OSU Libraries, Siuslaw National Forest share collection of historical Oregon images

These historic photos of Oregon's timber industry are just part of the collection now available digitally.

These historic photos of Oregon’s timber industry are just part of the collection now available digitally.

Nearly 5,000 digital images of the Siuslaw National Forest are being made available to the public through Oregon State University Libraries. The images are part of the Siuslaw National Forest Digital Collection and include pictures dating back to the beginnings of the Siuslaw in 1908 to the present.

“This collection is the first step in a long-ranging joint project between OSU Libraries’ Center for Digital Scholarship, the Special Collections & Archives Research Center and the Siuslaw National Forest,” said Ruth Vondracek, natural resources archivist at OSU. “The collection showcases some important pieces of Oregon history and we’re excited to make it available to the public.”

One of the primary objectives behind the project is making forest history publicly accessible. The digital images made available in this collection were created by volunteers in the Passport in Time Program, a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the U.S. Forest Service.  Under the supervision of former Siuslaw National Forest Heritage Program manager Phyllis Steeves, volunteers scanned images over the course of a decade, and even developed the database to store the associated information.

Digital access to the collection makes amazing photos like these available for public viewing.

Digital access to the collection makes amazing photos like these available for public viewing.

“Ranging from early 20th-century homesteading activities to modern stream restoration efforts, the collection includes a wide array of topics that reflect the changing management, landscapes, and people on the Siuslaw National Forest,” said Heritage Resource Program manager Kevin Bruce.

Siuslaw National Forest staff will provide historical information (photos, documents, audio, etc.) in digital format to OSU, which will store and manage the information for general public access. A highlight of the collection is a series of photographs taken by Corydon Cronk during his time as an assistant ranger on the forest in 1910-1911.

“In a time when budgets are limited, the project serves as a great example of how federal agencies and universities can work together to share resources to produce a quality product for the public,” said Jerry Ingersoll, Siuslaw National Forest supervisor. “With our headquarters located on campus, the forest is in good alignment with OSU.”

The collection will expand in the future as the forest continues to add additional images and other forms of historical information such as oral histories, Forest Service administrative documents, and newsletters.

The Siuslaw National Forest Digital Collection is available at: http://oregondigital.org/digcol/siuslaw

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