POL Government Elected Officials Auditor Mary Hull Caballero Divisions Archives & Records Management News

Guide to historical City records related to African Americans – now online!

Cover of the African American Research Guide

The Oregon Archives Month (October) has been a busy month for the City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC)!  We kicked off the month with PARC-hosted event showcasing Portland-area archives.  We also debuted a new exhibit that was a collaboration between the PSU Archives & Special Collections, a PSU Honor’s class, and the City Archives.  Later in the month we held a trivia contest that tested people’s knowledge of Portland history.  All of these have been wonderful celebrations honoring archives, archivists, and the people who support local history and we thank everyone who has helped us celebrate. 


However we want to call attention to the research guide we first unveiled at the beginning of October: the Guide to historical City records related to African Americans.  The guide compiles PARC resources related to the African American community in order to help make your research just a little bit easier. 


The guide is also now available online!  You can find the guide using our online catalog, Efiles; along with the photos and documents used to create the publication.  So if you saw a photo or a document in the guide and would like take a closer look, you can now find it in Efiles.  


We have also worked with other archives and special collections in Oregon that house relevant historical materials that you might find interesting. There’s the Urban League Portland Chapter records at Oregon State University and almost sixty oral histories available at the Oregon Historical Society.  You can find these guides available on Efiles, too. 


Our goal for creating the guide, uploading the photos and documents and working with our colleagues is to help make your research even more successful.  We will continue to upload materials to these online files, so make sure you check back.


Go to our online record: African American History Guide and supporting materials

October 29, 2015

2015 Archives Month Trivia Quiz - Answers

Connie McCready with a group in her office in 1973


We’ve had a tremendous response to our Trivia Quiz!  Many thanks to those who took the quiz, and to everyone else who have helped us celebrate Oregon Archives Month by supporting the work that archives and archivists do! The quiz is now closed. The answers are posted below including the corrected question #1. That question will be tossed out of the mix, so folks who answered questions 2-9 correctly will be entered into a drawing for a free scan. We will contact the winner directly early next week.


2015 Trivia Quiz and Answers


1. The Orange line is the most recent light rail to open. In what year did Portland’s Eastside light rail service begin?



2. Portland’s first replica Liberty Bell was blown up in 1970. Where was the bell located when the explosion occurred?

City Hall


3. Dorothy Elmore was the first African American woman to earn the rank of police captain. In what year did this occur?



4. 2015 marks the 55th anniversary of which Portland landmark?

The Lloyd Center


5. The City Police force replaced the City Marshal’s office 145 years ago. When the new police headquarters was completed in 1872, where was it located?

SW 2nd and Oak


6. Portland contains many formerly incorporated towns; which of these areas was not previously incorporated?



7. Which mayor declared the week of December 3, 1979 Star Trek Week?

Connie McCready


8. Where is the Park Bureau’s Coe Circle located?

SE 39th & Glisan


9. In 1891 Columbia Park became a Portland park as a result of the consolidation of the Cities of Albina, East Portland and Portland. It was not until 1902 that it was given its current name. What was the park’s name prior to 1902?



Please send any questions to parc@portlandoregon.gov


Thank you again for participating and happy archives month!

October 29, 2015

2015 Archives Month Trivia Quiz

View of Sunnyside street car line
To celebrate Oregon Archives month, we invite you to test your Portland knowledge against our Trivia Quiz. If you get all nine questions correct, your name will be entered into a drawing for one free high resolution scan from the City's collection of photos.
The Trivia quiz will end on October 31st or when we get 100 responses, whichever comes first. Answers and the winner will be posted here in early November.
Please send any questions to parc@portlandoregon.gov
Good luck and happy archives month!

October 13, 2015

Between the Park Blocks and City Hall: The Portland State Strike of 1970

Self guided walking tour of Between the Park Blocks and City Hall: The Portland State Strike of 1970

Download (PDF Document, 1,807kb)

October 12, 2015

Between the Park Blocks and City Hall: The Portland State Strike of 1970

Portland State Student Strike of 1970

A new exhibit will debut October 3, 2015 during the Oregon Archives Month Celebration event that is happening at the City of Portland Archives & Records Center, 11 AM – 3 PM. 


The exhibit is a collaboration between the Portland Archives, the PSU Special Collections and Archives, and the students of the PSU Honors College seminar “Activism in the Archives: the 1970 PSU Strike.”  The exhibit uses archival documents and photos from both collections and takes place in two locations.


Students also created a self-guided walking tour that highlights where some of the events occurred during the Strike.  Copies of the tour can be picked up at either exhibit location and online.


On Saturday, October 3rd get a guided tour with one of the students starting at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30. Meet your guide at our display on the 5th floor of the Student Academic and Recreation building.


You can see the exhibits at these two locations:


The City of Portland Archives & Records Center

1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550 (on the PSU campus)


The Portland State University Archives

Millar Library, First Floor

September 25, 2015

History: Feed Your Head

Event PosterPortland may be a foodie town, but it isn’t always food that feeds our hunger. If your head is hungry for some knowledge, let us fill it with Portland history! Do you have a craving to know where you can find maps of the city from the 1890s? Are you hankering to learn about the history of Portland’s Japantown? Do you have an appetite for local oral histories? Or does a sampling of strange, old medical tools interest you?


We have that and more waiting for you as we kick off Oregon Archives Month with a smorgasbord of Portland-area archives. Join us on Saturday, October 3rd from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Portland Archives and Records Center. Take a behind the scenes tour of the City’s archives and see history up close and personal.


Talk with local area archivists representing 11 different archives:
City of Portland

Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest
Lewis & Clark College
Multnomah County
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Historical Society
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
Portland State University
PSU’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction
Come hungry and feed your head!

Saturday October 3rd
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Portland Archives & Records Center
1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550

Free and open to the public


For more information go to portlandarchives.wordpress.com/archives-month/

August 18, 2015


You’re invited to a talk and performance given by artists Kaia Sand and Garrick Imatani.  Sand and Imatani have been artists in residence at the City of Portland Archives since 2013 and have worked with the City’s police surveillance files as the basis for their poetry and art.   Sand and Imatani will speak about their work and residency on Wednesday, February 25th at the Portland State University Academic and Student Recreation Center building, room 001 starting at 7pm. This is final exhibit of their work created as part of this residency and is currently on display in the lobby and on the 5th floor of the ASRC building.


The artists’ work emerged from two threads of inquiry, “Where is anonymity within a public document?” and “Passing It On.” 


Artist Talk Poster-February 25 at 7PM

Where is anonymity within a public document?

Surveillance creates a bright threat of attention on private lives. But how is this attention blurred? How might someone’s identity masquerade inside these files? Imatani explored the paradox of anonymity within public documents through photography and graphite drawings housed in a sculptural cabinet inscribed with language. Sand’s exploration took the form of poems embroidered into black textile panels. 


Passing it On.

Working with several people who participated in decades of activism and civic engagement, Imatani and Sand considered some of what they continue to pass along—programs created, destruction prevented, enduring concerns, and in particular, books they read. In particular, this exhibit launches an ongoing activist bookshelf project, presenting sculptural bookshelves comprised of book selections by Kent Ford, Lloyd Marbet and Joanne Oleksiak. We borrowed the title from Ford’s description of sharing books: “I kept passing it on, passing it on to all my friends.”






City of Portland Archives Artist in Residence Artist and Poet Talk & Performance


Wednesday, February 25th at 7PM

Academic & Student Recreation Center Building (1800 SW 6th Ave), Room 001

Portland State University campus

Free and open to the public


For more information: http://looseleafservices.us/about


RAAC: http://www.racc.org/resources/artists-residence-move-%E2%80%9C-watcher-files%E2%80%9D-exhibition-portland-state-university-through-apr-0



Kristin Calhoun

Public Art Manager



February 18, 2015

Efiles is getting a facelift

Efiles screen shotThis week you’ll see a whole new Efiles. The underlying software is being updated, which results in a new look and feel of the search and results pages. The pages are now more streamlined and easier to navigate. From moving between results pages by clicking on page numbers to a more mobile friendly layout, we are working to make Efiles easier to use.


The search function has improved, too.   The process for searching by specific date or for a year is more straightforward, as is searching for specific types of electronic records - like JPG or PDF.  You will now have the ability to do more advanced Boolean searching. For more information about the changes, and tips for searching Efiles, check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


We are constantly working to make our off-the-shelf product as user friendly as possible. While we don’t have the ability to change everything, some things we can adjust, which is why we always welcome your comments and suggestions. As with any roll out, there will be bumps along the way so we appreciate your patience as we work through glitches and updates on other parts of our website.

November 13, 2014

Recap of the Watcher Files Project exhibit and performance on October 27, 2014

Group of people at the Artist in Residence exhibit and performanceIn 2013, Garrick Imatani and Kaia Sand began an artist residency with the City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC), a Percent for Art project commissioned by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.  Their collaboration has resulted in The Watcher Files Project, an engagement with surveillance documents collected by the Portland Police Bureau on civic and activist groups in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. 


Working with individuals who, because of their participation in some of the groups surveilled, were present in the files, as well as other artists, Imatani and Sand created artistic and literary interventions that serve as an addendum to the original files.  These interventions serve as a way to annotate some of what is missing within the institutional record, as well as investigate what is there.


While Imatani and Sand have produced a large body of work throughout their residency, and have conducted workshops, presented their work in various venues, and have shown their work across the country, their final exhibit was presented on October 27, 2014 at the North Portland Library.  The evening included several performances by the artists, and some of the people who collaborated with them.  Their work will remain on display at the North Portland Library through December 5, 2014.  After the New Year, their work will relocate to the PSU ASRC lobby.  The ASRC is also the home of the City of Portland Archives & Records Center.


Booklet about the exhibit and performance at the North Portland Library


Photos from the performance and exhibit

October 29, 2014Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Passing it on: new work from the Watcher Files Project

You are invited to the opening reception and a performance by Kaia Sand, Garrick Imatani, Joanne Oleksiak, and Amanda Hendricks on Monday, October 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Performance at 6 p.m. There will be light refreshments.


She was always hunched over the machineGarrick Imatani and Kaia Sand present artwork and poetry from their shared artist residency at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center. Working with police surveillance files of activists and civic groups in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, they created an interactive display of drawings, photographs, sculptures, poetry, prints, as well as loaned objects and bookshelves curated by longtime activists Kent Ford, Lloyd Marbet, Soozie Nichol and Joanne Oleksiak. For more information, please visit: http://looseleafservices.us/about/




North Portland Branch, Multnomah County Library

512 N. Killingsworth Street

Portland, Oregon 97217


Opening and Performance Monday October 27th

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Performance starts at 6 p.m.


This project is funded through the City of Portland Percent for Art program administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Exhibit closes Dec 6. 

October 20, 2014

Ready to Crawl Again?

Oregon Archives Crawl 2012The Oregon Archives Crawl is back and set for Saturday, October 18th from 10 AM – 3 PM. We will have three host locations this year: Portland Archives and Records Center, Oregon Historical Society and the Multnomah County Central Library. The list of participating organizations will have returning favorites as well as a few new organizations.


We are busy planning the day’s details including exhibits and programming, but we want you to save the date and join us again or for the first time.


Check the website (http://pdxarchivists.wordpress.com/) for updates as the date gets closer.


See you in October!

July 9, 2014

Jumptown Video Wall

Jumptown video wall map



The City of Portland Archives is pleased to have sixty images from the collection included in the Jumptown Video wall installation. The Jumptown Video wall is an installation of four small videos monitors placed within the exterior brick wall displaying video footage and historic photographs of the surrounding northeast neighborhood. We invite you to visit the installation on the outside wall of the newly construction Magnolia building located at 3250 NE MLK Jr. Blvd between Fargo and Cook.


The link below will take you to a list of the images used in the installation which are all available on our online database Efiles:

Jumptown Video Wall image list

December 10, 2013

Archives Artist-in-Residence Update

After being selected for the inaugural City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC) Artists-In-Residence program, Kaia Sand and Garrick Imatani have been hard at work: conducting research at the Archives, talking with PARC staff, documenting their findings, and developing a multi-phased project that focuses on the Police Historical Investigative Records.


These files are a series of surveillance documents collected and created by the Police Bureau that document the undercover investigation of many political organizations and some of the individuals who participated during the 1960s, 70s and early 80s.  The collection includes background information and histories of these organizations, pamphlets, photographs, information about activities, and some information about activists.  The work of the investigators included making connections between organizations and activists. 


“We are creating a series of artistic and literary Artists Kaia Sand and Garrick Imataniinterventions that served as an addendum to those original files, a way to talk back and infuse the official accounts with unrepresented voices. Our project attempts to underline and annotate what is missing within the institutional record.” – Kaia & Garrick


The first of a series of exhibits is on display at the Portland Archives and Records Center at 1800 SW 6th Ave, 5th floor in the Student Academic and Recreation Center on the Portland State University campus. Part of the exhibit is available for viewing just outside the front door entrance. The inside portion of the exhibit is available for viewing during our open research hours (http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=51811&a=297663). Ring the doorbell for admittance.


Follow Kaia & Garrick’s  progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWatcherFilesProject


Subscribe to Looseleaf Services for limited edition works of art: http://looseleafservices.us/


To learn more about the Artist in Residence program click here (http://racc.org/public-art/artists-garrick-imatani-and-kaia-sand-selected-inaugural-city-portland-archives-record-ce)



October 4, 2013Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Commemorating 100 Years of Portland's Commission Form of Government

1913 Charter AmendmentPortland has a reputation for being unique, and our particular structure for governance is no exception. Portland voters adopted the commission form of government in 1913.  Since then, voters have reaffirmed their commitment to this governing style eight times. 


As the nation honors the rich historical resources found in archives across the country during October’s National Archives Month celebrations, the City Archives division of the Auditor’s Office and Commissioner Nick Fish are teaming up to commemorate 100 years of Portland’s commission form of government.  Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade and Commissioner Fish invite you join them in observing this special anniversary on Tuesday, October 22 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Portland City Hall.


The event starts off in Council Chambers, with Commissioner Nick Fish emceeing the proceedings. Portland historian and scholar, Dr. Carl Abbott, will provide an overview of pre-1913 city government and the transition to the commission form of government.  Current and former elected officials, along with other notable city officials, are invited to share stories and experiences working within our form of government. There will be exhibits and light refreshments on the first floor following the presentations.


Love it or hate it, Portland’s take on the commission form of government has been in place for 100 years.  Join us at the Portland City Hall on October 22 to hear from insiders about the pros and cons of working within Portland’s unique form of government.


Please direct questions to Diana Banning, City Archivist, 503.865.4110 or parc@portlandoregon.gov.



Centennial Commemoration of the Commission Form of Government

In celebration of National Archives Month

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Portland City Hall, Council Chambers

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

This event is free and open to the public.

October 10, 2013Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

Become an Artist-in-Residence at the City of Portland Archives

Art Exhibit at Laurelhurst Park in 1953, A2001-045.689



The City of Portland Archives and Records Center is partnering with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the intersections program to invite artists from all disciplines to explore new working methods and develop socially engaging art experiences with the Archives. This is the first in a series of residencies for the Archives with the goal of artists creating work in any media that engages and/or is a result of working with the collection and staff. It our hope that this artist residency program will help to breakdown the stereotypes associated with archival collections by viewing and presenting the archives through different lenses. 


Artists interested in this opportunity are encouraged to visit and tour the Archives prior to the application deadline of November 12, 2012. Email reservations requests by October 22, 2012 for a tour on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Send reservation to intersections@racc.org with subject line “Visit Archives”. In the body please say how many are in your party.


For more information about the artist-in-residency, tour, the application, and timeline click on the following link (http://www.racc.org/public-art/racc-opportunity-intersections-residency-portland-archives) and download the RFQ.

October 17, 2012Comments (0)Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)

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