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​Natural Resources in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant natural resources collections. Links are provided whenever online inventories exist.

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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.

Miners and Mining Materials in SCUA Collections

Special Collections and University Archives collects in the topical area Environmental History, including collections that document the markings left on the land by human beings, with a particular emphasis on land use and how the use of the land is played out in the political process.  In all the subcategories of this topic, collections focused primarily on Oregon and the Pacific Northwest will be considered. Records of Environmental/Conservation groups, activists, and leading conservation thinkers are sought.

  • Ainsworth, John Commingers. Coll. 250 Finding aid. John Commingers Ainsworth (1822-1893) was the major founder of the Oregon Steam Navigation (OSN) Company, the most powerful transportation monopoly in the Pacific Northwest. Ainsworth was also involved in a number of other ventures, including the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPRR) and various gold, silver and coal mining operations. The John Commingers Ainsworth Papers contain Ainsworth's diaries, autobiography, personal correspondence, and the business records of the Oregon Central Railroad, Oregon Steam Navigation Company, Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and various mining, building and shipping enterprises.
  • Alaska Mining and Prospecting Co. Bx 1 Finding aid. The Alaska Mining and Prospecting Company records contain the correspondence between Andrew Sherwood and the Alaska Mining and Prospecting Company. The letters concern an expedition to Alaska in search of gold. The collection also contains printed matter and maps concerning the expedition. Finally, it contains two journals by Andrew Sherwood spanning the time of the expedition.
  • Borthwick Family. Ax 16
  • Bourne, Jonathan. Ax 19 Finding aid. Jonathan Bourne was a politician in Oregon at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1885 and 1897, he was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, and was elected U. S. Senator in 1906. Considered a progressive, Bourne was a founder and president of the National Progressive Republican League in 1911 and organized the Republican Publicity Association in 1912. Most of the collection consists of U. S. Senate correspondence and case files. The Senate case files relate to topics which arose during Bourne's term of office, ranging from problems with the apple crop, through management of Indian affairs and reservations, to construction of public buildings, bridges and other projects in Oregon. There are folders on such issues as child labor, conservation, Chinese exclusion, and land law.
  • Bourne, Jonathan (Mining Papers). Bx 187
  • Columbia Mines Co., Portland, OR Bx 103 Finding aid
  • Cornucopia Mines Co. of Oregon. Bx 5
  • Davidson, John Brown. Ax 23
  • Disque, Brice Pursell. Coll. 115 Finding aid. The Brice P. Disque Papers contain the personal and professional records of General Brice P. Disque. The collection contains manuscripts, personal and professional correspondence, business dealing records, scrapbooks, and photographs. This collection was organized by Disque and contains a "201" file, which is personal letters of special importance. The photographs are separated from the papers collection and are one of the six official sets of U.S. Army photograph collections in existence.
  • Ellsworth, Harris. Ax 33 Finding aid. The collection comprises the congressional files of Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth, U.S. Representative of the Oregon Fourth District.
  • Neuhausen, Thomas Brues. Ax 84
  • Parsons, Reginald Hascall. Ax 87
  • Portland, Alaska Gold Mining Co., Portland, OR. B 58 Finding aid. The collection contains a letterpress book from the Portland, Alaska Gold Mining Company of Portland, Oregon.
  • Rough & Ready Quartz Mining Co., Jacksonville, OR. B 60 Finding aid. The Rough and Ready Quartz Mining Company Records includes one bound volume. The volume is the Treasurer's Book spanning, which spans three years, 1861-1864.
  • Rupp, Norman Nienstedt. Ax 94 Finding aid. Norman Nienstedt Rupp was a timberland owner and investor. With his father, John J. Rupp, he bought, leased and sold timber lands in Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. Rupp moved from Saginaw, Michigan to Portland, Oregon. He was associated with the Huron Timber Company, the Mitchell, Dorr Real Estate Company, the Rupp Investment Company, and the Rose Gold Mining and Milling Company. The collection includes the diaries of John J. Rupp, 1875-1927, letters, books, journals and ledgers and other business papers.
  • Sherwood Placer Mining Co., Portland, OR. B 64
  • Sox, Carl E. Ax 168 Finding aid. Carl E Sox was an Albany, Oregon merchant. The papers include miscellaneous legal and personal documents from 1893-1930.
  • West Coast Mines Co., Eugene, OR. B 134 Finding aid. The West Coast Mines Company held properties in the Bohemia Mining District of Douglas and Lane Counties; particularly the Musick and Champion Groups. Records in the collection include abstracts of title, contracts and field notes.
  • Waterman, George H. Ax 370
  • Workman, Jerome. A 150

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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
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