+ Archives

The Architectural Heritage Center’s library is a resource for homeowners, preservationists, architectural historians, students, and anyone with an interest in historic preservation and architecture. While we can’t wait to welcome you back through our doors in the future, we are pleased to offer a number of digital resources to aid your research from the comfort of your own home.  

Whether you’re studying architecture, interested in learning about Portland’s built landscape, or embarking on a new renovation journey, these resources can help you get started.  

Please contact us if you have questions about any topic you see here. We’d love to help you find the answers you need! 

Our onsite library will remain closed until our exhibition galleries again open to the public.

Research Resources

Archives and Databases

Aladdin “Houses By Mail” Catalogs – Hosted by the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University

Angelus Studio photographs, 1880s-1940s – Hosted by the University of Oregon. This collection provides extraordinary documentation of the city of Portland, the Lewis & Clark Exposition of 1905, Oregon landmarks, and commercial operations including logging and fish packing.

Antique Home – Resources for owners of vintage homes.

Antique Home Style – House plans and resources for owners of vintage homes.

Building Oregon – Hosted by the University of Oregon. Images and documentation focusing on the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest with special emphasis on Oregon’s historic sites and built environment.

Cities/Buildings Database – University of Washington – A collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web

Ellis Fuller Lawrence Papers, 1909-1929 – Hosted by the University of Oregon. These papers include correspondence, architectural drawings and photographs relating to projects undertaken by Lawrence as architect from 1908–1958, mainly in Oregon and Washington.

The Genealogy Forum: Oregon Genealogical Resources

Greene & Greene Architectural Records and Papers Collection – Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University

Historic Resources Program – the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, City of Portland, Oregon offers a wide range of information about historic preservation. This web site introduces the basics of the City of Portland’s historic preservation activities.

Home Economics and Interior Design Research Archive – Cornell University – a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines; titles published between 1850 and 1950

John Yeon architectural drawings, 1934-1976 – Hosted by the University of Oregon. John Yeon (1910–1994) was an Oregon architect, landscape architect, and conservationist best known for his role in developing the Northwest regional architectural style.

Lewis & Clark College Archives – The Aubrey Watzek Library Special Collections and Archives extensive research collections available to the Lewis & Clark College campus and the larger community of scholars

Mid Century Home Style – design resources for homes of the 1940s – 1960s.

National Archives – access to archival databases

Oregon Digital Library –  a variety of digital collections from institutions from around the state of Oregon

Planning in Portland & the Region – Hosted by Portland State University. Archival collections and oral histories related to urban planning and land use in Portland and the Northwest.

Researching Historic Houses – Hosted by the University of Maryland Libraries. A comprehensive resource to help you get started researching your historic home.

Sanborn Fire Maps – With a Multnomah County library card, you can view historical maps from the Sanborn fire insurance map company from 1867 to 1970 that show details of buildings (including construction materials, use of buildings, and name of owners), streets, lot lines, and neighborhood infrastructure like roads and water mains.

Sears Modern Homes  – Sears brand “mail order” home history and images from the Sears Archives

Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Archipedia – Organized by the Society of Architectural Historians and the University of Virginia Press, SAH Archipedia contains histories, photographs, and maps for over 20,000 structures.

University of Oregon: Guides to Using the UO Libraries/ Architecture and Arts

University of Washington digital collections
 – primarily pictoral, although some have accompanying essays and text. Other media are presented, such as newspapers, reports, pamphlets, posters, videos and maps. The emphasis of these collections is on rare and unique materials

UO Design Library Special Collections – Hosted by the University of Oregon. The Design Library is a major center for art and architectural information in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington County Heritage Online – A collaboration between The Pacific University Library and Five Oaks Museum. Explore thousands of historic images & oral histories from Washington County, Oregon



Government Agencies and Resources

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – to promote the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our Nation’s historic resources, and advise the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

Heritage Documentation Programs – administers HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the Federal Government’s oldest preservation program, and companion programs HAER (Historic American Engineering Record), HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey), and CRGIS (Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems)

National Register of Historic Places – Oregon – listing of buildings on the Register

Oregon State Archives – Oregon Historical County Record Guide, Historical Records Index and Provisional and Territorial Records Guide

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office – Heritage programs and links

Portland City Archives – (Stanley Parr Archives and Records Center) – inactive and historical City records

Portland City Landmarks Register and Historic Inventory Listings

Teaching with Historic Places – hosted by the National Park Service, uses properties listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects

Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation – National and local register information for properties in the state of Washington. http://www.dahp.wa.gov/




The Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House at the Oregon Garden – the only Wright-designed building in Oregon and the only one in the Pacific Northwest that is open to the public

National Building Museum – Created by an act of Congress in 1980, dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning

Pittock Mansion – a treasured Portland landmark

Preservation Studies, Reports, and other Downloads

Window Repair & Weatherization Guidebook – A handy guide for owners of Portland, Oregon homes


Preservation Tools, Blogs, Websites, and Online Publications

20 Greatest Architects in the World – by Rethinking the Future

50 Iconic Buildings Around the World You Need to See Before You Die – by Architectural Digest

Cafe Unknown – Portland history and architecture blog by Dan Haneckow

Columbia-Pacific Preservation Craftsperson Guild – restoration and preservation of historic resources

Portland Architecture
 – a blog about design in the Rose City by Brian Libby

PreservationDirectory.com  – a blog and national listing of historic preservation links and resources, historic properties for sale, and online bookstore

American Bungalow Magazine – published in the interest of preserving and restoring the modest American 20th century home, the Bungalow

Antique Home – Vintage Home Resources From 1900 to Mid Century

Atomic Ranch Magazine
 –  Devoted to 1940’s-70’s ranch houses and modernist tract homes

Barn Again! (a program of the National Trust and Successful Farming magazine) – provides advice, information, and referrals to barn owners

Historic Resources Program – the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, City of Portland, Oregon offers a wide range of information about historic preservation. This web site introduces the basics of the City of Portland’s historic preservation activities.

History of Concrete – by Big Rentz

Home Advisor – Online resources about home research provide a general guide to the process of learning a house’s history, and others are focused on one geographical area.

National Park Service Preservation Briefs and Tech Notes – Technical assistance and guidance on the preservation of historic properties.

NW Renovation  – Online magazine for homeowners and contractors with a huge collection of articles on the remodeling industry in the northwest.

Old House Journal – a restoration magazine with a restoration directory

Oregon Online Architectural Guide – published by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to help preservationists identify and evaluate historic resources.

Preservation Directory  – a national listing of historic preservation links and resources, online bookstore, historic properties for sale, and publisher of “Preservation Resources on the Web” Resource Guide. email Preservation Directory to request a copy.

Preservation Toolkit –  Restore Oregon’s guide to the process and decisions one needs to make when approaching the restoration and reuse of a historic building.

Historic Preservation and Architectural Organizations

ADCA – Antique Doorknob Collectors of America

African American Heritage Preservation Foundation
 – a not for profit  organization dedicated to the preservation of African American history and historical sites

AIA Portland – A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

AIA Southwest Washington – A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Alameda Old House History  – Connecting Past and Present in Northeast Portland’s Historic Homes

Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation
 – dedicated to the preservation and conservation of historic landscapes in all their variety, from formal gardens and public parks to rural expanses

Architecture Foundation of Oregon – advocates the enhancement of our built environment, the livability of our communities, and preservation of our rich architectural heritage

The Arts & Crafts Society
 – an online “home” for the present-day Arts & Crafts Movement community

Association for Preservation Technology
 – dedicated to promoting the best technology for conserving historic structures and their settings

Benton County Historical Society
 – Philomath, OR

Center for Understanding the Built Environment 
 – (CUBE)  brings together educators with community partners to effect change that will lead to a quality built and natural environment

Historic Seattle – dedicated to architectural preservation

Lake Oswego Preservation Society – supports Lake Oswego’s historic fabric through advocacy and education.

League of Historic American Theatres – an international, not-for-profit membership association that promotes the rescue, rehabilitation and sustainable operation of historic theatres throughout North America

National Trust for Historic Preservation – provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to save America’s diverse historic places and revitalize our communities

Northwest Woodworking Studio
 – a school dedicated to teaching the art and the craft of woodworking

Oregon Historical Society – mission is preserving and interpreting Oregon’s past in thoughtful, illuminating, and provocative ways

Preservation Action – a nonprofit organization created to serve as the national grassroots lobby for historic preservation, seeking to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of the federal government for sound preservation policy and programs

Recent Past Preservation Network – Promoting preservation education and advocacy of the modern (last 50 years) built environment

Restore Oregon– Preserve, reuse, and pass forward Oregon’s historic places to ensure livable, sustainable communities.

Save Our Elms – a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of street trees in Portland, Oregon

Society  for  Commercial Archaeology – devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape

Society of Architectural Historians – promotes the study and preservation of the built environment worldwide

Vernacular Architecture Forum – encouraging the study and preservation of traditional “ordinary” buildings, industrial and commercial structures, twentieth-century suburban houses, and cultural landscapes

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation – founded to safeguard Washington’s historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration and stewardship

William Morris Society – for those interested in Morris as designer, craftsman, businessman, poet, preservationist, environmental pioneer and socialist

Women’s Architectural League – Educating members and public about the value of  architecture. Contact: Vianne Patterson, (971) 221-5557, email Vianne.