Valley Migrant League Records, 1962-1972

Overview of the Collection

Valley Migrant League (Woodburn, Or.)
Valley Migrant League Records
1962-1972 (inclusive)
2 linear ft., (1 document case, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Coll 30
Small quantity of records of an organization that worked to improve economic opportunities, housing, health care, and education for migrant farm workers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

English, Spanish

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Valley Migrant League (VML), which was founded in 1964, was first funded in May 1965 by the Office of Economic Opportunity as part of Great Society anti-poverty programs to serve migrant farm workers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It operated programs until the mid-1970s.

The VML established its administrative headquarters in Woodburn, with Area Opportunity Centers in Aumsville, Dayton, Hillsboro, Independence, Salem, Sandy, and Woodburn. Initially, the board and administration was predominately non-farm worker, but by 1967, more than half of the board was composed of seasonal or ex-seasonal farm workers. By 1968, farm workers dominated the VML's operations.

Other Valley Migrant League programs included adult education through evening classes, Winter Day Schools, and existing community schools; publication of a newspaper, Opportunity News (and later Relampago); job development, counseling and placement; housing; and child care centers.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records are composed primarily of printed materials that were separated from the Valley Migrant League Photographs (Organized Lot 74) at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. The collection provides episodic coverage of VML activities, including its first published annual report to the executive board (1967). The collection also includes materials on the National Farm Workers Association and United Farm Workers Organizing Committee strikes and grape boycott assembled by the Valley Migrant League, 1966-1972. These materials document boycotts and farm worker support events in Portland and Eugene, Oregon. Included is a flier advertising a public rally at Portland State University featuring Cesar Chavez, organizer and leader of the farm worker unions, as well as extensive materials on the strikes and boycotts against Di Giorgio Corporation of California and Safeway stores.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

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 reproduction use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Valley Migrant League Records, Coll 30, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • Series A: Valley Migrant League and Related Materials, 1962-1970
  • Series B: Farm Workers Strikes and Boycotts, 1966-1972

Processing Note

After separation from a photographs collection, the Valley Migrant League materials were initially added to the Labor Collection (Mss 1505). They were removed to a separate manuscript collection in 2005.

Separated Materials

The manuscript collection was separated from the Valley Migrant League Photographs (Organized Lot 74) at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Related Materials

The Stella Maris House Records (Mss 1585) at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library include approximately one linear foot of Valley Migrant League Records; among these are board minutes and reports, 1965-1970. The Research Library Serials Collection includes bound volumes of the Opportunity News , 1965-1967, and six unbound issues for 1968.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  Valley Migrant League and Related Materials, 1962-1971Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
  • USDA Land and People Conference, Portland, Oregon, 1962 October 1-2
  • First Western Region Conference of OEO Migrant Projects, Woodburn, Oregon (sponsored by Valley Migrant League), 1967 June 7-9
1962, 1967
  • Opportunity Card (blank) entitling holder to services at Opportunity Centers (English and Spanish)
  • Leaflets advertising VML job training and placement programs
circa 1967
News releases and clippings
  • "What Do We Know About the Valley Migrant League?"—typescript release and clippings as it appeared in the Woodburn Independent, 1966 December 29
  • Handwritten draft of news release, "VML Housing," undated
1966, undated
Opportunity News—correspondence re. microfilming the newspaper
1967 January
VML Project Report
Annual report to the board covering the period 1966 January 1 through 1967 March 31. Includes board and staff, introduction to the background and funding of the organization, and description of programs. Illustrated with photographs.
Related publications
  • Pamphlet, "Su Seguor Social" (in Spanish only). Washington, D.C.: Social Security Administration, 1965 December
  • Pamphlet, "The Condition of Farm Workers and Small Farmers in 1970." New York: National Sharecroppers Fund, [1971]
1965, [1971]

Series B:  Farm Workers Strikes and Boycotts, 1966-1972Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Oversize Folder
National Farm Workers Association (NFWA)—Di Giorgio strike and boycott
  • Boycott support cards produced by the NFWA, [1966]
  • Leaflets and circular letter produced by Citizens Farm Labor Committee (Portland, Oregon), [1966]
  • University of Oregon Farm Workers' Committee information packet, including bibliography, news release, sample letter to Robert Di Giorgio, and boycott information, including broadside (oversize), [1966]
  • Newsletter, ILWU 40 Recap, Supercargoes and Checkers Union (Portland, Oregon), special bulletin in support of the NFWA strike, 1966 June 1
  • Newletters (2), 1965 June
1/8, Over B-1
United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC / AFL-CIO)
  • Broadside (oversize) re. AFL-CIO boycott of Di Giorgio products, [1966]
  • Fliers, newsletter, pledge form, postcard, and circular letters—Portland Boycott Committee of UFWOC, 1969. Includes flier advertising public rally at Portland State University featuring Cesar Chavez as speaker.
  • Letter and receipt from UFWOC, Delano, California, to Harold and Barbara Vatter, Portland, Oregon, recognizing contribution, 1969
  • Flier, Second Statewide Poor People's Conference, Council of the Poor, Eugene, Oregon (English and Spanish)
  • Open letter to Senator Mark Hatfield from Oregon Farm Workers asking him to oppose legislation outlawing boycotts.Part of a Good Friday demonstration organized by Catholic clergy at Portland, 1972

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Boycotts--Oregon.
  • Hispanic Americans--Oregon.
  • Mexican Americans
  • Migrant agricultural laborers--Oregon.
  • Occupational training--Oregon.
  • Strikes and lockouts.

Personal Names

  • Chavez, Cesar, 1927-

Corporate Names

  • Citizens Farm Labor Committee (Portland, Or.)
  • Di Giorgio Corporation.
  • National Farm Workers Association.
  • United Farm Workers Organizing Committee.
  • United States. Office of Economic Opportunity.
  • Valley Migrant League (Woodburn, Or.)
  • Western Region Conference of OEO Migrant Projects (1st : 1967 : Woodburn, Or.)

Geographical Names

  • Aumsville (Or.)
  • Dayton (Or.)
  • Hillsboro (Or.)
  • Independence (Or.)
  • Salem (Or.)
  • Sandy (Or.)
  • Willamette Valley (Or.)
  • Woodburn (Or.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Broadsides.
  • Fliers.
  • Reports.