Category: Photographs

New Photography Collections | Views of Oregon

Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce the acquisition of three new photography collections. These collections document Oregon’s landscape and culture in a wide range of formats and span over a century. 

Eric P. Gustafson collection of Northwest Photography, PH364; Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon.

The first is the Eric P. Gustafson photography archive, a rich and varied collection documenting the history of the Pacific Northwest. With an emphasis on rare and unique photographs from Lane County at the turn of the century, the collection greatly broadens our holdings on the history of Eugene and the surrounding area.  The Gustafson archive also includes a large number of Oregon postcards, organized chronologically and by county, as well as the photo morgue of two Register-Guard photographers working in the mid-20th century.  Eric Gustafson, a photo enthusiast and former paleontology professor at University of Oregon, graciously donated his collection to be preserved and made accessible by Special Collections & University Archives.   

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New Exhibit | “Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum: We Are All Salmon People”

Roger Dick, Jr. harvesting blueback from scaffold off Highway 14 near Sauter’s Beach; Lyle, Washington. [Jacqueline Moreau papers, Coll 459, Box 10, Folder 4; Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
Salmon are the icon of this place. They are valued as food, as resources, and as a representation of the wildness and wilderness for which the Pacific Northwest is known. Whether they realize it or not, every single person in the Northwest is Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum. We are all Salmon People. Let us all work together to protect and restore salmon—this fish that unites us.
–The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Commission

In honor of Native American Heritage Month the University of Oregon Libraries is pleased to announce an exhibit titled, Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum: We Are All Salmon People. This exhibit honors Oregon’s tribal communities and their traditional cultures, knowledges and lifeways that have sustained them since time immemorial. We first recognize and honor the Kalapuya people, who were the original indigenous inhabitants of the Willamette Valley, including the land that the University of Oregon resides. We are honored to now have the new residence hall, Kalapuya Ilihi Hall, named in honor of those who were here first and in recognition of their traditional homelands.

All of Oregon’s tribal communities share a common connection to their traditional homelands and natural resources provided by the creator that sustains life for their people. This exhibit highlights the tribal cultures along the Columbia River Basin that have a distinct sacred connection to salmon that has shaped their culture, diet, societies and religions for thousands of years. Salmon, or “wy-kan-ush” in the traditional language of Sahaptin, are revered as sacred and one of the most important aspects of tribal culture.

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New Photograph Collection: Jacqueline Moreau papers

Chief Johnny Jackson stands at Lyle Point on the Columbia River. [Jacqueline Moreau papers, Coll 459, Box 10, Folder 4; Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
Chief Johnny Jackson stands at Lyle Point on the Columbia River. [Jacqueline Moreau papers, Coll 459, Box 10, Folder 4; Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
We are pleased to announce that a finding aid for the Jacqueline Moreau papers is now available on Archives West. The Jacqueline Moreau papers consist of an equal mixture of manuscript materials and photographs. The biographical material, correspondence, subject files, publications, and clippings that comprise the manuscript portion complement the photographic materials, providing historical context, and descriptive information about the photographs and Ms. Moreau’s work.

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Moorhouse Photography Collection: Judgement in Cataloging

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Working in the Digital Scholarship Center as a student image cataloger, I have been exposed to multiple collections that are being digitized and shared on Oregon Digital. One of the primary collections I have worked with is the Lee Moorhouse photograph collection. Moorhouse was a photographer in the Pacific Northwest around the turn of the 20th century. He had a wide range of photographic subjects, but two prominent ones I have come across are the touring shows that came to Pendleton, OR and various Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. At the turn of the century some of the vaudeville acts that performed in Pendleton had a heavily racist element in their show. In his photography of Native Americans, Moorhouse would pose his models with a hodgepodge of Native American objects, part of a tradition of white artists’ creating stereotyped representations of Native Americans. As the cataloger of these photographs, it was my responsibility to add accurate and relevant subject headings that would help researchers find them. Often, I could easily identify and record the subject matter of a photograph. However, in these troubling photos, how do I accurately describe what these images are?

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From Curtis to Corinne: Selections from the University of Oregon Photography Collection

Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce the opening of its summer exhibition, From Curtis to Corinne: Selections from the University of Oregon Photography Collection. The exhibition features photographs from seven discrete collections, with work spanning over a century and addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time.

A Nakoaktok Chief's Daughter
A Nakoaktok Chief’s Daughter, Volume 10, The North American Indian

Chronologically the exhibition begins with photographs by Edward S. Curtis, who documented tribal life during the first half of the 20th century in his seminal project, The North American Indian.  This was a volatile period due to the effects of U.S. colonization of indigenous lands, which was radically altering and reshaping life for Native Americans in the area.  He wrote: “The information that is to be gathered . . . respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.”  As a counterpoint to Curtis’s work, we present images from the Angelus Company, a photography studio based in Portland in the early part of the 20th century.  These photographs document the impact of westward expansion on the environment and local terrain, and the growth of cities in the area.  Detached from their broader context, the Angelus images can be viewed as celebrations of modernity and the taming of the “Wild West.” When viewed alongside the Curtis images, they suggest a more sinister side to the assumptions of “manifest destiny,” forcing us to question what was being displaced as part of this process.   

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