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Scope of Collections

//Scope of Collections
Scope of Collections2016-10-20T14:55:29+00:00


The Willamette Heritage Center collects 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.

Specifically, the Willamette Heritage Center has significant collections of, and will continue to seek and collect materials related to:

The Methodist Mission to Oregon (1834-1844)

The Methodist Mission to Oregon (1834-1844) including materials related to mission operations, missionaries, and the missionaries’ contributions to the early establishment of education, government, commerce, religious organizations and American settlement.

Oregon Trail & Early Settlement (1841-1869)

Oregon Trail and Early Settlement (1841-1869) including objects and archives of known provenance connected to individuals immigrating to Salem and Marion County.

Oregon Textile History & Industry (1856-Now)

Oregon Textile History and Industry (1856-present) including machines, tools, textiles, apparel, images, records, and memorabilia of Oregon fiber preparation, cloth making, cottage industry, and industrial textile manufacturing. Special emphasis is placed on materials related to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill (1889-1962).

Salem History

Salem History includes photographs, archives and memorabilia documenting Salem civic and structural history, with special emphasis on documentation of historic buildings, city layout, prominent citizens and events, and government structures.


Agriculture including objects, records and photographs related to agricultural pursuits in the Mid-Willamette Valley, especially hops, flax, berry, viticulture, orchard, nursery, dairy, and animal husbandry industries and the people working in them.


Industry including tools and records related to significant industries in the Mid-Valley such as fur trade, canning, forestry and milling.


Lifeways including materials related to food, clothing, religion, transportation, leisure, entertainment, and cultural and ethnic groups.


Education including photographs, archives and memorabilia documenting education systems and institutions in Salem and Marion County and students, staff and administration.


Organizations including photographs, archives and memorabilia from Salem and Marion County professional organizations, fraternal organizations and clubs.

Commercial Activities

Commercial Activities including objects, records, archives, and photographs of businesses and professions relating to doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, bankers, mercantilists and state government workers.


Photographs including unique and significant collections of photographs from studios or individuals with high research value.

Personal Papers

Personal Papers including manuscripts and rare or hard to find collections of printed materials from a significant citizen or individuals documenting the history of the area.

Oral Histories

Oral Histories including written and recorded interviews with local citizens on significant historical topics.

Research Library

Research Library including reference materials and those that help put historical collections, museum programs and museum services in context.


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

Email: research@willametteheritage.org