Historic Oregon Index now online
Researchers no longer have to physically search the Oregon Index in the card catalog alcove at the State Library of Oregon. The index is now online as state library staff recently completed making more than 700,000 cards in the index available in the library's digital collections.
Oregon Index Online is a powerful heritage tool that points to information about the news, events and Oregonians who shaped the state. The index contains citations to articles published in Portland and Salem newspapers, magazines, books and more. The Oregon Index Online will be a vital resource for researching Oregon history and state government.
The state library staff and volunteers began compiling the Oregon Index in the early 20th century and continued to the mid-1980s. The oldest entry is from 1877, but most are from 1915 to 1986. The index of one-sided 3-by-5-inch cards is housed in 657 drawers. Each drawer contains 1,000 to 1,250 cards.
The State Library of Oregon partnered with the Oregon Department of Revenue to use its high-speed, high-volume check scanner during downtime to scan the cards. After the cards were scanned, the images were prepared and loaded into a viewer for searching and browsing. The project took a little more than five years to finish. You can find the Oregon Index Online at https://digital.osl.state.or.us/islandora/object/osl:or_index
Some of the cards use archaic language that may have been considered appropriate when the citations were created, but could be jarring to library users today. The cards have been digitized and posted without altering the content. Researchers will find terminology as it was used in its time and can follow changes over time.
There will be an Oregon Index Digital Launch Celebration at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, on the second floor of the state library building. Library staff, board members, state employees, researchers and the general public are invited. RSVPs are kindly requested at https://tinyurl.com/oregonindexlaunch.
— State of Oregon
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