A Basement Find

basement27  basement37

Glenda Pearson, Head of Microfilms and Newspapers, sent me a link to a remarkable blog post that came out this week from a Portland, Oregon blogger. The stunning images take us on a journey to the basement of Portland’s Pittock building where The Oregonian was once printed where we now see an unintended archive recording pieces of the past chosen by workers who printed the news in that very space. Decades ago, workers clipped and pasted pictures, maps, and other ephemera on the walls creating a striking scrapbook of events and images from their time. Even more powerful is what the space is used for now – a place to run conduit for major internet providers. The significance is how the story survives and continues as time moves on. While some hidden collections can, upon discovery, be moved to a more secure location to be preserved, this value and impact of this collection relies on it staying exactly where it is, on the walls where it was originally collected and enjoyed, and allowing current use of the space to reflect contemporary values and norms. Who knows what the future will introduce to this historical timeline.

The story of discovering the collection and researching the history of Portland buildings was featured here in Oregon Live yesterday.


Post by: Anne Jenner, Pacific Northwest Curator


Published by

Anne Jenner, PNW Curator

I joined Special Collections as the Pacific Northwest Curator in the summer of 2012. Having earned an M.A. in Scandinavian Languages and Literature from the UW, this marks a return to the Pacific Northwest after embarking on a career as a university professor and librarian/archivist. Along the way, I earned an MLIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and most recently served as Director of Archives and Special Collections at North Park University in Chicago. Before that, I worked as cataloger, and then Head of Library, at Augustana College’s Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois. Previously, I served as Director of the Scandinavian Program and Lecturer in the Department of Germanics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I hold a B.A. in Swedish with a minor in history from North Park College in Chicago.

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