Historic and Contemporary Photograph Collections
Special Collections contains approximately half a million photographic images in its collections. Particular subject strengths include the history of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, including the history of timber and agriculture in the region, as well as photographic documentation of various sub-cultures and groups unique to Oregon, ranging from lesbian artist communities to the Rajneeshpuram community in Wasco County. Holdings also include important collections by significant documentary photographers and artists, among them the Doris Ulmann, Tee Corinne, John Bauguess, and Shawn Records. Please contact us if you are looking for a particular image.
See the full list of photography collections in Special Collections. A subset of our collections are also available digitally on Oregon Digital. Please note, many photography collections are currently unprocessed and unavailable for immediate use. We are working through the backlog of unprocessed materials. If you are interested in an unprocessed collection, please fill out this form and we will review it for our processing queue. We do not allow access to our glass-plate negative collections due to the handling issues of the fragile material.
Left: "Saponowox, Yakima Indian, with two sons, in costume." Photo by Rutter, c.1910. Moorhouse collection, PH036-4149. All rights reserved.
Selected Historic Collections
- Clarence Andrews: Prints, albums and negatives from Alaska (1890s-1900s), 1,200 images.
- Roy Andrews: Albums and negatives depicting schools in Lane County, Oregon (1911-1912), 220 images.
- Album Collection: Artificial collection of individual albums of travel, family, logging, and campus life.
- Stereo Collection: Artificial collection of images in stereograph format.
- Angelus Studio: Prints and negatives depicting scenes and events in the Portland area (1870s-1930s), 10,000 images.
- William H. Burton: 549 negatives and 2 albums of University of Oregon, Newport coast, and New York City, 1912-1915.
- Brice P. Disque: Spruce Production operations of 1917.
- June D. Drake: 28 vintage prints, c. 1905-1915.
- Eugene Print Collection: 200 historic images of the Eugene vicinity.
- James T. Gray: Prints and negatives, of Alaska and Oregon rivers (1902-1912), 250 images.
- Joseph Lane: Vintage images related to the Oregon governor (1850s-1903), 8 images.
- Print Collection: 8,000 vintage prints assembled from a variety of sources. Subjects include architecture; local history; landscape; logging, shipping and railroads; and portraits.
- William J. Smith: Images, mostly stereo, of the town of Detroit, Oregon, and logging operations (1898-1983), 67 images.
- Doris Ulmann: Vintage prints, proof prints and glass-plate negatives featuring portraits of eminent literary figures, craftspeople and farmers from Appalachia and the Georgia Sea Islands (1920s-1934), 9,000 images.
- Gertrude Bass Warner: approximately 5,500 hand-tinted lantern slides of art and culture of China, Japan, Korea and Cambodia from 1904 to 1929.
Images from Umatilla and the Pendleton area, c.1880-1957. Includes the Pendleton Roundup and many images of local tribes.
- Walter S. Bowman (1865-1938): Bowman was a professional photographer noted for his images of Pendleton and the local tribes. Bowman images are found in many of the collections.
- Lee Drake (1882-1957): Drake was a newspaper man, a civic booster, and active in preservation of historic materials. He collected photos and was an amateur photographer. He was instrumental in building the Pendleton Group collections at the University of Oregon. His collection is most valuable for its historic images, and for his documentation of Round-Up in the 1940s and 1950s.
- The Electric Studio/O.G. Allen: ca. 1911-1913. The Electric Studio was a franchise. Orla G. Allen was official photographer for the Roundup. Allen images exist in other Pendleton Group collections.
- Charles W. Furlong (1874-1967): was an explorer, adventurer, writer and scientist who documented his adventures in publications and notebooks and well as in photographs. The Furlong photographs include copies of his artwork, ethnographical evidence, historical events and personalities, and remote corners of the world. He was a competitor and chronicler for the Pendleton Round-Up, and helped establish the mythology of the American West.
- Major Lee Moorhouse (1850-1926):Glass plate negatives depicting peoples, scenes, and events of Eastern Oregon (1897-1920), 6,300 images. Moorhouse collected work by other photographers, including Allen, Bowman, and others, sometimes identifying them as his own work.
- Park Weed Willis. Willis was the brother-in-law of Moorhouse, and an amateur historian. His collection includes a small number of vintage Moorhouse prints and Moorhouse family photos.
The Library also collects contemporary photographers, primarily those documenting ecological change and the conflict between man and nature, and alternative communities. Recent acquisitions include works by Grayson Mathews, Gregory Gorfkle, Robbie McClaran, Dan Powell, John Bauguess, James Cloutier, Bernard Freemesser, Larry Smith, and Gerald Robinson.