Online portal gives access to half million northwest records, photos

Image from the Oregon Art Project site, photographed around 1939-1942.

Creator unknown, held...
Image from the Oregon Art Project site, photographed around 1939-1942. Creator unknown, held by the John Wilson Special Collections(John Wilson Special Collections)
Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 9:05 PM PDT
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SALEM Ore. (KPTV) - A digital portal is now online which gives people instant access to more than half a million records and historical photos from northwest history, the State Library of Oregon announced last week.

The project is a collaboration between the State Library of Oregon, Oregon Heritage Commission and Washington State Library, featuring archives from more than 150 institutions in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

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Anyone can browse the site for documents, photos, maps, oral histories and more. Search options allow users to narrow their results across a variety of categories.

Evan Robb, project coordinator at the Washington State Library, said the platform is a unique, regional slice of the nationwide Digital Public Library of America.

“Researchers can discover online historical materials and government documents from a variety of sources, some of which don’t rank prominently, or display at all, in search engine results,” Robb said.

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Katie Henry with the Oregon Heritage Commission said she looks forward to how the tool will be an asset to anyone interested in the past.

“Helping to make Oregon and Washington’s unique cultural heritage collections accessible to researchers, the public, and other organizations,” Henry said.

People can access the portal here.