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Personal Collections

Manuscript collections, diaries, and the correspondence with a focus on individuals involved in regional missionary work, settling Salem, and developing Willamette University.

Print Collections


Digital Collections

Over 1600 digitized items including correspondence, diaries, and photographs.
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Individual Digital Collections

  • Blaine Diary:  Among the treasures in the archives of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon, is a small diary kept in 1862 in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon by David E. Blaine. This online copy is the product of a collaboration between the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Archives and Willamette University.
  • Diary of Chloe Clarke Willson:  The Chloe Clarke Willson journal documents Willson's journey aboard the ship Lausanne and her experiences as a Methodist missionary teacher at the Oregon Institute (later Willamette University) in Salem, Oregon.
  • James Wilbur Papers:  The James H. Wilbur papers consist of his travel journal, correspondence, legal and accounting papers dating from 1850 to 1887. The bulk of the material is from the 1880s and pertains to his career as Indian Agent for the Yakama Reservation at Fort Simcoe in the Washington Territory.
  • Janette McCalley Stowell Diary:  Transcribed diary of Janette McCalley Stowell. Her diary details the everyday life of a wife and mother at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth in Portland, Oregon and Sitka, Alaska.
  • John Beach Civil War Letters:  Letters written by Union soldier, John D. Beach, to his mother during his time in service with the Illinois 55th Regiment, Company G, covering the years 1861 through 1865.
  • John G. Burggraf Civil War Letters:  Letters written by John. G. Burggraf to his family from 1860 to 1865. The majority of the letters detail his experiences as a member of the 49th Illinois Infantry.
  • Larsen Chemawa Indian School Collection:  The Charles E. Larsen Chemawa Indian School collection is a compilation of Chemawa Indian School and Northwest Native American history dating from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Materials in this collection give a look at student and employee life on the Chemawa campus. This collection includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, handbooks, graduation lists, and historical monographs written by Larsen.
  • Photographs of WU Football Team at Pearl Harbor:  Kenneth W. Jacobson was born in Vancouver, Washington on September 19, 1921. Jacobson attended Willamette University and was a member of the Willamette University football team that played against the University of Hawaii in Oahu on December 6, 1941 as part of the Shrine Bowl. The team was stranded in Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7, 1941. Willamette head coach, Spec Keene, volunteered the Willamette contingent to guard the perimeter of the Punahou School in Honolulu for ten days. Unable to fly home, the team remained in Hawaii until December 19, at which time they returned to the mainland aboard the ocean liner SS President Coolidge. While on board, the team bunked in steerage and, in exchange for passage, were assigned as hospital aides attending wounded men until the ship reached San Francisco on Christmas day.
  • Postcard Collections:  One hundred and sixty-one black and white and color images document Willamette University and the city of Salem, Oregon from the early 1900s through 1990.
  • Salem and Eastern Oregon Photographs:  Includes photographs of the Marion Hotel, the Marion County Court House, the Oregon State Hospital and Oregon State Penitentiary, the residence of Governor Z.F. Moody, Glen Oaks Orphans’ Home and Sacred Heart Academy.
  • Scrapbooks:  Selected scrapbooks from Willamette University Archives personal papers.
  • Vernor Martin Sackett Photograph Collection:  Negatives of photographs taken by Vernor Sackett when a student at Willamette University and when serving in the military in Germany. Vernor Martin Sackett was born in Jefferson, Oregon in 1898 and graduated from Willamette University in 1922. Next to his portrait in the school yearbook, The Wallulah is the comment “He owns a whole flock of cameras that won’t eat anything but embarrassing situations. Sings a deep ’sonorous’ bass, sells pictures, trades kodaks….”
  • Viola Price Franklin Letter Collection:  Contains digitized and transcribed letters from many well-known figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries including Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Dorothy Dix, Frederick Douglass, Zane Grey, and Dante Rossetti.
  • Waltz Family Papers:  Contains digitized letters pertaining to Willamette University and the Waltz family.


Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209