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The City of Portland, Oregon

Archives & Records Management

Office of the City Auditor

phone: 503-865-4100


1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550, Portland, OR 97201

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Annexation & Assimilation: Exploring the Archives East of 82nd Avenue

Annexation & Assimilation: Exploring the Archives East of 82nd Avenue

From farm culture to car culture, from ethnically homogenous to diverse, from English to Hmong, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mandarin, Somali, “Annexation & Assimilation along 82nd Ave.” explores the changing cultural and physical landscape and shifting demographics over the last 100 years. The result is an accelerating and visceral mash-up of Portland’s past and present along this boundary, which is at once real and imagined.A series of maps of Portland city limits over time

Sabina Haque, artist-in-residence with the Portland Archives & Records Center, has created a multi-media art exhibit exploring the tumultuous process of annexation and growth as experienced by communities along and east of 82nd Ave.  Archival documents, video animation, and oral histories combine to tell a story not known to many present-day Portland residents, but which affects us all and seeks to inspire creative civic involvement as the community imagines its future identity.

Unlike public history projects, the artist-in-residence program encourages artists to engage and interact with archival materials differently than historians or scholars. Because of their unique perspectives and approaches to the materials artists have the ability to look at the historical record and tell a piece of the story in an innovative and thought-provoking manner. The work produced by the artist-in-residence program is an expression of the artist’s insights and vision and does not represent the City.

Artist rendering of 1934 82nd Ave photo & current signageOn October 21, a one-day exhibition event will include large-scale video projections over 20ft long, poster installations, oral histories and a theater performance* in an 8000 square feet community space at the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space -JAMS (RSVP here)

8114 SE Division St, Portland, Oregon 97206

The event is free and open to the public from 6-9 p.m.
Theater performance: 7pm sharp.

*The live theater performance is collaboration with Tamara Lynn (living Stages) and Harrison Park School on 82 Ave


There will also be an Artist Talk on November 17th, 2016 at 7pm to close the exhibit. More details to follow.

For more information:

Oregon Archives Crawl 2016!

We want YOU to join us for the 2016 Oregon Archives Crawl!Oregon Archives Poster 2016

 The Oregon Archives Crawl is back and we want YOU to “crawl” between the City of Portland Archives & Records Center, the Oregon Historical Society and the Multnomah County Library where you can explore our region’s history with 28 local archives, special collections and heritage organizations. Celebrate National Archives Month while discovering the wealth of information that can be found in your local archives. Whether your interests include the history of Japanese internment, the impacts of urban renewal on Portland, or resources for finding your family’s history, the Oregon Archives Crawl has something for everyone.

 We call upon young and old, history buff and scholar, vintage photo lover, genealogist, building researcher and those who are just curious to stand up and be counted on Saturday, October 8th between 11 and 3. Archives are for everyone, so show your support by attending the 2016 Oregon Archives Crawl!

Saturday, October 8th

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Start at any of the following locations: City of Portland Archives & Records Center, the Oregon Historical Society or the Multnomah County Library

Free and open to the public

For more information go to

Artist in Residence at the Portland Archives and Records Center

Sabina Haque announced as Artist in residence

From Art Notes the Regional Arts & Culture Council newsletter May 2016

RACC has tapped artist Sabina Zeba Haque to be part of a year-long residency at the Portland Archives and Records Center (PARC). The artist will collaborate with PARC staff to explore Portland neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue and to unravel the history of exclusion and inclusion in this community. This is the second in a series of public art residencies funded by the City of Portland Percent for Art Program administered by RACC.

For many years, 82nd Avenue served as the easternmost boundary of the city of Portland. In 1980s Portland expanded the city’s boundaries roughly to 182nd Avenue, annexing approximately 140,000 people. Long-time residents, neighborhood activists and an influx of South East Asian immigrants came together in this evolving geographical space in a decade marked by economic and political turmoil. Today, with a quarter of the city’s population and nearly 40% of its youth, East Portland is the most diverse and rapidly growing section of the city.

Through her residency, Haque will explore how the neighborhood’s identity has evolved over the last 35 years, and how Portland can preserve its past while fostering a more inclusive civic identity.  Using oral histories, archival sources, and theater workshops, the artist will create a voice-by-voice community portrait of the communities around 82nd Avenue via hand-drawn animation and video. The project seeks to give nuance and form to this vibrant neighborhood and works toward civic equity through art and creative community engagement.

Haque is an artist of South Asian descent raised in Karachi, Pakistan. Her work combines oral histories, video performance and hand-drawn animation to explore the turbulent transformations of identity and place. She received an MFA in Painting from Boston University and teaches at Portland State University. In 2015 Haque was a TEDxMtHood speaker and artist-in-residence.

The final project installation will occur in Spring of 2017 at a location to be determined. For more information contact Kristin Calhoun at or 503.823.5401.

Guide to historical City records related to African Americans – now online!

Guide to historical City of Portland records related to African Americans – now online through Efiles

Cover of the African American Research Guide

The Oregon Archives Month (October) has been a busy month for the City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC)!  We kicked off the month with PARC-hosted event showcasing Portland-area archives.  We also debuted a new exhibit that was a collaboration between the PSU Archives & Special Collections, a PSU Honor’s class, and the City Archives.  Later in the month we held a trivia contest that tested people’s knowledge of Portland history.  All of these have been wonderful celebrations honoring archives, archivists, and the people who support local history and we thank everyone who has helped us celebrate. 

However we want to call attention to the research guide we first unveiled at the beginning of October: the Guide to historical City records related to African Americans.  The guide compiles PARC resources related to the African American community in order to help make your research just a little bit easier. 

The guide is also now available online!  You can find the guide using our online catalog, Efiles; along with the photos and documents used to create the publication.  So if you saw a photo or a document in the guide and would like take a closer look, you can now find it in Efiles.  

We have also worked with other archives and special collections in Oregon that house relevant historical materials that you might find interesting. There’s the Urban League Portland Chapter records at Oregon State University and almost sixty oral histories available at the Oregon Historical Society.  You can find these guides available on Efiles, too. 

Our goal for creating the guide, uploading the photos and documents and working with our colleagues is to help make your research even more successful.  We will continue to upload materials to these online files, so make sure you check back.

Go to our online record: African American History Guide and supporting materials

2015 Archives Month Trivia Quiz - Answers

Connie McCready with a group in her office in 1973

We’ve had a tremendous response to our Trivia Quiz!  Many thanks to those who took the quiz, and to everyone else who have helped us celebrate Oregon Archives Month by supporting the work that archives and archivists do! The quiz is now closed. The answers are posted below including the corrected question #1. That question will be tossed out of the mix, so folks who answered questions 2-9 correctly will be entered into a drawing for a free scan. We will contact the winner directly early next week.

2015 Trivia Quiz and Answers

1. The Orange line is the most recent light rail to open. In what year did Portland’s Eastside light rail service begin?


2. Portland’s first replica Liberty Bell was blown up in 1970. Where was the bell located when the explosion occurred?

City Hall

3. Dorothy Elmore was the first African American woman to earn the rank of police captain. In what year did this occur?


4. 2015 marks the 55th anniversary of which Portland landmark?

The Lloyd Center

5. The City Police force replaced the City Marshal’s office 145 years ago. When the new police headquarters was completed in 1872, where was it located?

SW 2nd and Oak

6. Portland contains many formerly incorporated towns; which of these areas was not previously incorporated?


7. Which mayor declared the week of December 3, 1979 Star Trek Week?

Connie McCready

8. Where is the Park Bureau’s Coe Circle located?

SE 39th & Glisan

9. In 1891 Columbia Park became a Portland park as a result of the consolidation of the Cities of Albina, East Portland and Portland. It was not until 1902 that it was given its current name. What was the park’s name prior to 1902?


Please send any questions to

Thank you again for participating and happy archives month!