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University of Oregon
UO Libraries

Pacific NW Environmental History & Governance

Provides information on finding environmental history and management, including many primary (government) sources, such as Environmental Impact Statements and the Northwest Forest Plan.


Online Maps

Historic maps can be very useful in developing the history of a site. Many online resources provide access to online scans of historic maps. Some that you may find useful are listed below:

The General Land Office Survey

  • Survey plats and field notes are often the oldest available detailed maps of Oregon and Washington. You may download scans of these maps at the Land Status & Cadastral Records Viewer
    • Use Internet Explorer as your browser. The website does not work with Mozilla web browsers.
    • To find out what Township and Range designation your site has you may look at historic USGS topographic maps.

USGS Topo Maps

Current and historic USGS topographic maps can be viewed at the USGS Map Locator and Downloader

  • USGS topographic maps will show roads, topography, and even individual buildings if the area is not heavily developed.
  • These provide very detailed information on what buildings are present on a site at the time the map was made. They were made for cities and towns only.
  • You can access these online via the Library's subscription to Digital Sanborn Maps off-campus access limited to UO.

NOAA Historical Map and Chart Collection has scans of old coastal charts and navigable rivers such as the Columbia.

Aerial Photgraphy Collection

The Aerial Photography Collection has over 600,000 aerial photographs of Oregon, stretching as far back as the 1920s. You need to request to see these in advance. Fill out the Academic Request form.  We will contact you when the photographs are available for you to view in the library.  Aerial photographs do not leave the library, but scanners are available for your use.