SAA plans festival to serve members’ brew needs

 Contributed by Terry Baxter




Well, not really. It’s just happy coincidence that the Society of American Archivists 2017 annual meeting overlaps the Oregon Brewers Festival. The Brewers Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary by offering over 150 craft and specialty beers. Located just a short walk from the Oregon Convention Center and the Hilton, the festival will be open from July 26 through July 30 from noon until 9 daily. In addition to the tips scattered through the festival website, I can offer the following veteran advice.


Try before you buy (a whole pint). Tastes are one token, pints are five. With all the different brews to try, my tactic is to sample, sample, sample. If you come across something you really like, get a full pint.


Unless you are there at 12 sharp, the lines will be long and the place crowded. I often get a sample and then drink it while waiting in the next line. This is a good opportunity to chat with Portlanders and find out a little bit about the Rose City. The festival provides a booklet with all the festival beers. Map out the ones you really want to try. Some will go by the second day, especially the specialty beers.


Be smart about your consumption. It’ll be hot, so stay hydrated. Set a reasonable limit (both in time and in samples). Think about going for shorter stints over a couple days. Go with friends and enjoy the companionship as much as the beer.


Finally, if you want a little history about craft beer in Oregon, remember that the Liberated Archives Forum has a Saturday morning discussion session about just that!


150+ Years of Portland Architecture

Contributed by Val C. Ballestrem, Education Manager, Architectural Heritage Center

Dielscheider1Part 1

When Portland was incorporated in 1851, permanent structures in the new city were built completely of wood. The first brick commercial building wasn’t constructed until 1853 and it was rather simple in design. Little remains from that period, with the exception of the 1857 Hallock & McMillen Building at SE Naito Parkway and Oak Street and the adjacent Delschneider Building (1859).

By the 1860s, buildings throughout the city were emblazoned with European inspired architectural ornament. Everything from cast iron pilasters with Corinthian capitals, to hand-carved wooden heads could be found adorning commercial buildings in the heart of downtown as well as the homes of wealthy Portlanders that were beginning to rise as the City expanded in all directions. Wood ornament remained especially popular on houses, but after fire decimated a large swath of downtown in 1873, the use of brick and iron on commercial structures increased.


SE Portland Houses

The increased use of cast-iron ornament gave downtown Portland a series of rhythmic, unified streetscapes with the iron archways creating the effect of blocks-long colonnades between Front and Second Streets. Over time however, the Machine Age led to the mass production of architectural ornament and less emphasis on hand made decoration. Houses and commercial buildings from the 1870s -1880s were often dripping with ornament that could be ordered straight out of a catalog. This began to change by the end of the 1880s as new architects in town brought with them new ideas for design – designs that often included far less ornament, but equally beautiful architecture.


Dekum, SW 3rd and Washington St.

Around 1889, a series of new buildings began to rise in Portland displaying the influence of famed Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. These buildings were noted for their use of rustic brick and (sometimes carved) stone, rather than cast iron or wood. Arches over doorways and windows were round, similar to the arches found in ancient Rome and creating what became known as the Romanesque Revival (or Richardsonian Romanesque) style of architecture. Several buildings in this style are still standing downtown including the Dekum (SW 3rd and Washington St.), Auditorium (920 SW 3rd Ave.), and Haseltine (SW 2nd and Pine St.) buildings. Houses in Portland from this period, like the Mackenzie House in Northwest Portland (now known as William Temple House at 615 SW 20th Ave.) also reflected the Romanesque Revival style. The economic Panic of 1893 put a halt to the Romanesque age in Portland as many construction projects were stopped. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th Century that a new building boom came to the city.




Part 2

As Portland entered the new century, so too did it enter a new age of architectural design. There was a near simultaneous return to an interest in the classical motifs of Greece and Rome and the development of the American version of the Arts & Crafts movement. Portland area houses from this period reflect this varied interest, with elements from otherwise different architectural styles often blended together. The architecture firm of Whidden and Lewis and their protégé Albert E. Doyle set the stage for this new generation of Portland architecture, with commercial buildings that by 1910 were adorned with glazed white terra cotta, a material easily applied to the new steel-framed structures. Examples of this popular building style can be seen on nearly all sides of the Pioneer Courthouse Square, including Doyle’s Northwestern Bank Building (1914) and the iconic Jackson Tower (1912), designed by California architects Reid & Reid.

Bank of CA

Bank of California

With the onset of the First World War, building in Portland slowed dramatically. It wasn’t until the mid-1920s that a series of new commercial buildings arose in downtown, with designs of particular note by Doyle, such as his Bank of California Building (SW 6th and Stark), from 1924-25 and the Public Services Building (920 SW 6th), completed in 1927. At the same time, there was widespread (and speculative) residential development throughout the city, with perhaps thousands of single family houses constructed during this time. Neighborhoods like Eastmoreland and Laurelhurst flourished, their streets dotted with bungalows and English style cottages. As with most cities in the US, the onset of the Great Depression had a tremendous impact on new construction. House construction dwindled, as Portland’s population during this time also stagnated. From the early 1930s until after the end of World War II, there were no new large buildings constructed downtown.


Part 3


Equitable Building by Pietro Belluschi.

In 1948, Portland was put on the Modernism map as local architect Pietro Belluschi’s Equitable Building (421 SW 6th) was completed. The Equitable, now known as the Commonwealth Building, represented a sea change in high rise commercial architecture, especially in an otherwise architecturally conservative city like Portland. The sleek steel frame was sheathed in aluminum and glass. The building was also an engineering marvel with an early form of air conditioning that was the first of its kind in the world. By the end of 1951, Belluschi had left Portland, turning his firm over to the internationally renowned Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. SOM would transform Portland over the next four decades, designing such noted buildings as Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1960) in North Portland, the Standard Plaza at 1100 SW 6th Ave. with its unique lighted rooftop weather beacon (1963), and Portland’s second tallest building, the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th Avenue, sometimes called “Big Pink” (1983). Also completed during this period was Portland’s tallest building, the First National Bank Tower at 1300 SW 5th Avenue (1972). Now known as the Wells Fargo Center, it was designed by Los Angeles based architectural firm Charles Luckman and Associates.


Standard Plaza


Michael Graves’ Building

Portland has long been known for its quirkiness and perhaps no other building is representative of this than the Michael Graves’ designed Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue (1982). Known for the iconic Portlandia statue, its whimsical color, the Portland Building is another of Portland’s architectural “firsts”. It was the first high-rise office building in the world designed in the Post-Modern style. It’s safe to say that the style never really caught on otherwise in Portland, so it is truly a one of a kind building.

Since the 1990s, downtown Portland has seen a variety of large downtown area buildings constructed, including the Hatfield Courthouse at 1000 SW 3rd (1997), designed in collaboration by Kohn Pederson Fox of New York and Portland’s own BORA Architects. But perhaps more of note has been the development of an entire new neighborhood – the Pearl District. Carved out of a former warehouse and industrial area, The Pearl contains an interesting blend of old buildings converted to new uses, such as Powell’s Books and Whole Foods which are both located in former car dealership buildings. There are former warehouses turned into mix-use condominiums, an 1890s armory annex has been transformed into a beautiful theater, and even an old brewery has been integrated with new development.

Portland contains at least a little of every popular architectural style from the past 150 years. If you wander around downtown you can see buildings from just about every decade since the 1850s. If you venture out into some of the residential neighborhoods you there is a similar variety. Buildings are physical reminders of how the city has developed over time. When exploring the city you may find the last vestiges of residential areas adjacent to downtown, along with neighborhoods that have withstood the test of time, and still other areas that have been completely transformed. Architecturally speaking, Portland offers a little something for everyone.


Portland: City of Rainbows

Contributed by:

Alisha Babbstein is the archivist at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. A native Oregonian, Portland suits her love of books, the outdoors, and beer.


In many ways, Portland is exactly what you think it is: the city of countless coffee houses and microbreweries, food trucks and foodies, bike lovers and buskers, and beard lovers and hipsters galore. What you might not know, though, is that Portland is regularly ranked as one of the top 10 gay-friendliest cities in the US! Whether you are looking for gay choirs, lesbian square dancers, drag kings and queens, dancing at the club, trivia, or just a place to be out and among the masses, Portland has a place for you.


While there is no specific ‘gayborhood,’ the gay and gay-friendly establishments are everywhere, so just look around. In fact it is getting harder and harder to point to establishments that are not gay friendly. Everywhere you go you will be among friends! Check out the list below for just a few gay, gay-owned, and gay-friendly places to visit and activities do while you are in town.


Though not specifically a gay event, I would be remiss not to mention Last Thursday on Alberta ( Here you are sure to find yourself among a great concentration of queer and queer-friendly folks. On the last Thursday of every month the bohemian art community lets loose in the Alberta Arts district. Galleries, studios, and restaurants open up and present great new art, and all along the sidewalk independent artists peddle their stuff. You will find a different musician or band playing a wide variety of music on every corner. You will be among people juggling, dancing with fire, and wobbling on stilts – it’s a big ball of positive creative energy. And the last Thursday in July is the 27th – perfect!

** From the Convention Center, walk 0.5 miles North on MLK to NE Weidler. Jump on the #17, and get off at NE 27th and Alberta. You will be in the heart of the party.


The nightlife is where you will really feel at home in gay Portland. Downtown Portland holds one of the city’s small gay entertainment epicenters. Just off of West Burnside Street you’ll find a number of gay bars and gay-friendly restaurants, including the long-running gay bar Scandals ( Established in 1979, Scandals is one of Portland’s oldest gay bars, and is really the only left in Portland’s original “Pink Triangle.” Scandals is known for their stiff and tasty cocktails, Tuesday karaoke nights, and weekly performances by local bands and DJs. You will find Scandals at 1125 SW Stark St. Portland, OR 97205.

** From the Convention Center, jump on the Blue or Red line WEST and get off at the Galleria/SW 10th Ave Station. Walk a quarter mile west on Stark St.


Looking for a drag show? Check out Darcelle’s, Embers and Crush.


Darcelle’s ( boasts one of the longest running drag queen shows in the country, with shows Wednesday-Saturday. These queens are professionals and you won’t be disappointed. Tickets are $20, and of course you must be over 21! You will find Darcelle’s in Old Chinatown at 208 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209.

** From the Convention Center, get on the Blue or Red line WEST and get off at the Old Town/Chinatown stop. Walk two blocks west on Davis St.


Embers also hosts shows Wednesday-Saturday, with a $5 to $10 cover, depending on the night. It is what you might call the quintessential gay dive of Portland. The queens here have a reputation for sass and the shows are slightly more amateur-ish. But with their own brand of Portland charm, you are sure to have a good time. You will find Embers at 110 NW Broadway, Portland, OR 97209.

** From the Convention Center get on the Green line. Get off at NW 5th and Couch St. Walk 3 blocks west to Broadway.


Crush ( is a gay bar in spirit but open and friendly to all walks of life. It is a very safe space with amazing and diverse events for all types of sexual expression. The bar has one monthly drag king show (the only one devoted to kings in town), and you are in luck – in July the show is Thursday the 27th at 8:30pm. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. It’s drag kings galore with just a touch of burlesque and cabaret. You will find Crush at 1400 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214.

** From the Convention Center you may want to take an Uber or Lyft. It is only 1.5 miles, but the bus isn’t direct!


There aren’t any lesbian bars left in Portland, but Bossonova Ballroom and Trio Club host Portland’s Hot Flash ( dance on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month. If you are in town a day early and looking for a night on the town, check it out! $8 cover at the door.

** From the Convention Center it’s a half mile walk south to E. Burnside. Uber and Lyft would be good options as well, especially on the way back to your hotel!


And finally, for all you line dancers out there, we have Stomptown (, our home for LGBTQ country line dancing! No dress code, no partner necessary, and no experience required. Just $10 (cash only) and a good attitude and you’re all set. You will find Stomptown in Norse Hall at 111 NE 11th Ave.

** From the Convention Center it’s just a 15 minute walk south and east. And again, you can call an Uber or Lyft for the ride home.

Portland Japanese Garden and Lan Su Chinese Garden

Contributor: Amber D’Ambrosio is Processing Archivist & Records Manager at Willamette University, a small, urban liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon, where she manages the collections and wrangles ArchivesSpace and Archivematica. In her spare time she writes, reads about early modern London, hikes, travels, and obsessively visits the Oregon Coast.

Portland Japanese Garden


The Portland Japanese Garden combines a variety of traditional Japanese garden styles into a beautiful haven on top of a hill overlooking downtown Portland. The hill is known for Washington Park, which has many other family-friendly attractions that make the Japanese Garden’s distance from the conference location well worth the trip. After a recent expansion, the gardens now include a Japanese cultural center with constantly rotating exhibitions of Japanese material culture, a gift shop, and a cafe.


The garden itself is lush, extensive, and includes a wide variety of flowering plants, waterfalls, and Zen gardens known for their simpler aesthetic of carefully raked sand or gravel. There are traditional Japanese buildings, including a traditional tea room, and a hall with veranda that provides a great view over downtown Portland. On a clear day you can see Mount Hood in the distance. Guided tours are available at specified times for those who would like additional insight into the gardens and their history. This is one of my favorite places in Portland, and it’s worth a visit any season of the year.


The Portland Japanese Garden is open until 7 pm every day during the summer months. Admission is $14.95 for an adult with discounted rates for other age ranges available.


The garden and surrounding Washington Park are accessible via the Blue and Red MAX light rail lines to Beaverton and Hillsboro. Get off at Washington Park stop (inside the tunnel). There is a free Washington Park shuttle that will take you from the MAX station to the garden, or you can enjoy a 1.5 mile walk through the arboretum in Washington Park (the trail is well marked with signs for the Japanese and Rose Gardens, but it winds through wooded areas with uneven terrain).


There is parking available at the garden but also available at the Oregon Zoo and elsewhere in Washington Park if you’d like to walk to the garden. Additional travel information is available at the link provided.


Other attractions of interest in Washington Park include the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center, the Hoyt Arboretum, miles of walking/hiking trails, and the International Rose Test Garden (celebrating its 100th anniversary).


Lan Su Chinese Garden


For those who would love to experience a garden a little closer to the conference action, Lan Su Chinese Garden comprises a full city block walled off from the noise of downtown Portland in the historic Old Town Chinatown district. It’s within walking distance (less than 1 mile) of the downtown conference hotel and the convention center. It’s also accessible via bus or the Blue or Red MAX light rail lines (with a short walk).


The garden is partitioned into various areas with stonework that allows views into the alcoves through elaborately carved windows. You can take advantage of a free guided tour at certain hours of the day or wander with the aid of printed guides. Shallow, reflective water, lush plant life, and traditional Chinese structures are the main features of the garden. Within the buildings are examples of traditional Chinese material culture and a Chinese Teahouse with light dining options (vegetarian and possibly vegan options are available). The Lan Su Chinese Garden is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and concrete of downtown Portland and enjoy a moment of tranquility among beautiful surroundings. They have regular cultural events, so it’s worth checking their schedule to see what you might find during your visit.


Admission to the garden is $10 for an adult with discounts available to other age ranges. A family pass is available for $28. The garden is open until 7 pm every day during the summer months.


Handmade Portland: Knit Shops

Contributed by: Anne Prahl, Curator of Collections, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

 If you think of all things hip and innovative, challenging and quirky when you think of Portland, the knitting scene in our fair city does not disappoint. If you are connected, you have already checked out the Portland Metro Area Ravelers forum on Or you might have checked to see if there is a gathering during the SAA conference. There are regular meetings of crafters, including knitters, all over the city. You only need to plug in.

Perhaps you are hoping to browse some local yarn shops (I know my best souvenirs are the ones I made myself from materials purchased wherever I have traveled). There are dozens of shops in the metro area. I have compiled the few that are easiest to get to either on foot or by public transportation. Each has its own, unique atmosphere. Some feature a group of regulars whom you will find cozily drinking tea and knitting together. But I’ve never been turned away from one of those klatches. Just pull up a chair and whip out your knitting bag and you are one of the in-crowd.


Pearl District and Downtown

Pearl Fiber Arts

428 NW 11th Aveknitting 1
Portland, OR 97209

(503) 227-7746

Just a few blocks from Powell’s Books (which you are certainly not going to want to miss). Really nice selection including some exotic fibers (yak!) and helpful staff.


Dublin Bay Knitting Company

1227 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209knitting 2

(503) 223-3229

Small and sparsely stocked, it is still a calm and friendly place to drop in. Great yarns from the British Isles as well as organics and Fair Trade and more standard fare as well.


Knit Purl

knitting 31101 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 227-2999

Not my go-to shop. They tend toward the exotic, locally sourced, and hip. And the staff is kind of hipster, too. But if that’s your scene, definitely check them out.


Northeast Portland

Close Knit

2140 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

knitting 4

(503) 288-4568

You were going to go up to the Alberta Arts district anyway, right? Lots of galleries and DIY shops, bakeries, tacos, and a Salt ‘n Straw ice cream shop. And while you are there, drop in on Close Knit where there is always someone shopping, someone knitting, and someone to offer great advice.


knitting 52310 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

(503) 922-1150

My personal favorite shop. Can’t say enough about the awesome staff (who remember names!) and are always earnest and thoughtful, even with the most insipid questions. They also sell tea and welcome knitters to their comfy couches and work tables. Especially fabulous selection of sock yarns.

Southeast Portland

Happy Knits

1620 SE Hawthorne Blvdknitting 6
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 238-2106

Super-friendly and customer-oriented. Smaller selection but they make up for it in great classes and … did I mention the nice people?




North Portland

The Naked Sheep

knitting 7

2142 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

(503) 283-2004

A little off the beaten path (unless your path takes you to North Portland.) I haven’t found the owner particularly welcoming, but if you read the Yelp reviews, there are plenty of happy people who disagree.



Oregon Museums Making Collections Accessible

Contributed by SAA Host Committee Member, Katrina O’Brien, World of Speed Collection Manager & Archivist

Oregon has a wide array of museums covering everything from Japanese and Jewish history to environment science, gaming and motorsports, local and national art and heritage, and corporate history. While this is only a small snapshot of Oregon’s museums, each of these museums are utilizing artifact and archival collections as part of their museum experience, special programs, and online resources.


mus1Preserving the stories of the Nikkei—Japanese emigrants and their descendants—of the Pacific Northwest, the Center offers both traveling and onsite exhibits, as well as a research library. It also offers onsite and walking tour apps that provide multiple avenues to experience the Center’s archival collection. As part of its Oregon Nikkei Endowment’s Visual History Collection, over 50 recorded video interviews are accessible online through the Densho Digital Archive.





Mus2OHS looks to “explore the people, places, and events that have shaped the history of Oregon and America.” Besides its digital history websites, The Oregon Encyclopedia, Oregon History Project, and Oregon History Wayfinder, its new OHS Digital Collections website opens a wider window into the OHS Research Library’s collections. At the same time, the OHS Museum provides equally thought-provoking, interactive museum exhibits that make history visible and accessible.





mus3The WFC Discovery Museum offers an interactive experience for visitors to be “both educated and entertained as they learn about the importance of forests and trees in our lives, as well as environmental sustainability.” Visitors find exhibits that pique curiosity and encourage active learning about the forests of the Pacific Northwest and the interconnectedness of global forests, along with the Leadership Hall that celebrates contributors in forestry.



mus4Housing one of the largest publicly accessible game and puzzle collections in the world, IMOGAP seeks to “document and celebrate all aspects of gaming culture” with more than 4,000 games to play. While most of the collection are tabletop games, the collection also includes construction, knowledge, electronic, skill games, and more. The museum offers visitors hands-on tables for gaming along with historical and interpretive displays, and shelves featuring select picks from the collection.



mus5Besides supporting the World of Speed motorsports museum’s exhibits and education programs, the Archive offers “points of access while preserving the rich history of motorsports” with the museum’s complete collection catalog, collection highlights, and digital video collection available online. Besides being open to the public, the Archive Room hosts Open Archive Days each month, offering visitors gloved interaction with select items in the archive collection not currently on display.



mus6Wells Fargo has eleven museums throughout the country, including Portland. Besides artifacts specific to the Pacific Northwest, the museum utilizes the Wells Fargo Corporate Archive to produce local museum exhibits with materials that “range from historical images and objects to modern day marketing samples and digital records.” A select group of its archives are also available online including a photography and advertisement collection documenting the company’s origins, development, operations, and impact.




mus7Founded in 1892, PAM is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest with a collection of 42,000 objects reflecting the history of art from ancient times to today, including North America native peoples’ arts, modern and contemporary art, and Asian and American art. PAM’s Crumpacker Family Library, the region’s most comprehensive visual art resource, holds a collection of over 35,000 volumes originated in 1895 and includes current and historical periodicals, and art archives.




OJMCHE’s artifact and archive collections “document the experiences of Oregon Jews from our earliest history through today.” It acquired the holdings of the Jewish Historical Society of Oregon in 1995, including 150 oral history interviews. In 2014, the Oregon Jewish Museum merged with the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, taking on the care of the center’s records, artifacts, and oral history interviews of Holocaust survivors and liberators.






Parks and Rec in Portland

Contributed by Laura Buchholz.

Laura Buchholz works in Reed College Special Collections & Archives, responsible all things digital, and grew up hiking in the rain in Portland and Oregon.

As you plan your conference schedule, be sure to build in some time outside! Portland has beautiful parks and hiking opportunities to enjoy, whether your ideal outing is a picnic and people watching, a stroll through forested trails, or a heart-pumping hike up a volcanic cinder cone. All of the following are within city limits and accessible by public transit.

Want to know more about a trail to determine if it is a good match for your mobility needs? The Access Trails site lets you know what to expect, beyond simple ADA compliance, for selected trails.

Forest Park

Forest Park, Portland“Forest Park, Portland” by “Robert Tuck”. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Accessed 18 April 2017.


Over 5000 acres of forested beauty on the hills west of Portland. So many paths to choose from that it can be overwhelming: I recommend hiking a section of the popular Wildwood trail.


Claim to fame: the largest forested natural area within city limits in the U.S.


Good for: forested and shady hikes for all fitness levels, bobcat or coyote sightings (very rare, but possible!), gurgling creeks, views of Mt. Hood.

Laurelhurst Park

laurelhurst_park“IMG_0806a” by “Sam Churchill”. Licensed under CC BY 2.0. Accessed 18 April 2017.


A large city park with established trees, pond, play areas, and dog park. The surrounding neighborhood is beautiful for a long walk or run.


Claim to fame: Site of an old cattle farm, voted most beautiful park in 1911 by the Pacific Coast Parks Association, site of Rose Festival Queen coronations, and first city park to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.


Good for: picnics, people watching, dog watching, feeding the ducks, laying in the shade, outdoor yoga, free summer concerts, exploring the neighborhood front gardens.

Mt Tabor

mt_tabor“Mt. Tabor, November 2007” by “brx0”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Accessed 18 April 2017.


Mt. Tabor is a city park on top of a dormant cinder cone, part of the Boring Lava Field*. Hike your way to the top for a good workout, then watch the sunset over two large reservoirs, with Portland in the background. You can also drive to the top, but the park is closed to cars on Wednesdays.


Claim to fame: It’s a volcano!

Good for: picnics, cardio hikes, views of the sunset, skateboarding down a volcano, people watching, free concerts.


*Unfortunately not named according to some kind of a lava field excitement rating, but instead after the nearby town of Boring, Oregon, which is named after William H. Boring.


South Park Blocks

south_park_blocks“North end; South Park Blocks” by “Rosa Say”. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Accessed 19 April 2017.


If you’re staying downtown, you’ll want to check out the park blocks, a strip of 12 consecutive city blocks with tall trees, sidewalks, sculptures, and shade. The far southern end of the park blocks, near Portland State University, hosts a large farmers market on Saturdays.


Good for: city walking, sculpture viewing, farmers market browsing, sipping early morning coffee.


Claim to fame: Site of Portland’s first Gay Pride celebration, among many other marches, protests, and celebrations.

Waterfront Park & Eastbank Esplanade


“Tom McCall Waterfront Park” by “Joel Mann”. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Accessed 19 April 2017.


Waterfront Park and the Eastbank Esplanade hug the Willamette river and are connected by several bridges, making it an excellent option for a sightseeing bike ride loop. The park hosts many major festivals throughout the summer, including the Oregon Brewers Festival during the conference. Bringing kids to the conference? Salmon Street Springs is a favorite for local kids to cool off during the summer.


Good for: running, biking, rollerblading, frolicking in fountains, memorials, admiring the Willamette river, beer drinking.


Claim to fame: Waterfront Park used to be a major traffic artery, and is an early example of freeway removal in U.S. cities.

Washington Park

washington_park.jpg“International Rose Test Garden, Portland OR USA” by “Travel USA”. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. Accessed 19 April 2017.


Washington Park encompasses several Portland destinations: the Oregon Zoo, the International Rose Test Garden (peak bloom is June, but there will still be plenty in July!), the Portland Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden Children’s Park (a massive play structure!), the Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Children’s Museum, and more.


Parking is limited this summer due to construction, so take the MAX to the Washington Park station, and hop on the free shuttle to get to your destination.


Good for: Smelling the roses, burning off energy, waving hi to the hippo, appreciating the wonder that is the Pacific Northwest gardening climate, hiking.


Claim to fame: One of 24 testing sites for the All-America Rose Selections (AARS).

The Wonderful World of Powell’s Books

Contributed by: Cris Paschild

Cris Paschild is the head of special collections and the university archivist at Portland State University Library.  As a local high school student, she cut class on a regular basis to roam the aisles of Powell’s.  

Powell’s Books: “the largest used and new bookstore in the world”


A visit to Portland would not be complete for any book lover without a visit to Powell’s. In a city that has undergone great changes, Powell’s Books remains a constant.  Founded in 1971 by Walter Powell and later purchased by his son, Michael Powell, its flagship store has been at its current location since 1979.   Dubbed Powell’s City of Books, it fills an entire downtown block.  The labyrinth of its color-coded rooms and its three levels, home to 3,500 subject sections, are best navigated with a map, available in print at all entrances.  

The shelves of Powell’s hold almost as many used books as new.  Locals still sweep their home for books to bring to the buying counter, only to find themselves walking out with bags full again, unable to resist picking up another round of titles immediately after.  There are seemingly endless temptations for all, whatever the interest.  The Orange Room hosts rows and rows of cookbooks of every cuisine and for every technique.  The Yellow Room, home to the Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, Thrillers and Manga sections, may be the best for book cover eye candy, rivaled only by the immediately adjacent Graphic Novel section.  For those looking for an extra special souvenir, the Pearl Room on the third floor is home to the rare book room.  

As online shopping boomed and corporate entities rose to dominance, the always independent Powell’s had to respond accordingly, establishing a retail website.  Nonetheless, as larger bookstore chains like Borders fell, the long-term fate of Powell’s appeared uncertain too.  However, as the market stabilized, so did Powell’s and today the store is busier than ever.  And while it has recently added more gifts and tourist-focused bling to its inventory, books are still its heart and soul.  The space itself has also managed to retain much of its old school Portland feel.  The main aisles may become congested with out of town visitors but quiet spaces for browsing and on-the-spot reading still abound.  

If you find yourself wanting to linger, there’s a coffee shop onsite.  Or you can take a break at one of the nearby restaurants, bars or bakeries.  McMenamins’ Zeus Café, two blocks up Burnside, is a good choice for a relaxed brunch or lunch in a building that holds its own share of Portland history.  

And as July gets closer, be sure to check out Powell’s calendar for visiting authors and other book-related events.   

The Art of the Archive


THURSDAY, JULY 27TH, 6:00-9:00 PM


Scourge Opening Screen.jpg

As a special treat for SAA annual meeting attendees, the Oregon Historical Society will open its doors free of charge on Thursday evening, July 27th.  Guests are invited to tour OHS exhibits and to sit in on a lecture/performance titled The Art of the Archive : The Intersection of Archives and Art by Geoff Wexler, former OHS library director, and Jennifer Strayer, curator and author.   Exhibits will be open from 6:00-9:00 PM and the lecture/performance begins at 7:00.  Light refreshments will be provided.


The Oregon Historical Society is located in the heart of Portland’s Cultural District on the corner of SW Park and SW Madison Streets, across the South Park Blocks from the Portland Art Museum.  If you take the MAX Red or Blue lines, get off at Pioneer Courthouse Square and walk 4 blocks south (uphill) on SW Broadway, then turn right on SW Madison (uphill) and go one block, turning left to the front entrance of OHS.  If you take the MAX Green or Yellow lines, get off on SW 5th Avenue and Madison St. and walk 3 blocks uphill on Madison St., turning left on SW Park to the OHS front entrance.


For OHS information, please contact Ally Scott at

For information on the program content, please contact Geoff Wexler at



ART OF THE ARCHIVE : The intersection of Archives and Art

A lecture/performance by Jennifer Strayer and Geoff Wexler


Archivists and artists may work in very different sorts of professions, but there is a great deal of overlap in what they do.  In fact, many artists are themselves archivists — of a sort — and archivists often become artists.  When art intersects with archives, many innovative and imaginative things may occur.   The lecture will explore many aspects of this issue with a focus on relevance to the archivist.  From the medieval wunderkammer of European nobility to the contemporary artworks of people like Any Warhol and Christian Boltanski, we will look at artists who draw on established archives or actually create archives of their own.  We will see how these artists use materials in ways that may never have been thought of before, challenging conventions of what is suitable to retain and what may actually constitute an archive.


As an adjunct to our lecture, we will present a performance piece developed by former Oregon Historical Society library director Geoff Wexler, based entirely on archival material from the vast repository of OHS collections.  Mr. Wexler will provide live piano music as part of the performance.

Portland with Kids and Families

Contributor: Rachel Thomas.  Rachel manages the archives of George Fox University and the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends.  She is a Pacific Northwest native and loves sharing the beauty of her region with others.  



Portland is a great place to spend a day with your family.  Whether exploring the zoo, picnicking in a park, or enjoying quality time at a children’s show, your family is sure to enjoy their time in Oregon’s largest city.  Here are a couple of my family’s favorites:

The Oregon Zoo:


Spread over 64 acres in the hills of Portland, the Oregon zoo can easily keep your family busy for an entire day.  Active in conservation efforts, the zoo not only provides a fun family outing but is a wonderful educational opportunity.  Recent changes include a redesigned elephant habitat,  a new baby polar bear, and advances in Condor conservation efforts.  The main lawn of the zoo is the perfect place for a summer picnic under the gaze of the nearby elephants.  

The Portland Children’s Museum:

Portland Children's Museum

The Portland Children’s museum offers a chance for interactive play and learning.  With a dozen permanent exhibits and more rotating in and out, there are many great opportunities for creative fun.  Exhibits are both inside and out, making this a prime location no matter the weather.

Olive Rootbeer and Dingo Dizmal:

O and D prodWP_20150402_032

What’s Portland without some clowns?  Olive Rootbeer and Dingo Dizmal perform in cafes and restaurants around the city and are loved by the children of Portland.  Their shows include music, stories, comedy, tall bikes, face painting, balloon twisting, and more!  A great place to get those wiggles out, Olive and Dingo’s storytimes are fun for the whole family! Please note: Olive and Dingo support themselves through their career as clowns.  Give what you will to support their artistry.  


On hot days the children of Portland gather around fountains for refreshing play.  Teacher’s Fountain along the waterfront is especially fun to splash in! Grab a suit and join in the laughter as you run through the fountains.

Oaks Amusement Park:

Spend a day or an evening at a good old fashioned amusement park.   Oaks amusement park has traditional rides, carnival games, miniature golf, and a roller skate rink.  Whether you love fast rides or enjoy trying your luck with games, you are sure to have a good time.  

In addition days can be spent exploring one of Portland’s many parks, hiking through green spaces.  Many of the museums in Portland offer family or children’s tours.  Check out OMSI, the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society Museum and many more!  The city is full of sights and sounds that are sure to make a memorable trip for your family.

No matter where your family’s interests lie, Portland is sure to have something to delight and amuse you.