Today the John Wilson Special Collections is participating in the Oregon Archives Crawl! Come downtown to our library, the Oregon Historical Society, and the Portland Archives and Records Center and see archivists and a selection of their materials from around the state, including this photograph in the special collection from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition. Tour the JWSC today at 11, noon, 1 and 2 pm…

Oregon author Stewart Holbrook (1893-1964) found a clever way to respond to complaints that were sent to him; this from our special collections, a recent gift from the author’s daughter… [a later note: yes, Holbrook may have appropriated this from his friend HL Mencken; yes, my friend, you may be right at that…]

In celebration of the Portland appearance tonight of author/musician, James McBride, whose novel The Good Lord Bird, a fictional account involving abolitionist John Brown (which won the National Book Award in 2013), here’s an original hand-written letter from our special collections from John Brown (1800-1859) to his wife. This from our spectacular, extra-illustrated 20-volume set of Abraham Lincoln: a history

It’s not everyday one can hold a letter from great Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones (aka, Ned to his friends) written to the great Doves Binder & Press proprietor Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson (1840-1922), but as this is in our special collections, it could be almost everyday…

Extended for one day only: today is the very last day to see the current Collins Gallery exhibition, “David Lee: A Poet’s Papers,” which includes this letterpress reading announcement from 1979 for David Lee and Copper Canyon Press founding editor, Sam Hamill

When is a snapshot not just a snapshot? Well, when Oregon author Stewart H. Holbrook (1893-1964) is in it and wearing a bow tie, and then it’s special (this, a recently “discovered” photograph from our special collections)…

Today’s another hot day in Portland, a perfect day to take a river trip, just like artist Mare Blocker is depicting here from her wonderful A Thirteen Day River Trip (1998) from our special collections, featuring eight hand-colored prints including this Maremaid…

Oh, no! Some ink has spill on one of our rare books! But wait, it’s ok; it’s only a clever advertisement for a printer from an 1895 Portland City Directory (published by Polk). Our special collections has the earliest of these volumes in original form from 1863 to 1900…

A recent gift to the special collections from a daughter of Stewart H. Holbrook brought with it many wonderful treasures, including 25 issues of Battery D Recall, an irreverent weekly WWI newsletter of activities around Camp Devens in northern Massachusetts, a newsletter edited by Sergt. S.H. Holbrook…

Today would be a fine day, in the waning days of August, to take a swing on a porch hammock, as Camille Dosch was doing here in SW Portland around 1918; from the Henry Dosch papers in the special collections…