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Willamette Heritage Center Collections


The Willamette Heritage Center collections house unique objects, photographs, archives and library materials with documentary significance to the history, lifeways and culture of the greater Salem area, Marion County, Oregon, and when deemed appropriate, desirable or necessary, the Mid-Willamette Valley region.  Click here to read our scope of collections statement.


We do not currently have a way to search our collections online, but we are working on developing an online catalog system.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact us with inquiries.  Also, check out our growing list of finding aides for various collections below!  Our blog is also a great way to search for materials we have highlighted from our collections.  Use the Blog Search function in the left menu to search for specific topics.


Mill Workers Interviews

In 1976-1977, 53 individuals that had worked at or had a family connection to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon were interviewed as part of a master’s thesis project conducted by Caryl Gertenrich.  Gertenrich and David Duniway conducted interviews based on a 14-question standardized questionnaire. covering topics from the person’s own family history to recollections of working conditions, unions and changes to processes and facilities at the mill. The original recordings were onto audio cassette tapes.  Through the help of student interns, we have begun work on digitizing the recordings and completing better indexes to the interviews.  A full list of interviewees can be found below. Read through the catalog for this collection here: M3 1994-016 Mill Worker Interviews. Listen to an excerpt from an interview with Otto Lehman here. […]

Digital Collections


For questions or inquiries you can contact Willamette Heritage Center Research Staff by email.