Oregon Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Oregon sil.png
the Oregon Family History Research series.
History of Oregon
Oregon Vital Records
Census Records for Oregon
Background Sources for Oregon
Oregon Maps
Oregon Land Records
Oregon Probate Records
Oregon Court Records
Oregon Tax Records
Oregon Cemetery Records
Oregon Church Records
Oregon Military Records
Oregon Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Oregon Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Oregon Immigration
Oregon Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Oregon
Oregon County Resources
Map of Oregon


The periodical collections at the Oregon State Library and at the Oregon Historical Society include publications of local and county historical societies in Oregon. Major Oregon periodicals include the Oregon Historical Quarterly, published by the Oregon Historical Society with an online index on the society's website; the Bulletin, published by the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Inc.; and the Oregon Genealogical Society Quarterly, published by the Oregon Genealogical Society.


The largest Oregon newspaper collection on microfilm is at the University of Oregon's Knight Library, inventoried online at http://libweb.uoregon.edu/govdocs/micro/papers.htm. The second largest newspaper collection is at the Oregon Historical Society.


The Oregon State Library has manuscripts in their microfilm collection. Betty Book's Manuscripts on Microfilm at Oregon State Library (reprinted by Genealogical Council of Oregon, 1990) provides the titles and major topic of each manuscript.

The WPA organized large quantities of documents. Included in these projects were unpublished county manuscripts, containing biographical sketches, church histories, cemetery information, interviews, town histories, etc. These are deposited at the University of Oregon and the Oregon State Library in Salem. The University of Oregon's Manuscript and Rare Book Collection, located in the Knight Library, also has a large number of manuscripts dealing with Oregon history and development.

The Oregon Historical Society has several biographical aids to assist the researcher. One such collection is the vertical file, consisting of newspaper clippings including 4,000 subjects on state and local history and 1,500 biographies and genealogies of prominent Oregonians. Also covered in these files are historic structures, ethnic groups, cities, counties, Portland neighborhoods, railroads, and maritime history. This collection is indexed. The library also has a 'Biography Card File,' which contains information from books, newspapers, scrapbooks, and Indian War pension papers.

Another collection at the Oregon Historical Society is the 'Pioneer Card File' which provides data on early emigrants. The 'DAR Card File' indexes material in the DAR books on file at the society.

The work compiled by the Oregon Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is on thirty-three rolls of microfilm at the FHL. The collection consists of Bible records, cemetery records, wills, marriage records, divorce records, records of pioneers, church records, donation land claims, compiled genealogies, and military records. It is divided by county and general Oregon state items.