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​Arts, Architecture & Literature in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant art, architecture, and literature collections. Links are provided whenever online inventories exist.

Teaching with Primary Source Materials

Our collections exist to be used. When students work directly with primary source materials, historic photographs, and documents that are old or unique, they discover an excitement and passion not generated by textbooks.

Primary source documents can inspire, but they also teach about learning to verify sources, tracking down connections, finding evidence from content and from physical clues.

For specific questions, contact our Instruction Program Coordinator Jennifer O'Neal, University Historian and Archivist.

Related Art, Architecture, & Literature Guides

Architectural Materials in SCUA Collections

Special Collections and University Archives collects in the topical area Architecture and the Built Environment, including drawings, renderings, project files, and specifications of architects and historic preservationists, with an emphasis on the built environment in Oregon.

Architectural collections described in this list contain primary source materials that can be used in a variety of ways: in writing neighborhood histories, for historic research on different styles of architecture, for in-depth studies of a particular architect's work, as support material for proposals adding a structure to historic registers, or in constructing new buildings in period styles as well as in remodeling or making repairs.

Renderings, plans and drawings, specifications, and project files comprise the largest segments of materials found in the architectural collections, which date from the mid nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century.

Initial collecting was done on a regional level as part of an effort to document the cultural heritage of the Northwest. Reflecting this policy, 23 out of 33 collections belong to the Northwest, many being Oregon firms located in Portland. Other collections are of a national scope. It should also be noted that several collections listed are the work of landscape architects.

Entries were compiled by consulting finding aids and descriptions of manuscript collections which referred to both architects and architectural firms. The list is arranged alphabetically by architect or firm. Significant items and projects are highlighted within the description as are inclusive dates of materials, types of materials, and size of the collection. University Archives holds additional architectural materials related to campus projects, and the Design Library has materials supporting the study of architecture.

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Preferred Citation Format for SCUA Materials

[Identification of item], Date (if known), Collection Title, Collection Number, Box and Folder number [or photo ID number], Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Mission | Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives is the primary repository for the University of Oregon’s archives, rare books, historic photographs, and one of the largest historical manuscripts collections in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to acquire, preserve, and make available a clearly defined set of primary sources and rare books, reflecting the written, visual, and audio history and culture of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and selected aspects of American and world history. Our diverse collections support all types of research, from K–12 education to international scholarship. We strive to play an active and creative role in the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

Historical Collection Strengths

  • Oregon history, politics, culture
  • Authors and illustrators of children’s books
  • The conservative and libertarian movement in the last half of the twentieth century
  • Popular literature, with an emphasis on Western fiction
  • Missionaries to foreign countries, especially in the Far East
  • Labor History
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Photographs of the Northwest, including the Major Lee Moorhouse and Angelus Studio collections
  • Environmental history
  • Northwest literature, including fiction by Ken Kesey, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, and William Stafford
  • Doris Ulmann photograph archives of Appalachia
  • Utopian and intentional communities
  • Northwest architecture
  • Northwest economic history