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Oregon Historical County Records Guide

About the Guide

This photo of Wallowa Lake is one of nearly 5,000 scenic images from around the state that are included in this guide. (Photo No. walDA0063)

This photo of Wallowa Lake is one of nearly 5,000 scenic images from around the state that are included in this guide. (Photo No. walDA0063)

Welcome to the Oregon Historical County Records Guide presented by the Oregon State Archives. The guide contains a comprehensive descriptive inventory of selected records for each of Oregon's 36 counties. The major features include:

Records inventories
Thirty-six inventories that list county records held by the counties, the Oregon State Archives, and other repositories. This section also includes an explanation of how the records series descriptions are compiled and presented as well as a sample from the inventories.

Individual county histories
The individual county histories trace the establishment and evolution of each of the 36 county governments in Oregon. The histories include information concerning the creation and naming of the county; designation of county boundaries; location of the county seat; construction of the county courthouse; development of the county government; and description of the major industrial geographical, demographic, or historical features of the county.

Each county listed includes a courthouse address; clerk and trial court phone numbers; a map of Oregon showing the county's location; and an image of the courthouse. A "FunFact" for each county helps to interpret its history, geography, or other interesting feature. Links to county Web sites and scenic images are included as well.

Scenic county images
A look at some of the interesting physical and cultural scenic features of the counties. This section includes nearly 5,000 photographs. High resolution copies of the images are available for purchase.

County context
An overview of the development and current form of county government generally in Oregon as well as the evolution and current function of major county offices.

Oregon maps
Maps of the state showing counties, county seats and major geographical features such as mountain ranges, lakes, and rivers. The section also includes maps detailing the changes in county boundaries over time.

Inventory background
Useful information and tips including a history of the project. The inventory parameters page explains the selection of county records for the inventory. It also includes a list and descriptions of targeted records. Important legal and logistical considerations for researchers are the focus of the gaining access to the records page. And, the using this guide page describes the components of record series descriptions and includes a diagramed example.

Appendix
Reference resources including a glossary of terms and concepts used in the inventory. The appendix also offers contact information for the Oregon State Archives, county courthouses, and historical societies that maintain the records described in the inventory. Additional resources lists some related publications and Web sites. The credits acknowledgements of contributors to the guide.

Contact us
Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about the Oregon Historical County Records Guide.

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722

© 2014 State of Oregon All Rights Reserved​