Oregon Historical Society Guide – The Portland
Historical Society in Downtown Portland is a popular visiting spot for history
buffs as well as locals who are researching Oregon history, or searching for
old Portland historical photographs. Learn about the rich heritage of
Oregon, and visit one of the many exhibits. The Oregon Historical
Society also hosts a great collection of historical artifacts and an amazing
research library. You can use their handy online search tool to locate
historical information and media.
Oregon Historical Society History Mission
“The Oregon Historical Society’s mission is preserving and interpreting Oregon’s past in thoughtful, illuminating, and provocative ways.”
About the Oregon Historical Society (Source: OHS.ORG)
Shortly after its formation, the Society opened its first office and museum in Portland City Hall and began the development of a regional research library and a collection of historical artifacts. In 1917, the Society moved into Portlands Public Auditorium (now Keller Auditorium) and, in 1966, moved to its current location at the corner of SW Jefferson and Park in downtown Portland.
The journal of record for Oregon history, the Oregon Historical Quarterly, has been published continuously since 1900. Over 150 books on Oregon history, politics and culture, as well as biographies, field guides and exhibit catalogs, have been published by OHS since the OHS Press was established in 1929.
The OHS artifacts collection is comprised of over 85,000 artifacts, including ancient objects from the earliest settlements and objects that illustrate exploration in the Oregon Country, the growth of business and industry, the development of artwork and crafts, maritime history, and many other topics.
The OHS Research Library contains one of the countrys most extensive collections of state history materials, including approximately 25,000 maps, 30,000 books, 8.5 million feet of film and videotape, 16,000 rolls of microfilm, and 12,000 linear feet of documents. The Research Librarys photographic archives include over 2.5 million images from pre-statehood to the present day.
OHS Education Programs include internet resources to supplement classroom curriculum, Folklife cultural programs that focus on the diversity and beauty of arts and traditions, and teacher training and workshops on Oregon history.
Visiting the Oregon Historical Society
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 5 p.m. Sunday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday & Saturday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday
Noon – 5 p.m. Sunday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday
Christmas Day,New Year’s Day
You can now order high-quality digital prints from the Oregon Historical Society’s Research Librarys historical photographs collection online. Choose from over 600 digital images of the beautiful Pacific Northwest landscape and rivers from some of the Pacific Northwests most famous photographers including Carleton E. Watkins, Fred H. and Oscar Kiser, Benjamin Gifford, and many more. If you’re looking for a specific type of image, search our collections. Just looking? Browse our most popular images or browse by subjects that interest you.
About the Museum Store
The Oregon Historical Society Museum Store is located in the main lobby of the Museum at 1200 SW Park Avenue. The Museum Store’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday, noon to 5 PM. Members of the Oregon Historical Society receive a 10% discount on all non-sale items in the Museum Store every day. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to place an order, please phone (503) 306-5230, fax (503) 221-2035, or email
museumstore[at]ohs.org. There’s always something new in store for you!
24-hour Visitor Information Line
Mailing and Street Address
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
Administration, Mon – Fri, 8:45am – 5pm
Phone: (503) 222-1741
Fax: (503) 221-2035
Join OHS on Facebook
Become a fan of the Oregon Historical Society on Facebook for discussions, exclusive event announcement, exhibit announcements, and more.
Oregon Historical Society – Directions and Map
We hope you enjoy your visit to the city of Roses and your Portland Historical Society
tour. If you have photos or videos of Portland’s history you’d like to share, please contact us or
post them on the Portland photo
gallery and Portland