Tag Archives: historic Oregon newspapers

Chronicling America, Historic Oregon Newspapers Now with New Content!

Calling all aficionados of historic Oregon newspapers! The Chronicling America and Historic Oregon Newspaper websites have been updated with lots of great new content. All issues of historic Oregon newspapers that have been added to these sites are completely free to search and are easily keyword searchable.

New content includes the following:

Chronicling America is a website that provides “access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).” Historic Oregon Newspapers is a website that lets you “search and access complete content for historic Oregon newspapers that have been digitized as part of the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP).” ODNP is a program of the University of Oregon Libraries with the help of major grants and external funding.


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Finding Cartoons and Comics in Historic Oregon Newspapers

Some of the richest content in our historic newspapers are the political cartoons and comic strips embedded within the pages of text. Newspapers digitized through the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program and made available online at Historic Oregon Newspapers (http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu) are keyword searchable, but it may be difficult to find images, cartoons, and comics.

A keyword search for “comics” yields a plethora of pages, but few of them actually contain comic strips. If we delete the “s” and search for “comic,” the results are much more applicable. Newspapers such as the Portland Sunday Oregonian, the Salem Daily Capital Journal, and the Portland Oregon Daily Journal often contain a whole section of comics, often titled “Comic Section,” which is why a search for “comic” is much more fruitful than a search for “comics.”

Clipping shows the title block for a comic strip called Old Dog Yak. This particular comic is titled "Old Dog Yak, A Study in Nature," and depicts Old Dog Yak in a field with a butterfly net and a bottle of chloroform.

The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, August 10, 1913, Comic Section, Image 75. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83045782/1913-08-10/ed-1/seq-75/

The Sunday Oregonian also has a Magazine Section that contains a variety of full page photographs and images. A keyword search for the words “Magazine Section” within 5 words of each other will turn up a large number of interesting results! Here is just one example from the holiday season of 1910:

Image of the front page of the Sunday Oregonian Magazine Section shows a full page photograph of a child in pajamas, with a decorative border of Holly leaves and berries, with caption that reads, "Waiting for Santa Claus."

The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, December 25, 1910, SECTION SIX, Image 49. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83045782/1910-12-25/ed-1/seq-49/

The Portland West Shore and Illustrated West Shore also contain several images, especially on the front page of every issue. Here is just one of the many illustrations to be found in the West Shore:

Image shows two men in a field preparing food and drink over a small cook stove, with a covered wagon and horses grazing in the background. Caption reads: "Eastern Oregon - The Freighter's Camp."

The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, July 26, 1890, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2012260361/1890-07-26/ed-1/seq-1/

Political cartoons are a bit harder to come by, since they are not usually labeled with the words “political cartoon.” A search for the words “political” and “cartoon” within 5 words of each other produces very little applicable content. Luckily, this one cartoon just happens to have a statement beneath it containing the words “political cartoon,” making it easily findable:

Political cartoon depicts a large man holding a pick axe, building a road, with a smaller man in a car labeled "G.O.P." driving down the road, kicking up dust. Caption beneath the cartoon reads: "Governor Chamberlain is building a first-class good road from the state reform school into the city of Salem with convict labor under the provisions of an act of the last legislature. Johnny Harris, a student at the Chemawa Indian School, has furnished the above political cartoon expressing the situation."

Daily capital journal. (Salem, Or.) 1903-1919, June 28, 1904, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063957/1904-06-28/ed-1/seq-1/

Few cartoons actually have words printed on or near them. If anything, they might contain handwritten words that are often either misinterpreted or overlooked by the optical character recognition software that makes the pages keyword searchable. If you’re looking for cartoons, the front page of the Morning Oregonian is a good place to start. Editorial cartoons began appearing on the front page of the Morning Oregonian around February of 1903. By 1907, these cartoons were appearing on the front page on a regular basis, and this trend continued up until at least 1922, when almost every issue had a political cartoon on the front page. Take for example this prohibition era cartoon:

Cartoon has caption that reads: "Just when they had begun to think that they could get away with it." Image shows a 1920s style car with a sign on it reading "Bootleggers," with three men looking shocked out the back as their luggage, marked "Booze," is falling off the car and the tires of the car are being popped by spikes on the road marked "larger gov't appropriations to enforce prohibition." An evil looking, smirking sun watches the scene from behind a cloud above.

Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, January 07, 1922, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1922-01-07/ed-1/seq-1/

The Morning Oregonian is likely the most common source for finding editorial and political cartoons, but that’s not to say that other historic Oregon titles aren’t holding interesting cartoon gems within their pages. That’s where the fun of searching and browsing comes in! If you come across any cartoons, comics, or images that might be of interest to others, please leave a comment below, indicating the newspaper title, date, page number, and subject matter depicted. With your help, we can make these culturally significant images more findable for all!

For a political cartoons teacher’s guide, please see Political Cartoons in U.S. History, from the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources, Teacher’s Guide, Primary Source Set.

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Oregon City Enterprise!

Masthead reads: "Oregon City Enterprise, devoted to news, literature, and the best interests of Oregon."

“Devoted to news, literature, and the best interests of Oregon.” Oregon City enterprise. (Oregon City, Or.) August 08, 1878, Image 1, Page 1. http://tinyurl.com/l5kppua

Exciting news! Two new historic newspapers (with the same title!) from Oregon City, covering the late 19th/early 20th century, are now available online at the Historic Oregon Newspapers website:

  1. Oregon City Enterprise, Nov. 15, 1872-Nov. 7, 1878
  2. Oregon City Enterprise, Feb. 24-1893-March 3, 1911

Click the “Calendar View” button/calendar icon to browse issues or look for specific issue dates, or use the “Search” page to do a keyword search.

Established in 1829, Oregon City was the first city to be incorporated west of the Rocky Mountains, playing a significant role in the history of Oregon and the American West. Not only is Oregon City historically known to mark the end of the Oregon Trail, it was also the birthplace of the very first newspaper to be published in Oregon and on the West Coast – the Oregon Spectator, published in Oregon City from Feb. 5, 1846-March 10, 1855. Located just south of Portland, Oregon City is the home of the Willamette Falls and serves as the county seat of Clackamas County.

Here are just a few examples of the interesting clips that can be found in these Oregon City newspapers: precisely 112 years ago today in Oregon City:

Image of a bridge over a river with caption that reads: "Oregon City's Free Suspension Bridge spanning the Willamette river."

Oregon City enterprise. (Oregon City, Or.) August 09, 1901, Image 1, Page 1. http://tinyurl.com/mn6ngew

Photograph looking down on the Willamette river valley and several industrail buildings with caption that reads: "Oregon City Manufacturing Company's Mill - showing two paper mills, flour mills, electric station and Willamette falls."

Oregon City enterprise. (Oregon City, Or.) August 09, 1901, Image 1, Page 1. http://tinyurl.com/mn6ngew

This new content is available through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Oregon State Library with a Library Services and Technology Act grant in partnership with the Oregon City Public Library. More historic newspaper content from Oregon City will be coming soon, so stay tuned! Happy searching!

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St. Helens newspaper content now online!

We are pleased to announce that three historic St. Helens newspaper titles have just been added to the Historic Oregon Newspapers website! The following titles are now available for keyword searching and browsing online:

St. Helens Mist (St. Helens, Or.) 1914-1921, digitized through funding from the Library of Congress’ and National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program.

St. Helens Mist

St. Helens mist. (St. Helens, Or.) 1913-1933, June 19, 1914, Image 1. http://tinyurl.com/pyvshvb

The Columbia Register (Houlton, Or.) 1904-1906, digitized in partnership with the St. Helens Public Library, with a grant from the Columbia County Cultural Coalition.

The Columbia Register

The Columbia register. (Houlton, Columbia County, Or.) 1904-1906, April 29, 1904, Image 1. http://tinyurl.com/pjx372o

The Columbian (St. Helens, Or.) 1882-1886, digitized in partnership with the St. Helens Public Library, with a grant from the Columbia County Cultural Coalition.

The Columbian

The Columbian. (St. Helens, Columbia County, Or.) 1880-1886, March 10, 1882, Image 1. http://tinyurl.com/oqqfahq

St. Helens, Oregon is the county seat of Columbia County, located 30 miles north of Portland along the Columbia River with a gorgeous view of Mount St. Helens. These historic newspaper pages are now freely available to the public for searching and browsing online; a great primary resource to learn more about the history and culture of Oregon and the city of St. Helens. Happy Searching!



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