RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The Oregon Historical Society is irreplaceable. As an earlier commenter has pointed out, if it must close, there will no longer be an institution in the state that is intended for “public consumption” that is interested in collecting the papers and other records of individuals and businesses across the state. Yes, the state universities have special collections; but they are not intended for use by the general public and they are not repositories of the objects that bring history to life for the thousands of school children who visit OHS each year. Nor can they provide the sort of support for teachers in the classroom that OHS’s on-line interactive Oregon History Project and Traveling Trunk program can.
If these programs and places have to be shut down, Oregon’s young citizens will lose the opportunity to understand their heritage better—or, I fear, at all. And so will their elders, who visit the museum or library (including both a great collection of manuscripts from all the years of Oregon’s rich history and an equally wonderful photograph collection) and who read the Oregon Historical Quarterly, published by the Society and including much material based on the Society’s manuscripts and photographs.
I live 50 miles east of Oregon, in Boise, Idaho. I am retired from the Idaho State Historical Society, and I have done research and selected photographs for its journal at the OHS; Idaho’s history is closely linked to Oregon’s, after all. I have the greatest respect for the OHS staff, who have done so much over the years to make possible the OHS’s programs, and the state will be the poorer if it loses access to their expertise and knowledge.
posted 2 years, 7 months ago
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