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ASRC Building Grand Opening

Last Thursday, the PSU Academic and Student Recreation Center (ASRC) had its grand opening.  The City of Portland Archives & Records Center is now located on the 5th floor of the new ASRC building. City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade and Commissioner Randy Leonard were present with PSU officials to formally “open” the building.

 

LaVonne Griffin-Valade speaking at ARSC opening ceremonies

 

We had a table set up in the plaza with the other tenants in the building (and we were fortunate enough to be out there on the one sunny day of the week).  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello.  We hope to see even more people at our Grand Opening set for Tuesday, May 18th.

 

ARSC Opening Ceremonies

 

Read more about the event on Commissioner Leonard’s blog:

http://commissionerleonard.typepad.com/commissioner_randy_leonar/2010/04/asru-at-psu-grand-opening-.html


April 6, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Move Update...

We are almost done with the move to our new location on the Portland State University (PSU) campus.  All of the records and materials have made the journey and now we are doing inventory and re-labeling each box with its new location. We are on target for our re-opening in May (if all goes as planned).  We will be keeping our website up to date so check it out if you have any questions (http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/archives).

 

We can’t wait to re-open and share this amazing new space with everyone.  Until then, below are some photos of the final stages of the move.

 

The last cart of boxes – cart 1195…

Last box cart of the move

 

How different the space looks when the boxes and shelves are gone…

Empty space in the basement

 

The last box moved to the new location…

Last move moved and put on shelf in new space


April 5, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

What Exactly is an Ordinance?

Ordinances are one of the ways the City does its business.  The official definition is as follows (to learn more about how Council works click here):

 

Ordinances are formal documents which carry the binding force of law and are passed by the Council in accordance with rules set forth in the City Charter.  Two kinds of Ordinances, emergency and non-emergency, appear on the Agenda.  Emergency Ordinances, designated in the Agenda by an asterisk preceding the agenda number, require a unanimous vote with at least four Council members present to vote.  Non-emergency ordinances come before Council twice and go into effect 30 days after passage by Council.  Public testimony is generally taken only at the first reading and the vote is taken at the second reading.   Only three votes are needed for approval.

 

Ordinances are also a great way to learn about how the City government functions (what exactly is the city’s business) and the City and its citizen’s priorities over time.  I see ordinances as some of the building blocks of our City; some are sweeping in their scope while most are small but important steps.

 

In terms of sweeping change check out Ordinance 7263 that changed street names after the 1892 consolidation or Ordinance 61325 which set up the current grid and numbering system and changed street names (for more information about the current grid and number system you can view or download this report – more on reports later). Regarding structural change of a different kind see Ordinance 17410 that authorized the hiring of the first female police officer.

 

For important smaller steps from the late 1800's check out Ordinance 310 which provided for the location of shade and ornamental trees in the streets of City of Portland and Ordinance 404 that authorized the purchase of a steam fire engine for use of Protection Engine Co. No. 4.

 

Many ordinances have been scanned are available to read and download from our online database like this one about accepting a land grant to increase the area of Forest Park (Ordinance 146520 - click on the magnifying glass icon to view the file).  To search for other ordinances go to Efiles.


March 19, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment

Where East Burnside, Sandy and 12th Intersect

With the East Burnside - Couch Couplet nearing completion, I thought I would look back to see how the intersection may have changed overtime. There hasn’t been anything as far-reaching as creating the couplet, but based on this 1958 aerial photo it has been on the radar as an intersection to watch (the picture caption reads “Aerial photo of the #1 accident intersection. E. Burnside St. & Sandy Blvd. looking Southwest”)

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1958

 

This intersection was documented in 1939,

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1939

 

and in 1948

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1948

 

“Illuminated directional signs” were added in 1953

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1953

 

The signals were remodeled in 1963...

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1963

 

and the 1965 photo looks much like they do today.

 

Intersection at E Burnside, Sandy & 12th in 1965

 

I’ll be curious to see how this new couplet is looked back on in 50 years.

 


March 16, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Our History and Our Future

I think a great time to look back is when we are looking forward at the relatively unknown. As we pack up and clean out our current office and stacks, I think about the history of the building; from incinerator where they burned old records and papers to the Portland Archives and Records Center where we preserve and store old and new records. To learn more about our history, check out our exhibit “Portland’s Documentary Legacy” from our most recent Open House last fall.

 

Since 1981, we have been working with City bureaus, students, professional researchers and the general public to provide access to city records. In that time there have been a number of books published from the research done with these records including Jewel Lansing’s Portland: People, Politics and Power; Marie Rose Wong’s Sweet Cakes, Long Journey and Peter Boag’s Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest.

 

We are proud of our history and are looking forward to the next phase in the life of the City of Portland Archives and Records Center at our new location on the PSU campus. We’ll see you in May 2010 when we reopen!


March 15, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Revamping the Archives & Records Management Division Website

In addition to our move to a new facility, we have also reworked our website to hopefully make it easier to navigate and more user-friendly for both city employees and the general public. The “I want to” section should help you find specific information; from doing online research of city records to finding out where you can get a copy of your birth certificate (vital records are held with the state). 

 

We have also included a slideshow of images on the homepage from the City collection ranging in years from 1883 to 1974. We chose these pictures to demonstrate the type of images and subject matter that make up most of the collection; from road construction and aerials of the city to elected officials and park scenes. There are many images available to view and/or download from Efiles and we are adding more all the time.

 

The addition of this blog (the NEWS section) is part of our efforts to keep everyone more informed regarding what is going on at the City of Portland Archives & Records Center from move updates, to newly accessible records to event announcements. In conjunction with our blog we have started a Twitter feed (@pdxarchives) to broaden our communication efforts.

 

We still have a few updates and changes to make to the site, but those will happen over the course of the next few months. We are interested in your feedback on the website and the blog and any suggestions about you have for future posts. Please post a comment or send an email to sparc@portlandoregon.gov.


March 10, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

And More Pictures...

I think there may be only so many pictures of empty shelves and carts with boxes on them that people really want to see, but I do feel it is important to continue to document the progress.  Each box that leaves our old building gets us a step closer to being done and ready re-opened to the public.

 

The pattern on the floor indicating where shelves used to be

Empty stacks on the main floor

 

The sheer volume of shelves needed to make use of the vertical space in the room as well as the pattern on the walls (much like the floor pattern) showing where shelves used to be

Deconstructed shelving ready to be reused

 

We are also documenting specific moments during the move like the last of the gray boxes from the main floor stacks (the bulk of our historical collection is at our new location)

Last gray box from the main floor stacks

 

And of course the nuance of moving flat map files through people sized doors at our old building – taking out each drawer, moving the file out to the truck, walking each drawer through two people sized doors while keeping the contents undisturbed, loading each drawer back into the file and stretch wrapping each so they don’t open during the transfer.

Loading flat file drawers

 

They arrived safe and soundMap flat files in new building


March 10, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

The Move in Pictures continued...

The shelves are completely built on the 5th floor of the new building and the boxes keep rolling in.  It is starting to feel like home. 

 

Moving in the earliest Council Documents seems appropriate as the first boxes in the historical collection to arrive at the new location. 

Council Documents

 

Close up view of Council Documents

To learn more about what is in these boxes you can search Efiles our online database.

 

Council Documents 1855 - 1857

http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Webdrawer/search/rec?sm_ncontents=uri_42378&count&rows=50

 

Council Documents 1851 - 1855

http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Webdrawer/search/rec?sm_ncontents=uri_42377&count&rows=50

 

 

Moving over the journals, dockets and volumes

Moving Journals

 

19th Century Police Dockets

 

And now they are in their new home

On the shelves


February 25, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Phase 2 - The Move in Pictures

We started with the boxes on the main floor at our Chimney Park location which will be moved to the 5th floor at our new location on the PSU campus.  But pictures can say so much more than words so the following will be mostly pictures with captions.  Enjoy the move virtually, starting with the first morning of the move (there are quite a few firsts documented).

 

The first boxes being loaded onto cart #1 (we are now up to cart #560)

Rose City Movers loading the first box

 

The first full carts to arrive at the new location

Rose City Movers unloading the first carts

 

The first boxes being loaded onto the newly built shelves at our new location.

Tom loading the first box

 

While the boxes are being moved to the completed shelves in the new location, the other crew continues to build and bolt down the new shelving.

Builind the last shelves for the 5th floor


February 25, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Phase 1 - Shelf Building on the 5th Floor

Building the shelving on the 5th floor

Now that the majority of the office has been moved and we are settling into our new space, the next phase is beginning. Last week we received deliveries of shelving materials to build out the 5th floor stacks.  The materials were strategically laid out so the team building the shelves could start assembling quickly and easily.

 

 

Shelving materials for the 5th floor stacksBy the end of last week the crew started building the shelves. First the framing and the braces, then placing the individual shelves.  You can see the very first row built in the far right corner. 

 

Drilling holes to bolt down the shelvesMonday they started drilling through the concrete to bolt the shelves into place. Progress is being made but it sure can be loud! I for one think the shelves make it feel more like home.


February 11, 2010Comments (0)Post a Comment

PARC office move to PSU

Boxes packed up and ready to go on moving day Moving van loading up at our old location in Chimney Park Unpacking Polk Directories in the new reading room

We have moved our offices to our new location on the PSU campus and for the time being we will be dividing the staff and working out of our old and new locations. We are still working out the quirks that come with a new space from making sure we all have the permissions needed to enter the space via proxy card to getting the computers set up with access to the internet and servers. There is so much technology to get up and running in an office these days. 

 

The office move itself was VERY smooth and ran like clockwork. And we have been able to unpack the supplies in the new office space and the reference materials in our new reading room.

 

We are just about ready for the next phase – building the new shelving and moving over the collection.


February 2, 2010Comments (1)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Welcome to the Portland Archives and Records Center's new blog!

We are very excited to have our blog finally up and running along with our redesigned website which is still in progress. We decided that moving forward with the blog an important part of keeping people updated about our move. In general our goal is to keep members of the public, city employees, and colleagues in the archiving profession informed on what is happening in our world from moving to the PSU campus in 2010 to additions to the collection, to how to best use Efiles to find and view records.  And of course we will highlight pictures of the city (see our new slide show) and cool historical documents from the collection.  We want this blog to be interesting and informative so please feel free to pass your comments, suggestions and questions onto us at sparc@ci.portland.or.us.

 

I will be the primary writer/coordinator/promoter of this blog but I will definitely solicit and include guest bloggers, experts, artists and researchers – really anyone who has something useful to say about using the PARC collection and making it more accessible for everyone. If you have ideas or suggestions please send them my way at mary.hansen@ci.portland.or.us.

 

We are exploring the best ways to use other forms of social media and have started a Twitter feed (@PDXArchives) to coincide with our new blog. So here we go…let the communication and fun begin!


January 25, 2010Comments (2)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Auditor announces upcoming move for the Archives and Records Center


Download (PDF Document, 11kb)

December 3, 2009Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

The City of Portland Archives and Records Center Move FAQ

General

When will the Archives and Records Center be closing?

When will the Archives and Records Center re-open?

Can I still make appointments to view records while you are closed?

Why is there a delay in responding to my email or phone call?

What is the new address?

What is the new mailing address?

What is the new phone number?

Will it still be free to come in a do research after the move to the PSU campus?

Why are you going to be closed so long?

Are you now part of PSU?

Is there an online database that I can search?

How do I get access to records I find on Efiles?

How do I find a birth or death certificate?

How do I find a marriage license or divorce record?

Who do I contact to get a police report?

How do I find a land use record or plan?

I am doing research on my house, who should I contact?

How do I find out who owns a piece of property?

How do I find old permits for my house or business?

 

City Specific

What do I do if I have boxes I want to send for storage?

Can I return files or boxes during the move?

Can I get access to my Bureau's records during the move?

I have a question about Efiles?

 

General Answers

When will the Archives and Records Center be closing?

November 30, 2009

 

When will the Archives and Records Center re-open?

May 3, 2010

 

Can I still make appointments to view records while you are closed?

No, we are not open for research during the move, which means we will not be scheduling any onsite appointments for members of the public or city employees to review files or do research. Additionally, we will not provide email or phone reference during the move.

 

Why is there a delay in responding to my email or phone call?

During the move, all staff will be involved with preparing for the move and making sure that all records make it safely to the new facility. Therefore staff will only be checking voicemail and email 2-3 times daily. We will not be answering reference or research questions while we are closed.

 

What is the new address?

1800 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 550

Portland, OR 97201

 

What is the new mailing address?

PO Box 9072

Portland, OR 97207

 

What is the new phone number?

503.865.4100

 

Will it still be free to come in a do research after the move to the PSU campus?

Yes, it will remain free to do research at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center (PARC)

 

Why are you going to be closed so long?

Unlike a house or office move where placement in a specific room is generally enough needed to locate something, it is very important in an archives and records center to know exactly where every box, map, and book is located.  Our entire staff will help move more than 30,000 boxes containing maps, plans, books and photographs to our new location on the PSU campus.  Since the collections date back to the 1850s and contain many fragile and sensitive records, all care is needed to ensure their safety.

 

Are you now part of PSU?

The City of Portland purchased a portion of the new PSU Academic and Student Recreation Center and owns the portions of the building the Portland Archives and Records Center will inhabit.  While we will occupy portions of the PSU building, we remain a division of the City Auditor's Office.  We are very excited to be moving to campus, where it will be easier to access the facility via public transportation (we're on the Max, street car and bus lines!).

 

Is there an online database that I can search?

Yes, you can use Efiles to search the Archives and Records Center database.  If a file is available online you will see a magnifying glass icon.  Click on the magnifying lass to view the document or image. If a file is not available online, you may come in for open research hours to see it in our new reading room after we re-open May 3, 2010.

The following link will take you to the search page: http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/

For questions about Efiles go here: http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=39968

How do I get access to records I find on Efiles?

Some records have the actual document or image associated with it and you can click on the magnifying glass icon to view the image or text.  For records that do not have a magnifying glass icon, researchers may come in for open research hours beginning May 3, 2010 when we reopen.

 

How do I find a birth or death certificate?

The State of Oregon holds all vital records including birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce records.  Call 971-673-1190 to inquire about vital records.

 

How do I find a marriage license or divorce record?

The State of Oregon holds all vital records including birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce records.  Call 971-673-1190 to inquire about vital records.

 

Who do I contact to get a police report?

Call the Police Bureau’s Records number at 503-823-0043

 

How do I find a land use record or plan?

Call the Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7660

 

I am doing research on my house, who should I contact?

One of the first places you should check is the Bureau of Development Services' Resource Records.  You can reach them at 503-823-7660.  Other helpful resources: the Multnomah County Recorder's Office at 503-988-3034 and the City Directories, also known as the Polk Directories.  The directories can be found at the central branch of the Multnomah County Library (downtown) and the Oregon Historical Society.

 

How do I find out who owns a piece of property?

Call Multnomah County Assessment and Taxation Division at 503-988-3326

 

How do I find old permits for my house or business?

Call the Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7660

 

City Specific Answers

What do I do if I have boxes I want to send for storage?

We will not be accepting new boxes (accessions) during the move (December 1, 2009 – May 3, 2010).  We are asking Bureaus to keep boxes until we have completed the move and post move inventory. Requests to transfer new records will not be retained by the Archives & Records Center during this closure. Please resubmit your Records Transfer Workbook upon our May 1st reopening.

 

Can I return files or boxes during the move?

We will not be accepting return boxes, files or records during the move (December 1, 2009 – May 3, 2010).  We are asking Bureaus to keep boxes, files and records until we have completed the move and post move inventory.

 

Can I get access to my Bureau's records during the move?

For City Employees requesting access to their Bureau's records, please note that an abbreviated delivery schedule will be followed for the duration of the move. Request for records will be filled on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

I have a question about Efiles?

Contact Tim Hunt at 503-823-4565 or go to the Efiles search help page: http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=39968

 


November 17, 2009Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

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Archives & Records
1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550
Portland, OR 97201
phone: 503-865-4100 (new)

 

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