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