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Oregon Multicultural Archives: Digital & Related Resources

Digital & Related Resources

OMA Related Resources in the Pacific Northwest Region


Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive: The (CRBEHA) brings together selected highlights of the ethnic collections from leading repositories in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In addition to the digital archive, CRBEHA provides tutorials on how to research and interpret library and museum resources, and encourages public dialogue about ethnic history sources and issues in its online discussion forum.

Washington State University: The Black Oral History Interviews were conducted by Quintard Taylor and his associates, Charles Ramsay and John Dawkins. They interviewed African American pioneers and their desendents throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, from 1972–1974.

University of Washington: The American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection provides an extensive digital collection of original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, complemented by essays written by anthropologists, historians, and teachers about both particular tribes and cross-cultural topics. These cultures have occupied, and in some cases still live in parts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Maps are available that show traditional territories or reservation boundaries. The collection is also available through the Library of Congress as part of the American Memories Series Project.

Washington State University (n.d.): The Frank Fuller Avery Collection of more than 800 photographs taken from 1901 to 1916 when Avery was assigned to the Coville Indian Agency. There are a number of photographs of Native American school children.

Online Archive of California: The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives is a digital “thematic collection” within the CDL’s OAC documenting the experience of Japanese Americans in World War II internment camps. Curators, archivists, and librarians from ten participating OAC contributing institutions selected a broad range of primary sources to be digitized, including photographs, documents, manuscripts, paintings, drawings, letters, and oral histories. Over 10,000 digital images have been created complemented by 20,000 pages of electronic transcriptions of documents and oral histories. These materials are described and inventoried in 28 different online guides or "finding aids". The link provided above leads to images of Japanese Americans from Oregon.

Crossing East Archive: The Crossing East Oral Histories, Interviews and Transcripts presents a view into the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans throughout United States history. The collection contains the digital interviews and transcripts collected during 2004-2006 for the Crossing East public radio series of eight original one-hour documentaries that aired on 230 public radio stations nationally from 2006-2007.



Alaska’s Digital Archives, University of Alaska at Fairbanks (n.d.): provides photographs and information about Alaska Natives’ history and culture. This page allows the viewer to link to images by type of activity (making a living, art, education, etc.), by geographical area, or by time periods. The links bring the viewer to thumbnail images along with the title, subject, and description of each photograph.

British Columbia

British Columbia Digital Library (2007): This is not a link to a digitized photograph repository, but instead is a page of links to collections of texts and other materials, some of which are related to Native Americans. Canada is consolidating and centralizing their libraries and archives resources in order to make it easier to for the public to search for and access Canada’s documentary heritage. See Library and Archives Canada for more information.


Kevin Miyazaki (n.d.): In the series “Camp Home,” Miyazaki documents the reuse of buildings from the Tule Lake internment camp, where his father’s family was sent during World War ll. He writes “The barracks used to house Japanese and Japanese American internees were dispersed throughout the neighboring landscape following the war. Adapted into homes and outbuildings by returning veterans under a homestead movement, many still stand on land surrounding the original camp site. In photographing these buildings, I explore family history, both my own and that of the current building owners – this is physical space where our unique American histories come together. Because photography was forbidden by internees, very few photographs of home life were made by the families themselves. So my pictures act as evidence, though many years later, of a domestication rarely recorded during the initial life of the structures.”


University of Idaho Special Collections (2007). Digital Memories: This site features offers brief descriptions of historical artifacts from their collections. As they begin digitizing their collection, more photographs of Native Americans may become available.


University of Montana (2006). Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains: This searchable database is a cooperative effort among several colleges (Montana State University campuses at Bozeman, Billings, and Havre as well as Little Big Horn College) and a museum (Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman). It is primarily photographs, but also includes stereographs, ledger drawings, and other sketches.


Seattle Museum of History and Industry (2002): While this website currently has fewer than 100 digitized photographs of Native Americans, it does have transcriptions of oral histories from tribal members, which is unusual.

Suquamish Tribe/Historical Archives (1998): This site contains only three photographs under “historical archives” and the page has not been updated for almost ten years, but the hope is that as the tribe’s finances improve because of casino earnings they will utilize a part of it to share their cultural heritage.

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Warren M. Washington Collection: This collection documents the career of renowned climatologist and OSU alumnus Warren M. Washington, as well as his work to advance opportunities for students and scientists of color in meteorology and environmental science.

Information compiled by Erika Castaño, Monique Lloyd, and Larry Landis

OMA Related Resources Across the Country

First Blacks in the Americas / Los Primeros Negros en las Americas: The first digital platform in academia presenting a comprehensive history of the Americas’ earliest African inhabitants is now live.  “First Blacks in the Americas / Los Primeros Negros en las Américas,” a bilingual archival resource in English and Spanish, is the product of The City College of New York- based CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. City University of New York: City College of New York.

Exact Editions Black Lives Matter Collection: A freely available Black Lives Matter learning resource, featuring a rich collection of handpicked articles from the digital archives of over 50 different publications.

Oregon Experience, “Oregon’s Klan in the 1920s: The Rise of Hate"

Oregon Experience (30 min) episode “Oregon’s Klan in the 1920s: The Rise of Hate” is available to stream online. This historical documentary traces the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Oregon in the 1920s and the hatred, intolerance, and culture of white supremacy it perpetuated. It examines how the nation’s most prominent hate group became a powerful force in the state — a troubling history not widely known. Oregon Experience is an OPB original series, co-produced with the Oregon Historical Society, that explores Oregon’s rich past and helps to provide a deeper understanding of the historical, social, and political fabric of the state.

OMA Related Resources in Oregon

Oregon Institutions, Projects, and Sites

City of Portland - Guide to Historical City Records Related to African Americans: This guide compiles PARC resources related to the African American community in order to facilitate research. You can search the online catalog and access photos photos and documents as well.

Oregon Census Data Pictured Back to the 1800s:  As of 2015 the population estimates for Oregon are over 4 million residents. Portland State University's Population Research Center has created a new site with data going back to the 1800s. It details race/ethnicity, age, gender, place of birth, statistics, etc.

Oregon Folklife Network (OFN): The OFN is a collaboration of statewide agencies, grassroots organizations, and University resources dedicated to making "a meaningful difference in Oregon communities and Tribes by documenting, supporting, and celebrating our diverse cultural traditions and by empowering radition-bearers." (OFN Mission Statement)

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute: The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is the interpretive center for the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes. The facility helps document and preserve traditions and practices that distinguish the Confederated Tribes from any other peoples.

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center: Located in Portland, Oregon, preserves and exhibits historical documents that highlight Issei immigration and early life in Oregon, Nihonmachi (Japantown), and life after Executive Order 9066 including the Portland Assembly Center and contemporary Nikkei life.

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center: Located in Oregon City, Oregon, the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center offers attractions and resources that provide a glimpse into pioneer life from a variety of perspectives.

Oregon Historical Society: The Education website from the Oregon Historical Society is designed to provide teachers, students, and the general public a sense of the diverse people and events that comprise the history of Oregon. Each Focus on Oregon History topic is accompanied by a collection of primary sources from the Oregon Historical Society’s Research Library. Topics includes: African American History in Oregon, Asian Pacific History in Oregon, and Reservation Life.

The Immigrant Story: Dozens of stories of immigrants and refugees through recorded personal interviews that reflect the lived experiences of fellow Oregonians on journeys from their countries of origin to our state. The interviews are also valuable primary sources for historical inquiry that reflect the rich diversity of our state.

Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum: Located in John Day, is a truly unique structure that represents the oldest known vestiges of Chinese civilization in the United States. Built in 1867, the Kam Wah Chung & Co. building shares the story of Chinese immigrants who contributed so significantly to the social and economic development of this country during its westward expansion. The Kam Wah Chung & Co. building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and received a National Historic Landmark designation in 2005.

Oregon State Archives: The 50th Anniversary Exhibits of the Oregon State Archives includes one on the Whitman Massacre. It includes text, drawings, photographs of transcripts, and links for further reference. This institution has the potential for providing additional digitized records on the Native American population of Oregon.

Oregon State Archives Black in Oregon, 1840-1870: This exhibit uses archival records to illuminate the courage and resilience of black pioneers who built lives for themselves and their families in Oregon despite the many barriers they faced. The exhibit puts their experiences in context with chronologies and related resources before telling their stories augmented by photos and original documents. 

Oregon State Library Photo Website (2007). While only a few of more than 40,000 photographs have been placed on the website, all have been scanned and most have been researched and cataloged. There are a minimum of several hundred photographs of Native Americans among them although none are yet on the site. This website has a rich potential.

Vanport Mosaic: a memory-activism platform that amplifies, honors, presents, and preserves the silenced histories that surround us in order to understand our present, and create a future where we all belong.

Museum at Warm Springs (2007), awards and reviews. This website announced that it has been awarded a National Park Service Grant to photograph pictographs on reservation land and that it had also been awarded a grant to photograph and create an archive as well as fund a digital repository at the museum. This site should be added once the archive is placed online.

Oregon poet laureate Laws on Inada reflects on his memories of internment (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, October 2008)

Catlin Gabel SchoolEspañol VH: The Hispanic Presence in Oregon. The school’s Spanish V honors students developed this project in collaboration with Portland’s Miracle Theater Group.

Salem Statesman JournalOregon’s Black Pioneers. This site features several African Americans who have been pioneers in various aspects of Oregon’s history.

Oregon Health & Science University Library - Public Health in Oregon: Accessing Historical Data for Scientific Discovery - The project provides public access to digitized rare and unique materials related to public health in Oregon, as well as open access to the structured datasets they contain. The library is presenting the results in a digital collection of 351 items, as well as a narrative exhibit of original research on the history of public health in Oregon. Among the collections digitized for the project are death records, public health surveys, Oregon's earliest medical journals, hospital ledgers, visual materials, and institutional records. Many of the records address communities that are under-represented in historical analysis and under-served in health care, including communities of color, women, rural populations, and people with disabilities.

It Did Happen Here podcast series ~ It Did Happen Here is a historical short form documentary podcast that chronicles how immigrants, civil rights activists, and militant youth worked together sub-culturally and cross-culturally with a diversity of tactics and ran white supremacist street gangs out of Portland. 

Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center ~ Founded in 2008, the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center collects, preserves, and interprets the history of the logging community of Maxville and similar communities throughout the West. MHIC’s mission is to serve Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest by preserving resources and providing information and education about this little-known chapter of the American experience, with a focus on celebrating multicultural logging history.

Lane Community College

Oral History – The Sámano Family: This page from Lane Community College features a collection of oral histories of the Sámano family. The family has had long and close ties with the community college. The website was developed in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Lane Community College.

Lewis & Clark College

The Erskine Wood Family Collection contains several images from 1893 of the Nez Perce at Chief Joseph’s Camp at the Colville Reservation.

The Karl Bodmer American Indian Images are hand-colored engravings based on Karl Bodmer’s watercolors. Bodmer was a Swiss painter who accompanied Prince Maximilian on an expedition across the American West in 1832. During this expedition, the party encountered many of the same Indians described by Lewis and Clark. Bodmer’s detailed sketches and watercolors are an important visual record of these cultures. The images in this collection appeared in a 50-copy limited edition set of Lewis and Clark’s journals edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites in 1904.

The Vietnamese Portland Project began in 2017, with the goal of this multi-year project to document the history and experiences of Vietnamese Portlanders. This project is an attempt to promote Vietnamese American representation and create a more inclusive history of Portland by letting people of Vietnamese descent, across all walks of life tell their stories. In addition to interviews, we collect documents, photographs, and ephemera

Pacific University

Graduating Class of 1876, the First Japanese Students at Pacific University: This website includes biographies of Pacific University’s first Japanese students.

Pacific University Archives Oral Histories: We are currently engaged in digitizing, preserving, and creating a centralized online public access site for approximately 900 oral histories held by thirteen cultural institutions located in Washington County, Oregon. This project is taking place just in time, as many of the oral history recordings were endangered due to aging formats and deteriorating media and were not available for public use. The oral history collections from six of the thirteen participating organizations are currently available to stream on the Pacific University Archives digital exhibit site. This includes: audio, video, and transcript collections from Pacific University Archives, the Washington County Museum, Sherwood Historical Society, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Friends of Historic Forest Grove, and Cedar Mill Community Library. Topics include High Tech, Forestry, Farming, Education, Migrant Labor and the histories of veterans, immigrants, Latino- and Japanese-Americans, and many others. This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.

Salem Public Library

Salem Online History – Salem’s Ethnic Histories: This website is dedicated to histories of Salem’s ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, the Kalapuya Indians, and Latinos. After each history there is a bibliography of secondary sources pertaining to each group.

Southern Oregon University

First Nations Tribal Collection: of the Southern Oregon Digital Archives consists of documents, books, and articles relating to the indigenous peoples of this bioregion. We have begun to collect and mount materials about many tribes in southwestern Oregon and northern California. Some of these nations include the Coos, Hupa, Karuk, Klamath, Modoc, Takelma, Shasta, Siuslaw, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua, Yahooskin, and Yurok nations. Most of the materials in this database are in the public domain.

SOULA's Digital Artifact Database: The Chinese Material Culture Collection: The Chinese Material Culture Collection contains images of a variety of artifacts commonly found on archaeological sites and in museums documenting the Chinese migrant diaspora from the mid-19th through the early 20th century.  The assemblage highlights artifacts from Chinese communities in Oregon and California in an effort to promote education and greater understanding of the role Chinese migrants played in the settlement and development of the American West. This collection was made possible through a partnership between the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology and Hannon Library, and PAR Environmental Resources, Inc.  Priscilla Wegars, curator of the Asian American Comparative Collection at the University of Idaho Laboratory of Anthropology served as peer reviewer and advisor for the collection.

University of Oregon

Lee Moorhouse Photograph collection Comprises approximately 6,500 glass plate negatives created primarily in eastern Oregon between 1897 and 1920. The collection also includes a register kept by Moorhouse. The images document urban, rural, and Native American life in the Columbia Basin and Umatilla County, Oregon. About one third of the images concern Native American peoples, including the Cayuse, Walla Walla, Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Warm Springs tribes. This portion of the collection includes images of persons, ceremonies, events and landscapes in and around the Umatilla Indian Reservation, near Pendleton, Oregon. The photographs present a selective image of Native American life, but one that reflects the social and cultural changes that native peoples were going through at the time. The rest of the collection documents ranch life, wheat farming, logging, irrigation projects, salmon fishing, small town and community life, and the Pendleton Round-Up, of which there are over 600 images from 1910 to 1919.

Picturing the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Tribes is a collaborative project among the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute (TCI) of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the University of Oregon (UO) Libraries, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The website presents about 250 of Major Lee Moorhouse’s pictures of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla tribes for tribal and non-tribal members.

Understanding the Immigrant Experience in Oregon: Research, Analysis and Recommendations from University of Oregon Scholars” was published in May 2008 by the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center. The report is available in both English and Spanish.

Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP) Collection: SWORP consists mainly of photocopies of widely scattered and overlooked original documents pertaining to the history of the Native peoples of greater Oregon. Many of these documents have been languishing in national repositories, particularly in Washington, D.C. SWORP aims to repatriate these materials to the Native American Tribes. Through the agency of Native Americans themselves, the archive and continuing project allows Native American and university scholars to continue to research and rewrite the histories of colonization that have been imposed upon Native peoples.