Alexander E. Borthwick was a Civil War veteran, railroad engineer and government servant who came to Portland in 1869. His son, William L. Borthwick, was a civil engineer and a Klansman. The collection includes correspondence, diaries, ledgers, photographs of the Borthwick family as wells as diaries and correspondence of the Saunders family who were related by marriage to William L. Borthwick.
This collection documents the Calbreath and Smith families, both pioneer families in Oregon. The collection contains incoming and outgoing correspondence, diaries, account books, day books, and manuscripts of poetry and prose by Irene Smith Calbreath.