Year End Round-Up: Dear Oregon Turns One

December 24, 2019

By Rachel Randles

In November 2019, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) blog, "Dear Oregon," turned one. In that year, staff gave readers a behind the scenes glimpse at OHS's vast collections, how we care for those collections, and our work to preserve our state's history and make it accessible to everyone. Like these partygoers in the early 1900s, we celebrate the milestone and look forward to exciting things in 2020. OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Negative Collection, Org. Lot 1368, box 373, 0373G251

As many folks settle in for a much-needed winter break, the team at Dear Oregon thought it would be a great time to reflect on our first year. Since posting our first entries on November 20, 2018, Dear Oregon has published 33 posts written by 21 unique authors. We've taken you behind the scenes of our collections care and exhibit prep, shared little known tidbits of Oregon history, and brought you along on field trips highlighting important work in our community.

In case you missed any of the fun posts from the past year, we wanted to round-up some of our favorites. So, cozy up with your tablet, a mug of tea or a hot toddy, and enjoy some Oregon history this winter break!

  • One of our very first posts by Technical Services Librarian Katie Mayer explored early “Photoshopping” through stitched together panoramas of Portland’s waterfront.
  • In January, we broke the internet with Silvie Andrew’s sensational post “The (First) Time Nazis Marched in Portland,” which prompted an Oregonian article that delved even further into this lesser known part of Oregon’s past.
  • As we celebrated Oregon’s birthday in February, Digital History Projects Manager Amy Platt regaled readers with tales of why the “geographical honey trap” of the state’s most populous city became a squatter’s paradise.
  • For more old Portland fun, check out Web Strategist Jay Cosnett’s post, “A Streetcar Named Sellwood” that shows readers a “then and now” of some spots in the city using images from OHS Research Library collections.
  • We climbed a mountain of metadata with OHS Digital Collections Manager Mathieu Deschaine detailing how he and his colleagues rediscovered the pristine photographic records detailing Donald Burkhardt’s mountaineering adventures.
  • Thanks to a tip-off from urban scavenger hunts, OHS staff was able to track down a women’s urinal that was once installed at OHS. It led to a new accession in our collections — and a brand-new exhibit on said urinal that can be found in OHS’s Level 1 women’s restroom!
  • If you are looking for more winter break reading, look no further than OHS Manager of Merchandise Operations Andrew VanDerZanden’s post about the best books to read about the Lewis and Clark Exposition.

As we get ready to enter a new year, we want to thank all of our readers for your support in this endeavor. Our staff and editors have loved learning more about the collections, scholarship, exhibits, and educational programs that make up OHS, and we are glad to have you along on this journey. We are already knee-deep editing posts for 2020, so stayed tuned and have a very happy New Year!

Your Dear Oregon team,
Erin, Jay, and Rachel

Rachel Randles’s Other Posts

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