we are only able to provide access to photos we scan for you up to 90 days. We highly encourage that you download and save the photos to your computer as soon as you receive the link we send you.
In what format are the photos?
While the collection contains physical prints, the product you will receive will be digital. The digital files may be jpeg, tiff, or pdf, depending on what you marked on your request form.
What scales are available?
Scales range from 1:3,680 to 1:80,000. Most of our photos are at 1:20,000 with many at 1:12,000 (BLM coverage) or 1:24,000 (1980's-1990's Portland). If you have a preference for scale, please indicate so in the "Special Instructions" section of the request form.
What years are available?
The collection contains projects ranging from 1929 to 2011. Our 1929 project covers the coastal towns of Fairview and McKinley, portions of the South Fork Coos River, portions of the North Fork Coquille River, and some of the surrounding tributaries. The majority of our collection ranges from 1935 to 2011, with higher resolution images ranging from 1935 to 2005.
Examples of Using Historic Aerial Photographs
Click on the following thumbnails to see how the UO campus has changed through time:
|1936: from one of our oldest projects; produced by the Army Corps of Engineers||1955: produced by photogrammetrist H. G. Chickering||1977: produced by a private company, Skyview Aerial Survey, Inc.||1990: produced by the Bureau of Land Management||2005: from the Oregon Imagery Explorer|
Digital Aerial Photographs
The following are available online:
- Campus: Historic Aerial Photographs
- Eugene: 1936 Aerial Photographs
- Eugene: 1978 Aerial Photographs
- Corvallis: 1936 Aerial Photographs
Much of our digital collection is not available online because of copyright issues.
Free Online Aerial Photography From Outside Resources
- Oregon Explorer - 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2011 Oregon orthoimagery
- Oregon Geospatial Data Clearhinghouse - 1995, 2000, and 2005 Oregon orthoimagery
- USGS Earth Explorer - Aerial photography for much of the United States, years and resolution variable
- Google Earth - Google Earth has historic imagery, mostly from the mid 1990s to the present.