Archives and the Arts: The Scourge of Positivism : a drama in three acts

Contributed by Geoff Wexler: OHS Library Director Emeritus.

If you’re looking for something to do on Thursday evening, July 27th at 7:00 PM, the Oregon Historical Society invites you to a special performance of The Scourge of Positivism : a drama in three acts created by Geoff Wexler,  OHS Library Director Emeritus.  The piece includes live original piano music and photographs from the Gifford and Cronise collections housed at the Historical Society, plus a few extras.  It follows a short lecture on art and archives and how the two worlds can interact.

Light food and drink will be provided.  The OHS museum galleries will be open throughout the evening (hours will be 10:00 AM-9:00 PM that day), including a new exhibit featuring rare documents and artifacts of the Kennedy family.

Admission is free to SAA Annual Meeting attendees (please show your badge upon entering).  The Oregon Historical Society is located at 1200 SW Park Avenue, on the corner of SW Park and Madison Street, four blocks from the MAX stop at Pioneer Courthouse Square.  Attendees are welcome to bring their significant others to the performance.

More information at



Shopping in Portland

Contributor: Amber D’Ambrosio

So you want to bring back souvenirs of your time in Portland, but you don’t want to be limited to the overpriced sweatshirts of the airport shops? Luckily for you, there are many opportunities to buy unique Oregon gifts (or just do some shopping!) in Portland.


One of the tried and true is the Made in Oregon stores. You can find them in PDX as well as throughout the city. You can buy a wide variety of items made from Oregon produce, everything from marionberry jam to bigfoot poop (chocolate covered peanuts). They also carry many local coffees, beers, wines, and gift baskets. In addition to food and beverages, their selection includes Pendleton Woolen Mill blankets and other Oregon craft items along with sports apparel and memorabilia for the Timbers, Trailblazers, and college teams. The two closest locations to the conference will be the one in the Pioneer Place Mall and the one in the Lloyd Center Mall (more details on those two shopping destinations below).


The University of Oregon Ducks Store and the Oregon State University Beaver Store are the destinations for those of you with college sports fans in your life who identify as either ducks or beavers. If you don’t know what it means to be a duck or a beaver, these stores may not be of much interest to you. You can also buy a selection of these items at the Made in Oregon stores.

For a “carefully curated collection of local, handmade products and vintage one of a kind finds” try Boys Fort. Crafty Wonderland can also fill your need for locally made art, gifts, and home goods.


The Portland Saturday Market is a must-see shopping destination for anyone staying over for the weekend (it’s also open on Sundays). North Waterfront Park and the adjoining streets becomes a sea of stalls that includes local art, jewellry, handmade soaps, crafts, and food vendors.


Looking for the truly unique and willing to take the bus? Check out the Freakbuttrue Peculiarium and Museum or Paxton Gate for the macabre and things you might expect to find in a creative taxidermist’s basement in Victorian era England. If you need a better mental image of Paxton Gate try “if David Lynch and Martha Stewart got together and opened up a home decorating store” or “come for the cat skeletons wearing fancy dresses, stay for the preserved insects.” (Quotes from Jenny Collins, librarian and archivist at SUNY Delhi and avid fan of Paxton Gate.)

On the less-macabre-but-still-requiring-a-bus end of unique shopping, try Presents of Mind for gifts from local and independent designers that are made with environmentally friendly materials.


Also, try shopping at the Multnomah County Library Central Library (worth a trip for the beautiful building alone) Friends of the Library Store. It has a selection of small and quirky Oregon and Portland gifts (and library-themed gifts as well!), including amusing cards to send to all of your friends and family.


If you’re looking for general shopping opportunities, downtown Portland has plenty of options, including two major malls: Lloyd Center Mall and Pioneer Place Mall. There are also no shortage of outdoor retailers in downtown Portland for anyone who wants to hit the trails while they’re in Oregon.

Places of Worship

Contributors: Shawna Gandy, Rachel Thomas, Jennifer Mundy

Many places of worship in Portland welcome visitors to worship, times of reflection, or fellowship.  The following is a brief list of some local places you might want to check out.

Allow Me

The Grotto

Please note: This list is not all inclusive.  If you would like to see your place of worship or another faith represented, please comment and let us know!

Lewis & Clark, Watzek Library Special Collections Repository Tour

Repository Name: Lewis & Clark, Watzek Library Special Collections
Contact Name: Dr. Hannah Crummé
Contact Phone: 1.503.768.7259
Contact email:
Capacity: 20
Description: Please join us to explore some of the literary archives of Lewis & Clark College. We’ll consider the recently opened papers of Katherine Dunn, the extensive daily writings of William Stafford, and the poignant journals of Karl Marlantes, alongside many others.
Directions: We can be found on Lewis & Clark Campus, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd, Portland, OR 97219. During the summer (mid-May through August), parking is free on the undergraduate campus. Reserved parking for disabled visitors is distributed throughout lots. Bicycle parking is also available at the library. Lewis & Clark can also be reached via TriMet, bus line 39. For schedule information, visit or call 503-238-7433.
Date and time: Wednesday, 26 July, 10:00am-12:00 noon

Reed College Special Collections & Archives Repository Tour

Repository Name: Reed College Special Collections & Archives
Contact Name: Laura Buchholz
Contact Phone: 503-517-7629
Contact Email:
Capacity: 15 people

Description: Come see treasures from Reed’s Special Collections & Archives. Highlights include letters from beat poets, antiquarian maps, calligraphy, and Simeon Reed’s fishing pole! Meet in the library lobby, just inside the north entrance of the library.
Directions: Reed is located in SE Portland, about a mile from the MAX Orange line. Go east up Bybee Blvd and then Woodstock Blvd, and turn left into the main entrance of Reed College. Or, take the 19 bus from the MAX station and get off on Woodstock and 34th. The library entrance is on the north side of the building.
Date: Wednesday 7/26
Time: The tour starts at 10 and will last about an hour. Visitors are welcome to stay after the tour to visit the rest of the library and the beautiful Reed canyon.

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education Repository Tour

Repository Name:  Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

724 NW Davis Street. Portland, OR 97209

Contact Name:       Anne LeVant Prahl

Contact Phone:      (503) 226-3600 #102

Contact Email:

Capacity:                 several hundred

Description:            Explore our museum with six inaugural exhibitions including art exhibits: Grisha Bruskin: Alefbet, Herman Brookman: Visualizing the Sacred, and history exhibits: Discrimination and Resistance; an Oregon Primer, Oregon Jewish Stories, and The Holocaust; and Oregon Perspective. Tour our community repository, containing the collective documentary history of the Jews of Oregon.

Directions:                 GREEN line MAX from Convention Center to NW 5th and Couch. Walk 2 blocks west on Davis Street to 724 (corner of the Park Blocks)

Date and Time:     Open house Tuesday, July 25, 3:00-5:00

Website:                 www.

City of Portland Archives & Records Center

Repository tour information below!

Repository Name: City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC).

Contact Name: Diana Banning

Contact Phone: 503-865-4100

Contact Email:

Capacity:  30

Description: The City of Portland Archives & Records Center is the official repository for records created by City agencies and dates back to 1851.  Due to Portland’s innovative approach to issues like urban planning, parks, alternative transportation, and neighborhood involvement, the collections draw researchers from around the world.   PARC’s new facility opened in 2010 and the 5th floor Research Room provides a stunning view of the city.  Come tour the stacks, view a selection of materials highlighting the City’s history, and check out the view!  For those with an interest, we will provide a demonstration of our electronic records management system, HP Records Manager

Directions: PARC is located in the Portland State University’s Academic and Student Recreation Center (ASRC) building.  The address is 1800 SW 6th Avenue, suite 550.  The building is between SW 5th and SW 6th Avenues, which serve as the Transit Mall in the downtown core. The front of the building faces the bricked Urban Center Plaza.  Enter the doors and take the elevator to the 5th floor; take a right off of the elevator and you’ve arrived!

If traveling via MAX, take either the Green, Orange, or Yellow lines heading to the City Center/PSU and get off at the PSU Urban Center/SW 5th & Mill Street stop (Stop ID 7618).   Once you exit the MAX, look to your left and you’ll see the ASRC.

If traveling via the Streetcar, you can take the NS Line, B Loop, S Line.  Depending on the direction you are coming from you’ll get off at SW 5th & Montgomery (Stop ID 10763), or at the PSU Urban Center (Stop ID 10764).

Date: Tuesday, July 25th

Time: 2:30-4


Genealogical Forum of Oregon Repository Tour

Repository Name: Genealogical Forum of Oregon

Contact Name: Judith Leppert and LauraDenise White

Contact Phone: 503-962-9405

Contact Email: /

Capacity: 70

Description: “Discover your family history at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon! Whether you are from Oregon, Virginia, Canada, or Ireland, our research library offers over 43,000 holdings with records from around the globe. As the largest genealogical library between Seattle and San Francisco, visitors have access to many popular genealogy websites. Check our website at for online resources, our library catalog, and the GFO calendar for upcoming free classes and workshops. Open seven days a week, the Library is located on the lower level of the historic Ford Building in southeast Portland.”

Directions: (address: 2505 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97202, accessible via TriMet bus #4 or #70, and Max’s Orange Line at the Clinton/SE 12th Ave stop)

Date: Tuesday, July 25th

Time: Tour at 2:00pm. The library is open from 9:30am until 5pm.


Other: We would love to showcase all aspects of our collection, although the SAA Members may find especially interesting our manuscripts collections and digitization project.

Bonneville Power Administration

Check out this awesome repository tour!

Repository Name:  Bonneville Power Administration Library & Visitor Center

Contact Name: Libby Burke

Contact Phone: 503-230-4027 direct OR Main Library Phone 503-230-7323

Contact Email:

Capacity: Limited to 8 per tour. Please contact to sign up in advance

Description: Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) started in 1937 as a public agency to transmit and market hydroelectric power generated from the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams.  The Federal Columbia River Power System has since grown to 31 dams, as well as non-federal dams and one nuclear plant. These dams generate clean, renewable, carbon-free hydropower for the farms, businesses and residents of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. BPA is a vital part of the PNW economy, as well as a conservator of the fish and wildlife whose habitats have been impacted due to the dam system. The abundance of hydropower generation during World War II enabled BPA to supply electricity to aluminum plants, ship building, Boeing, and other manufacturers of war materiel on a 24/7 basis.

The BPA Archives consists of promotional films and brochures, hundreds of thousands of still images, and thousands of documents in its Library, written for, by or about BPA. The documents have all been scanned; the photos, negatives and slides are in process, and most of the films have been digitized and made available on DVD and YouTube.  All this content will soon be available to the public through a digital asset management system. The Archives also holds a number of research collections, such as the 400+ box Sam Moment Aluminum Collection, and receives donations from inside and outside the agency. The BPA Library recently opened a Visitor Center that gives a museum-quality experience in a small space, with exhibits on all phases of BPA history, geography and other aspects of the expanse of BPA in the Northwest. You are invited to visit for a tour and talk with the archivists. Space is limited!

Directions: BPA Headquarters is located at 905 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232. It is between Lloyd and Holladay streets. One block south of the DoubleTree Inn, and a few blocks east of the Oregon Convention Center, within walking distance. Conveniently located kitty-corner from the Lloyd Center Max light rail stop for the Blue, Green and Red lines.

Special Note: The BPA Library & Visitor Center is located in a secure building, so visitors should prepare for a security screening similar to that of an airport. Visitors must present their government-issued picture ID and be ready to have their bags searched. They will then get a badge that allows entry to the Library, lobby and café. There are no public restrooms available.

Date: Wednesday, July 26

Time: 11 am, 1pm,  3pm (3 tours). The Visitor Center and exhibits are also open M-F 7:30-4:30

Website:  BPA Library & Visitor Center

OHSU Historical Collections & Archives Repository Tour

Repository Name: OHSU Historical Collections & Archives
Contact Name: Meg Langford
Contact Phone: 503-494-5587
Contact Email:
Capacity: Limited to 15 people; sign up via email is required

Description: Tour the fascinating repository of rare books, medical artifacts, and archival materials at Oregon’s largest academic health center, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Meet OHSU Historical Collections & Archives staff at the Portland Aerial Tram lower terminal on Portland’s South Waterfront, and enjoy a beautiful, panoramic city view on a free tram ride. Once on OHSU’s main Marquam Hill campus, the tour will include our main library, our central exhibit space, and our research room in the historic Old Library building, featuring a pop-up display of highlights from our collections. The tour ends in a return trip on the aerial tram. Enjoy lunch or happy hour independently at nearby food trucks along the South Waterfront campus.

Accessibility notes: Lots of walking; Parts of tour are accessible via stairs only.

Directions:  The tour meeting location is highlighted on this map, which offers customized public transit, bicycle, and driving directions from any location: Travel via public transportation (streetcar, MAX light rail, or bus) or bike is strongly encouraged, as parking is very difficult.

Date: Tuesday

Time: 1:30-3:30