Welcome to the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections website. Tucked away on the second floor, northwest corner, of the Mark O. Hatfield Library, past the long wall display case, Willamette’s Archives holds treasures as diverse as a doctor’s medical case from the 1800s; the travel journal of an early Willamette president; the papers of Northwest artist Carl Hall; a King James Version of the Bible that came out on the Oregon Trail and the journal of the first teacher at the Oregon Institute. The Archives also house copies of all Willamette University’s (WU’s) catalogs, bulletins and yearbooks; records of past WU administrations and seven collections of Oregon state and federal political representatives. And I’ve not even mentioned the collection of Civil War letters, an original town plat of early 1800s Salem, a collection of papers from an early Oregon State Supreme Court Justice….
During the coming weeks I will highlight each collection with emphasis on research possibilities and fun treasure hunts. The University Archivist, Mary McKay, and I are available 9 – 12 and 1 – 4, Monday through Friday to answer your questions, guide your search and shine a light on your journey. E-mail and phone calls are also welcome. There are a couple of details to keep in mind. First – archival materials can only be used in the Archives. Please allow at least an hour for your first visit so you have time to review various materials and begin to narrow your focus. Second – the Archives is not open in the evening or weekends. An appointment is not necessary, but might be best if you are in the search mode for your project.
Archives hold the heart of an organization – the materials that show the joy, sorrow, glory and pain of every day life. Achievements great and mundane waiting to be discovered again and shared; records of accomplishments grown dusty with time ready to be brightened up so they shine. Come visit and we will help you find a treasure to share with the world.
Rose Marie Walter, Archivist