Category: Collection Highlight

New Acquisition: Music and Cultural Posters of the Portland Night Scene

Photo of posters from the Music and Cultural Posters of the Portland Night Scene acquired by University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

Portland, Oregon, boasts a rich and expansive music and cultural scene, home to a myriad of quirky, trendy, and historic music and social venues, and musicians and musical groups.  University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives has recently acquired the Musical and Cultural Posters of the Portland Night Scene.  A collection of over 1,700 individual posters compiled by Glenn LaFontaine, gathered over a fifteen-year period from the late 1980’s to early 2000’s, exposes an aspect of Portland so inherent to its identity, drawing from familiar and fringe musicians unique and diverse, and gathering animated individuals under social causes and common interests.

The bulk of the posters are “gig” posters and pertain to punk, heavy metal, and Black musicians, whose music ranged from jazz to reggae to African-influenced.  Black musician “gig” posters feature Masta-Ace – The Chosen, Fiesta Dancehall Reggae, Cannon/Lion of Judah Band, Mikey Dread and the Fully Fullwood Band, Pablo Moses, African Kings, and Obo Addy.

Portland’s cultural scene comes alive in posters oriented to widely varied causes and interests, including LGBTQ groups, social activism, protests, women’s events, sex workers, dance performances, and varied social and cultural groups.  Events of significant history and following in Portland, such as Take Back the Night, International Women’s Day, Night of Gay Porn, Dos Lesbos, Swamp Mama, Lesbian Art Movement Show, Women’s March for Peace, Sex Worker’s Ball, Dyke March, Hypnotica, Futurism Extravaganza, Sweaty Nipples, and King Black Acid/Summer Solstice, are preserved and captured.

Night scene venues of obsolescence and continued notoriety in Portland are memorialized.  Emblazoned in ink are Satyricon, Bitter End Pub, Jasmine Tree, The Tonic, Berrati’s Pan, Crystal Ballroom, Ash Street Saloon, Paris Theatre, St. John’s Pub, Medicine Hat Gallery, Roselane Theater & Grill, Pine Street Theatre, The Otton, Mt. Tabor Pub, Cobalt Lounge, and more.

Collector Glenn Fontaine holds personal interest in the artistic and cultural value of the vast collection of posters.  A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, Fontaine is a gifted artist of diverse media that has been notably featured in museums and exhibits.  His gravitation towards the imagery of the posters initiated his collecting, tearing sheets from telephone poles and bulletin boards, a pattern of collecting that became a fifteen-year journey resultant in an abundant compilation of posters that speak the culture of Portland.

Photo of posters from the Music and Cultural Posters of the Portland Night Scene acquired by University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives

Written by Alexandra Mueller (Special Projects Archivist)

New Acquisitions: Taller de Gráfica Popular

Special Collections and University Archives has recently acquired two works published by the Taller de Gráfica Popular, an artist’s print collective founded in 1937 in Mexico that produces art for political and revolutionary social causes, including anti-militarism, organized labor, and anti-fascism

Taller de Gráfica Popular (Spanish: “People’s Graphic Workshop”) was established by the artists Leopoldo Méndez, Pablo O’Higgins, and Luis Arenal after the dissolution of Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR, Revolutionary Writers’ and Artists’ League), a group of artists who supported the Mexican Revolution. TGP’s print shop specialized in linoleum and woodblock printing, often working collaboratively among members and international artists.

These works complement the collection objective of building on strengths in political activism and counter-culture. Much of the artwork also touches on cross-border and borderland issues between the United States and Mexico.

El Taller de Gráfica Popular: Doce años de obra artística colectiva (Mexico City, 1949)

A catalog of works produced by TGP between 1937-1949

The catalog “The Workshop for Popular Graphic Art: A Record of Twelve Years of Collective Work” was published in Mexico City in 1949 by La Estampa Mexicana, the TGP’s imprint for the sale of political posters, prints, song lyrics, and poetry. The catalog is bound in a spiral-bound album, and contains black and white illustrations with text in Spanish and English. The catalog also contains five original wood engravings signed in pencil by the artists Alfredo Zalce, Alberto Beltrán, G. Fernandez Ledesma, Francisco Mora and Carlos Merida.

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Isaac Newton’s Work on Calculus – De analysi (1711)

This is the first of a series of blog posts highlighting notable books from SCUA’s rare book collection brought to light during the preparation for an ongoing retrospective cataloging project, where card catalog records are converted to computerized records for materials held before computer cataloging began. The title described below was discovered in a sub-basement storage location being used as a temporary holding area. It is of interest to note that the item has a check-out sleeve pasted into the back cover indicating that it was at one time in the past part of the library’s circulating collection.

Special Collections and University Archives holds a copy of Isaac Newton’s Analysis per Quantitatum Series, Fluxiones, ac Differentias: cum Enumeratione Linearum Tertii Ordinis (London: Pearson, 1711), the first edition of the third of Newton’s major works on physics and mathematics, following Principia (1687) and Opticks (1704).

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New Acquisition: World War I Vignette Collection

In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, we are highlighting a recent acquisition of two short sketched vignettes in watercolor documenting University of Oregon student life during and after World War I.

“Over Here: A Striking Scenerio [sic] of Present Day Events,” 1918 (18 pages)

A vignette of a day in the life of a young woman living in Eugene during World War I. The sketches depict a morning routine, Villard Hall, the Rex Theatre.


“When the Boys Came Home: A Scenario in One Act,” 1919 (11 pages)

Depicts the expectations and realities of soldiers returning to campus. Each page contains a perception of those on the home front and the actual scenario of soldier reintegration into civilian life. The sketches include Eugene City Hall, and Obak Amusement Co. (a student favorite for billiards and bowling).


—Lauren Goss, Accessioning and Processing Archivist

New Acquisition: A Sammelband of Four Works by Johann Joachim Becher, 1680

Special Collections and University Arvhives is pleased to announce the acquisition of a collection of works by the German polymath Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682), including Experimentum Chymicum Novum: Quo Artificialis & Instantanea Metallorum Generatio Et Transmutatio, Nochmaliger Zusatz über die Unter-erdische Naturkündigung, Oedipus Chymicus oder Chymischer Rätseldeuter, and Trifolium.

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