This digital exhibit was built by Portland State University public history students in 2015 to highlight the interpretive richness of an oral history collection held by the PSU library. The oral histories were also completed by PSU students in 2010.
The interviews focus on African American activists in Portland who led or supported the work of the Black United Front (BUF). The Front in Portland, Oregon, was a branch organization of a national group founded and based in Chicago which pressed forward a civil rights agenda during the 1980s. The Front took on local issues from the earlier mid-century movement, like school desegregation and police brutality, as well as global ones like the fight against apartheid in South Africa.
Notable accomplishments of the Portland Black United Front involved education, and many of the narrators in this exhibit highlight the transformational power of teaching and learning. This exhibit features the Front's Saturday School and PSU's Black Studies Department.
This exhibit contains audio and text excerpts from oral history interviews of community members, photographs, press articles, documents, and biographies.
Take a journey along the Columbia from The Dalles to Puget Island. It is late spring 1948 and it has been unusually wet this year, even for Oregon, but now it's warming up and today looks like it's going to be especially nice. Certainly several other communities along the river have flooded, but the Housing Authority has just assured Vanport City that they are on top of the situation. The dikes are safe. The situation is under control, so relax and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend...
This exhibit contains over 100 (re)discovered Columbia River flood photos from around western Oregon and examines the city it destroyed and the university that grew out of it. The exhibit highlights several rarely-seen photographs, documents, and ephemera.
In early modern Europe, Time was seen as a destructive figure, relentlessly gnawing away at the works of man. The remnants of the ancient past that manage to survive were described as having escaped his "envious tooth." This exhibition highlights original printed works from the Portland State University Library Special Collections, ranging from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, including an acquisition through the Gordon Hunter Fund: a rare 1613 edition of Cesare Ripa's celebrated iconographic handbook, Iconologia.
The University Archives at the Portland State University Library is home to the historical records documenting Portland State's beginning as the Vanport Extension Center (VEC). In the spring of 2010, Dr. Bill Lang's public history seminar drew upon these records to curate and design a digital exhibit highlighting life on the Vanport campus from its inception in 1946 to its devastation in the flood of 1948. The following exhibit is based upon their work.
This exhibit celebrates the legacy of PSU alumnus Gordon Hunter by representing the active engagement and learning at the heart of Portland State. Hunter's love of books and his passion for history inspired him to make a gift to the Library's Special Collections through the Oregon Community Foundation, which each year helps the Library acquire new rare and significant books and manuscripts to support the teaching and research at Portland State University. "The Gift of the Word" is a collaborative project exploring the history, creation, and significance of a selection of manuscripts from different periods and cultures. It was researched and curated by the students of Professor Anne McClanan's art history seminar in Spring 2012: Katherine Bass, Karena Bennett, Jeffrey Brown, Bronwyn Dorhofer, Normandie Holmes, Denise Loncar, Alexandra Park, Darcie Hart Riedner, and Christy Valentine.
Over the course of three decades, Jeanette and Osly Gates assembled a collection of original letters, newspapers, periodicals and ephemera documenting African-American history and culture. In 1969, they donated their collection to the Portland State University Library to coincide with the establishment of the Black Studies Academic Program. This Special Collections exhibit features items from the Gates Collection that capture moments in a two hundred year struggle for civil rights that redefined our nation.
"Of Place and Memory: The Yizkor Book as a Window into a World Destroyed" is the digital edition of the Portland State University Library's 2011 exhibit featuring selections from its Yizkor collection. Curated by Judaic Studies Professor Natan Meir, "Of Place and Memory" explores the Yizkor or memorial book, a literary genre dedicated to remembering and memorializing Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust. The University Library's Special Collections is the steward of 136 original Yizkor books, the largest collection of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
Verdell A. Burdine Rutherford (1913-2001) and Otto G. Rutherford (1911-2000) were leading members of the African American community in Portland for much of the twentieth century. The photographs, documents, publications and ephemera in this exhibit represent the depth and breadth of the Rutherford family's community service while also providing a rich overview of the institutions and events central to Black Oregonians over the past one hundred years.