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Archives & Records Management

Office of the City Auditor

phone: 503-865-4100

email: parc@portlandoregon.gov

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

More Contact Info

Neverbuilt: Portland

Model of potential Pioneer Courthouse SquareThe Neverbuilt: Portland exhibit, currently at the Midland library, is the result of a year-long collaborative effort between four archival repositories in the Portland area. The City of Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon Health and Science University, and Portland State University each contributed records from their collections that highlight projects, plans, and designs that never came to be part of Portland’s cityscape. The City of Portland Archives focused on the design competition for Pioneer Square, including the 4 unsuccessful designs; Multnomah County Archives presented records related to the Delta Dome; PSU’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction Archives offered up incomplete development plans and never-built structures; OHSU Historical Collections & Archives provided access to records related to various campus projects, grand visions, and alterations to designs.

The exhibit panels feature architectural drawings, historical photographs, designs, and development plans for projects that were once planned or envisioned, but never came to fruition. The rotating exhibit will visit several archival and public facilities in Portland, Oregon this summer.  Information on the exhibit and the location of the library can be found by clicking here. If you can’t make it in person, you can check out the City of Portland panels here.

Come and see what could have been.

Rendering of potential design.

“Annexation & Assimilation: Exploring City Archives East of 82nd Ave” For a Second Time

Did you miss the art exhibit “Annexation & Assimilation: exploring city archives east of 82 Ave” at APANO last fall?  You will have a second chance beginning February 16th to experience the work resulting from artist-in-residence, Sabina Zeba Haque’s, yearlong residency at the Portland Archives and Records Center (PARC).

The work focuses on the tumultuous and fraught process of annexation and growth of East Portland’s incredibly diverse population. Collaborating with neighborhood residents and PARC, Haque examines the history of place as a marker of exclusion and inclusion over the past thirty-five years. She weaves a portrait of inclusive civic identity through hand-drawn animation, video projections, poster installations, and a theater performance. 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 both real and imagined.

Please join us Thursday, February 16thArtist rendering of 1934 82nd Ave photo & current signage, from 6-8 PM for the opening of the exhibit of video projections, poster installations, oral histories and a recorded theater performance. The event is free and open to the public.

A video preview of the artworks & performance: https://vimeo.com/190343854

Location:

Open Signal, a media arts center formally known as Portland Community Media.

2766 N.E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-annexation-assimilation-exploring-city-archives-east-of-82nd-ave-tickets-31162762662

Public Viewing Hours:

Feb 16, 2017- April 28, 2017

Tues--Fri, 10am to 10pm

Sat--Sun, 12pm to 8pm

This is the second in a series of public art residencies funded by the City of Portland Percent for Art Program administered by Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Media Coverage:

Interview on OPB Think out loud with Dave Miller https://soundcloud.com/thinkoutloudopb/history-of-east-portland

ArtsWatch Weekly: Un-dividing the great 82nd Avenue divide http://www.orartswatch.org/artswatch-weekly-82nd-avenue-frontier-goosebumps-bloodyvox-met-opera-futures-black-girls-rhythm-games-israeli-dance/

Asian Reporter article week http://www.asianreporter.com/arts/2016/21-16sabina.htm

Willamette Weekly http://www.wweek.com/arts/visual-arts/2016/11/02/the-5-art-shows-were-most-excited-to-see-this-week/

Guide to historical City records related to Building Research

Cover of guideWhat was this building used for originally? Who lived here? How can I prove that this has always been a commercial property? What did this neighborhood look like when my great grandfather lived in Portland? These are just a few of the questions people start with when they are doing building research.

Some people research a property they are wanting to purchase, some need to prove a fact before a city permit can be issued, and still others are simply curious about the history of their home. Not all building research can be accomplished at a single archives or institution. Information about property is not centralized and may require different resources depending on the type of information needed. Because it can often be confusing, we have created a guide identifying the most useful records within the City’s archival collections for doing building research.

The Guide is based on the questions we receive from researchers and the resources they have found useful.  We also include information about creative ways records can be used to find the information needed.  For instance, photos documenting fire damage may also capture the building next door, or a Sanborn Insurance map may show that there was a change to the original footprint of a building.

Before you start your building research, read the Guide for guidance on the types of resources available.

The guide is available online and in print.

For information on our hours, location and what to expect when you visit the Archives, click here.

RESCHEDULED: Artist-in-Residence Talk at APANO

We hope you can join us Monday, December 5th for an Artist Talk with our 2016 artist-in-residence, Sabina Haque. Haque will be sharing her process and thoughts on her multi-media art exhibit exploring the tumultuous process of annexation and growth as experienced by communities along and east of 82nd Ave.  Haque has combined archival documents, video animation, and oral histories 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.Artist portrayal of growth of Portland city limits

Rescheduled: The Artist Talk is set for Monday, December 5th, from 6:00 to 8:00 at APANO (8114 SE Division). The talk will begin promptly at 7PM. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit and Sabina Haque:

https://www.racc.org/2016/04/29/artist-in-residence-at-the-portland-archives-and-records-center/

http://www.sabinahaque.com/artist-in-residence-at-the-portland-archives-and-records-center.html

 A video incorporating footage from the opening night: https://vimeo.com/190343854

CANCELED Artist Talk at APANO

Due to a family emergency, we are cancelling Thursday’s exhibit viewing & artist talk. We hope to be able to reschedule it in the near future.

++++++ Rescheduled+++++++

We hope you can join us Thursday, Inside Sabina Haque's exhibitNovember 17th for our 2016 artist-in-residence, Sabina Haque's, Artist Talk. Haque will be sharing her process and thoughts on her multi-media art exhibit exploring the tumultuous process of annexation and growth as experienced by communities along and east of 82nd Ave.  Haque has combined archival documents, video animation, and oral histories 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.

CANCELED: The Artist Talk is set for Thursday, November 17th, from 6:00 to 8:00 at APANO (8114 SE Division). The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit and Sabina Haque:

https://www.racc.org/2016/04/29/artist-in-residence-at-the-portland-archives-and-records-center/

http://www.sabinahaque.com/artist-in-residence-at-the-portland-archives-and-records-center.html

 A video incorporating footage from the opening night: https://vimeo.com/190343854