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The City of Portland, Oregon

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

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

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:

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

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 https://portlandarchives.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/crawl-2016/