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Politics & Social Activism in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant politics and social activism 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.

Conscientious Objectors, including material on C.P.S. Camp No. 56, Camp Waldport, Waldport, Oregon in SCUA collections

Camp Waldport, OR Finding aid
Records, 1943-1945.
9 boxes; 5 lin. ft.
Civilian Public Service Camp No. 56, Camp Waldport, was operated by the Civilian Public Service of the Mennonite Central Committee. Included in the collection are records and publication of the Untide Press, a camp project that issued two periodicals, The Tide and The Illiterati, and published volumes of poetry by Glen Coffield, William Everson, Kenneth Patchen, Bill Shank, and Jacob Sloan, poets in residence. Also included are letters; Brethern Public Service Committee bulletins and memos; copies of various publications done at other C.P.S. Camps, such as the ones at Cascade Locks and Elkton; and miscellany.
Bx 34

Civilian Public Service Camps.
Histories, 1944-1945.
1 folder (7 items).
Consists of histories of the following C.P.S. Camps: No. 21 (Cascade Locks, OR), No. 56 (Waldport, OR), and No. 59 (Elkton, OR). The histories were written by members of the respective camps. The contents are:
C.P.S. #21, Cascade Locks, OR
V.1 Development of Techniques of Administration in CPS #21 (33 p.)
V.2 The Work Project, and Related Problems Caused by Differing Viewpoints (22 p.)
V.3 Art Activities in CPS #21 (6 p.) Also includes an issue of The Tide, November 1942.
V.4 Some Men of #21 (87 p.)
V.5 Analysis and Criticism of the Handling of the Conscientious Objector in World War II (21 p.)
C.P.S. #56, Waldport, OR
V.6 History of the Founding and Organization of the Waldport Camp (12 p.)
C.P.S. #59, Elkton, OR
V.7 A Short History of Civilian Public Service Camp #59 With Headquarters at Elkton, OR (43 p.)
CB C449

Coffield, Glen, 1917-1981. Finding aid
Papers, 1939-1979.
43 boxes; 48 lin. ft.
Coffield was born in Prescott, Arizona, and received a B.S. degree in education from Central Missouri State Teachers College in 1940. During World War II, he first served in C.P.S. Camp #7 in Magnolia, Arkansas, then was transferred to Camp Waldport in 1942. He became part of the "Fine Arts Group" at Waldport; "The Horned Moon," a book of Coffield's poems, was the second publication of the Untide Press. After the war, Coffield continued to write, and for a time (1947-1954) ran the Grundtvig Folk School, a "humanist school in the woods" on the Columbia Gorge near Eagle Creek in the Cascade Mountains. Coffield died in 1981.
The papers consist of publications, mainly poetry works, published by Coffield and others, materials for poetry contests and poetry workshops sponsored by Coffield, checklists of ideas kept by Coffield, and miscellaneous items. The publications include copies of The Grundtvig Review and Almanac, The Creativity Newsletter, The Creative Review, and The Bridge.
Coll. 217

Downs, Warren F.
Letter and typed transcript of diary. (SFM 239)
1 folder.
Downs served at Camp Waldport from November 18, 1943 to August 12, 1946. The letter, written by Downs on October 6, 1990, gives a brief summary of his life. The diary is for 1944; this transcript has been slightly edited by Downs.
SFM 239

Huffman, George E.
Letter and miscellany. (SFM 236)
1 folder. (all materials are photocopies)
Huffman served at Camp Waldport. The letter, written by Huffman, describes the accompanying photographs, and tells about camp life. Also included are newspaper clippings.
SFM 236

Miller, Robert J.
Photograph, n.d. (SFM 238)
1 folder (1 item).
Photograph of the Communal Living Group, Dorm IV, Camp Waldport.
SFM 238

Miller, Tom Polk.
Civilian Island: Some Aspects of Alternative Service for Conscientious Objectors, 1941-1946. (SFM 237)
1 folder (17 p.)
This is a paper written by Miller and read before the Denton Forum, February 16, 1985.
SFM 237

Mitchell, Lawrence L.
Diary and photographs, 1940-1946. (SFM 240)
1 box; 1.5 lin. ft.
Mitchell served in Camp Waldport. The diary (photocopy), 1940-1946, contains
information on Mitchell's Camp Waldport activities. There are 32 photographs, many of which were taken at Camp Waldport; also included is a list identifying the photographs.
SFM 240

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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