Oregon Historical Society

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Shortly after its formation, the Society opened its first office and museum in Portland City Hall and began the development of a regional research library and a collection of historical artifacts. In 1917, the Society moved into Portland’s Public Auditorium (now Keller Auditorium) and, in 1966, moved to its current location at the corner of SW Jefferson and Park in downtown Portland.

The journal of record for Oregon history, the Oregon Historical Quarterly, has been published continuously since 1900. Over 150 books on Oregon history, politics and culture, as well as biographies, field guides and exhibit catalogs, have been published by OHS since the OHS Press was established in 1929.

The OHS artifacts collection is comprised of over 85,000 artifacts, including ancient objects from the earliest settlements and objects that illustrate exploration in the Oregon Country, the growth of business and industry, the development of artwork and crafts, maritime history, and many other topics.

The OHS Research Library contains one of the country’s most extensive collections of state history materials, including approximately 25,000 maps, 30,000 books, 8.5 million feet of film and videotape, 16,000 rolls of microfilm, and 12,000 linear feet of documents. The Research Library’s photographic archives include over 2.5 million images from pre-statehood to the present day.

OHS Education Programs include internet resources to supplement classroom curriculum, Folklife cultural programs that focus on the diversity and beauty of arts and traditions, and teacher training and workshops on Oregon history.

Our Mission
As the steward of Oregon’s history, the Oregon Historical Society educates, informs, and engages the public through collecting, preserving, and interpreting the past . . . in other words, Oregon history matters.

The Oregon Historical Society is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Sustainability Policy of the Oregon Historical Society

Oregon is one of the most beautiful and livable places on the planet, and as stewards of Oregon’s history, the Oregon Historical Society is committed to being good environmental stewards of our natural heritage.

Sustainability is an ongoing process, and, as such, the OHS Board of Trustees and its staff agree to do lead by example through the following targets:

  • Conserve energy and water use
  • Promote sustainable purchasing practices
  • Encourage the use of alternative transportation