- Oregon Historical SocietyResearch Library
- Ethnology Collection
- 1789-2009 (inclusive)17892009
- 3 cubic feet, (6 document cases, 2 custom boxes)
- Collection Number
- Mss 1521
- Collection created by the Oregon Historical Society containing printed ephemera related to ethnic groups of all origins, primarily in Oregon and Portland. Includes brochures, cabinet cards, correspondence, financial records, flyers, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, registration records, relocation records, reports, scrapbook, and transcriptions. Includes materials related to Japanese American relocation in World War II, and the Russian "Old Believer" community in Oregon.
- Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to the public.
- Chinese, , English, , French, , German, , Japanese, , Polish, , Russian, , Swedish, , Welsh.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
Since its founding in 1898, the Oregon Historical Society has collected ephemera of all kinds, most of it documenting the history of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Around the mid-20th century, librarians at the Society began organizing these materials into what became known as "Topical Collections" formed around particular subjects, such as business and education. One such collection, "Ethnology," served as a catch-all for items related to population groups that share common ties of ancestry and culture. Often materials from other collections were separated from the original sources and added to the Ethnology Collection. Although this practice has since been discontinued, some materials are still filed in Ethnology if they come from accessions composed primarily of unrelated ephemera items. "Ethnic groups" are defined as people who are bound together by common ties of ancestry and culture.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
Collection created by the Oregon Historical Society containing ephemera related to ethnic groups, primarily in Oregon and Portland. Includes brochures, cabinet cards, correspondence, financial records, flyers, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, registration records, relocation records, reports, scrapbook, and transcriptions. Includes materials related to Japanese American relocation in World War II, and the Russian "Old Believer" community in Oregon.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.
Ethnology collection, Mss 1521, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Series A: African-American, 1887-2007
- Series B: British, 1876-1987
- Series C: Chinese, 1882-1987
- Series D: German, 1789-1983
- Series E: Hawaiian (Kanaka), 1972
- Series F: Irish, 1899-1997
- Series G: Italian, 1930-1971
- Series H: Japanese, 1920-2007
- Series I: Jewish, 1869-2007
- Series J: Mexican-American, 1972-1998
- Series K: Native American, 1926-1992
- Series L: Polish, 1922-1976
- Series M: Russian, 1759-1983
- Series N: Scandinavian, 1921-1987
- Series O: Scottish, 1910-2000
- Series P: Welsh, circa 1908-1963
- Series Q: Various ethnic groups, 1866-2001
The collection was assembled from a wide variety of sources by the Oregon Historical Society. Provenance can be traced from accession numbers on individual items.
Additional materials are added to the collection from time to time.
The collection was completely reprocessed and reboxed in 2009.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.Please note that Danish and Swedish are included in the Scandinavian series.
Series A: African-American, 1887-2007Return to Top
Atkins, Charles M. 1887-1888
"Dat's my Dog; Dat's my Cat" paintings on cabinet cards.
First annual African-American Athlete Commemorative Banquet
|1990 July 6|
Gates, J. M. (Mrs. Osley J. Gates)
"Resource Reader" containing information on Osley James "Jim" Gates, former Executive Director of the City Council Commission on Aging in Portland, Oregon, and past Vice-President of the National Council on the Aging. Also includes information on other Gates and McPherson family members.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Oregon Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Series B: British, 1876-1987Return to Top
See also St. Andrews Society, Coll 123. See also individual listings for Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.
Photostat of The Freeman's Oath from City of Gloucester.
Associated British Societies
Includes British Societies of Portland and British Residents of Oregon.
British Benevolent Society of Oregon
Includes English Speaking Union and British in Oregon.
Bundles for Britain
Series C: Chinese, 1882-1987Return to Top
Includes 1898 telegram from W.Q. Gresham to Governor Sylvester Pennoyer regarding the Chinese Exclusion Act; letter (ALs) from Chinese ambassador Cheng Tsao Ju to President U.S. Grant regarding appointment of a Chinese consul in Portland, April 17, 1883. Some materials in Chinese language.
|1954 and undated|
Account book of Da Tong Guan Company
Chinese Review and Pageant, Portland.
Chinese in Portland
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (Portland, Or.)
Leah Hing materials formerly occupying folder 2/5 were removed from this collection and added to Coll 393.
Currency exchange receipts.
Portland Chinatown renovation
Registration records, membership application (CACA), and life insurance membership cards
Roosevelt, Theodore letter re: Chinese Relief
"Things Chinese," Fifth Edition
Booklet containing cultural and medicinal essays about the Chinese, with testimonials to the Dr. C. Gee Wo Chinese Medicine Company in Portland, Oregon.
Series D: German, 1789-1983Return to Top
Includes 1870 Saints Day book in German. Additional materials in German.
Germans from Russia
Journal of Merck, Carl Heinrich
Includes photocopy of 1789 journal and 1970 correspondence. In German.
Series E: Hawaiian (Kanaka), 1972Return to Top
Duncan, Janice K.
Portland State University masters thesis "Minority Without a Champion: The Kanaka Contribution to the Western United States, 1750-1900."
Series F: Irish, 1899-1997Return to Top
Includes materials relating to the All-Ireland Social Club, Portland
Series G: Italian, 1930-1971Return to Top
Columbus Day celebrations
Italian Day picnics
Series H: Japanese, 1920-2007Return to Top
Includes photocopies of materials relating to Saburo Ikeda and relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II, 1942-1946.
Some materials in Japanese.
Includes government and university reports.
Manzanar Relocation Center, California
Includes documentary script and notes.
Scroll with family genealogy
Yamashita Shipping Company
Letter from Robert Takaki.
Yasui, Ray T.
Oral history transcription recorded by Barbara Yasui.
Series I: Jewish, 1869-2007Return to Top
Series J: Mexican-American, 1972-1998Return to Top
Series K: Native American, 1926-1992Return to Top
For materials relating to American Indians, see Mss 1531, Indians of North America.
Includes program for the National Conference on Tribal Archives, Portland, 2009
Series L: Polish, 1922-1976Return to Top
Some items in Polish.
Series M: Russian, 1759-1983Return to Top
Includes 1759 "Ukaz of Her Imperial Majesty, Autocratic Ruler of All the Russias . . ." in Russian, with English translation.
Bibliography and art exhibit program
Correspondence and notes
History of the Old Believers
|1978 and undated|
Manual for Educators
|1973 and undated|
Report: "Radical Acculturation Patterns"
Ph.D. dissertation titled "Starovery and School."
"of Icons and Motorcycles."
Some items in Russian.
Series N: Scandinavian, 1921-1987Return to Top
Includes paper titled "Ethnic Identity and the Fishermen of Skamokawa."
Swedish Societies of Portland
Some items in Swedish.
|circa 1890-1929 and undated|
Series O: Scottish, 1910-2000Return to Top
Brotherhood of St. Andrew
Series P: Welsh, circa 1908-1963Return to Top
Some items in Welsh. See also Cambrian Social Society, Coll 124.
Series Q: Various ethnic groups, 1866-2001Return to Top
Includes single items for Basque, Canadian, Czech, French, Greek, Swiss, Turkish, and Vietnamese groups. Some items in French.
Citizens for Interracial Understanding
Scrapbook donated by Mrs. Osley James Gates.
Naturalization and citizenship
Oregon Pioneer Register questionnaire
Pacific Northwest Immigration Convention
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- African Americans--Oregon
- British Americans--Oregon
- Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
- Japanese Americans--Oregon.
- Mexican Americans--Oregon
- Native Americans--Oregon
- Old Believers--Oregon
- Portland (Or.)
Form or Genre Terms
- Cabinet cards
- Financial records
- Letters (correspondence)
- Printed ephemera