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Finding Aid


The Portland Switching District Project Photographs and Papers ("PSDP Collection") generally consists of the project photographs, as well as supporting materials such as field notes, and historical, primary source materials used for research.

Content Description

The PSDP collection spreads across two formats, digital, and physical. Digital files are organized similarly to physical files, with "box" folders containing "folders." Because this is an ongoing project, a unique, open-ended approach to numbering has been employed. Boxes beginning from 1 are physical, with all numbers up to 49 reserved for future physical, boxed materials. Box numbers beginning at 50 and running through 499 are reserved for oversized items, and generally have no folder designations. Box numbers beginning at 500, and any numbers above 500, are reserved for digital files. Boxes extant are listed in this finding aid, and all unusued boxes are listed in a group and labelled as "reserved."

Physical files are housed in acid-free, archival storage boxes. Digital files are located across several duplicate hard drives, and synced via cloud services.

Most of the primary sources are either scans or photocopies, as noted in descriptions by "photocopy" or "scan."

Series 1 materials are from the years 2007-2009, the period when the initial photography project was planned and undertaken. This consists primarily of the digital images produced during field work, as well as research materials that informed that fieldwork.

Series 2 materials are from 2010-2012. Project activity during this time related mostly to efforts to create a comprehensive public history exhibit, tentatively planned for 2019, the 150th anniversary of railroads arriving in Portland. While this exhibit did not come to pass, some conceptual materials were produced. Additionally, a "preview exhibit" was hosted by the City Club of Portland in 2011. Also included here are materials relating to publications and other publicity that surrounded the exhibit efforts.

Series 3 materials date from 2018 onwards. These files are still active, and have not been catalogued. Expected materials incude all fieldwork files relating to the 2018 rephotography project, as well as the image files from that stage.

Detailed Collection Description

Series 1: 2007-2009

Subseries 1.1: Field Notes & Correspondence
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 1 Fieldwork 2007-2009

Subseries 1.2: White Papers & Research Reports
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 2 The Exile of Industry from the City Beautiful: Portland Oregon's Guilds Lake Industrial Area 2008, December

Subseries 1.3: Archival Materials & Reports
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 3 Proposed Coordination of Railroad Terminal Facilities at Portland, Oregon, excerpts 1936, July 31
1 4 Evaluation of Industrial Opportinities for Oregon, Summary Report, Stanford Research Institute, excerpts 1956, August
1 5 List of Shippers and Receivers of Freight at Points on these Lines in Oregon and Washington, Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway Company 1955, January 1
1 6 Portland Traction Company, 1967-2003 1967-2003
1 7 Portland Traction Company, abandonment 1968
1 8 Portland Industrial Land: Development Possibilities, Portland Bureau of Planning 1975, March
1 9 Union Pacific System Timetable No. 1 1972, December 12
1 10 Windolph Industrial Park 2011
1 11 Portland, Oregon and Vicinity, Circa 1928 (Map).
Insert from Ed Austin and Tom Dill, The SP&S, Pacific Fast Mail, 1996.
1 12 Union Pacific Portland Area Timetable #3 2005, June 26
1 13 Memorandum, Chase, Todd to Wilkinson, Malu and Yee, Dennis, METRO 2007, June 26

Subseries 1.4: Miscellaneous
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 14 Historic Resource Inventory, Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, excerpts n.d.
1 15 Streets of Portland, Rand McNally, map. 2007, June 26
1 16 Photocopies and excerpts, Oregon Historical Society n.d.

Subseries 1.5: Field Notes & Correspondence, Digital
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
2 (d) 1 Notes (Macjournal excerpt file HTML) 2008, June 1
2 (d) 2 Correspondence, Dan Haneckow March 2008
2 (d) 3 Ed Sand, "Useless and Boring Information," web post September 23, 2008

Subseries 1.6: Archival Materials & Reports, Digital
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
2 (d) 4 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps, 1908, 28 files 1908
2 (d) 5 Northern Pacific Railway Index Diagram and Original Track Laying Record, March 15, 1933 1933
2 (d) 6 Pacific Northwest Industrial Properties of the Union Pacific Railroad, excerpt. (3 Files.) c. 1937
2 (d) 7 Auditor of the City of Portland to Southern Pacific Company, Permission to operate second main line, January 28, 1964. January 28, 1964
2 (d) 8 Roger L.M. Dunbar and Marshall Sarnat, "Measuring industrial stagnation: The case of the U.S. railroads." Journal of Industrial Economics, March 1980. 1980
2 (d) 9 Marc S. Dodson to Roland Casad, ODOT (Portland Traction Abandonment). 1990, January 10
2 (d) 10 James K. Higginson and James H. Bookbinder, "Implications of just-in-time production on rail freight systems." Transportation Journal. 1990
2 (d) 11 STB Finance Docket No. 33570. 1998, May 20
2 (d) 12 Scott M. Dennis, "Changes in railroad rates since the Staggers Act," Transportation Research Part E 37 (2000) (white paper). 2000
2 (d) 13 Centennial Mills maps. 2000
2 (d) 14 Report of the Centennial Mill Review Committee on Future Options for the Property. May, 2004
2 (d) 15 Centennial Mills Framework Plan: Existing Conditions. September 2006
2 (d) 16 Centennial Mills Framework Plan. December 2006
2 (d) 17 Centennial Mills SEED: LAB Holdings. February, 2008
2 (d) 18 Pearl District: A Future Vision for a Neighborhood in Transition, Development Plan. October 2001
2 (d) 19 Pearl District: A Future Vision for a Neighborhood in Transition, Development Plan Appendix. October 2001
2 (d) 20 Thomas F. Erickson, Jr. "Urban freight economics: A new rail paradigm for large lots." Transportation Journal. 2001
2 (d) 21 Key to reading Mini Fog Charts. n.d.
2 (d) 22 The Portland Triangle (Fog Chart). n.d.
2 (d) 23 Salem Switcher Cheat Sheet LIA 42. 09/26/2002
2 (d) 24 Brooklyn Yard (Fog Chart). 06/02/2003
2 (d) 25 Freadman's Mini Fog Chart Portland Sub. 12/06/2003
2 (d) 26 Freadman's Mini Fog Chart Brooklyn Sub. 2-15-2004
2 (d) 27 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 2008 Edition, Part 8, Traffic Controls for Highway-Rail Grade Crossings. 2003
2 (d) 28 BNSF Railway, Northwest Division Timetable No. 2, November 5, 2003. 2003
2 (d) 29 BNSF Railway, Northwest Operating Division map, January 1, 2005. 2005
2 (d) 30 BNSF Railway, Maintenance of Way Safety Rules, October 30 2005. 2005
2 (d) 31 BNSF Railway, TY&E Safety Rules, October 30, 2005. 2005
2 (d) 32 Portland Hub, Book 101, Portland Terminal, August 1, 2004. August 2004
2 (d) 33 Portland Hub, Book 104, Oakridge OR to East Portland, OR, August 1, 2004. August 2004
2 (d) 34 ZTS Maps, Union Pacific Brooklyn Sub, August 1, 2004. August 2004
2 (d) 35 General Code of Operating Rules, Fifth Edition, April 3, 2005. April 2005
2 (d) 36 "John B. Bitzan and Wesley W. Wilson, ""Industry costs and consolidation: efficiency gains and mergers in the U.S. railroad industry."" Review of Industrial Organization, 2007." 2007
2 (d) 37 Ammended and Restated River District Urban Renewal Plan, Second Amendment, September 23, 2009. September, 2009

Subseries 1.7: Images, Raw & Unprocessed, Primary
Container Description
Box Folder    
2 (d) 38 Albina, 7 files
2 (d) 39 East Water Street, 2 files
2 (d) 40 East First Street, 6 files
2 (d) 41 East Second Street, 8 files
2 (d) 42 East Third Street, 6 files
2 (d) 43 Twelfth Street, 14 files
2 (d) 44 Front Street, 7 files
2 (d) 45 York Street, 8 files
2 (d) 46 Upsher Street, 2 files
2 (d) 47 Thirteenth Street, 5 files
2 (d) 48 Fifteenth Street, 6 files

Subseries 1.8: Images, Raw & Unprocessed, Excluded
Container Description
Box Folder    
2 (d) 49 Albina, 5 files
2 (d) 50 East Water Street, 29 files
2 (d) 51 East First Street, 7 files
2 (d) 52 East Second Street, 56 files
2 (d) 53 East Third Street, 14 files
2 (d) 54 Twelfth Street, 59 files
2 (d) 55 Front Street, 36 files
2 (d) 56 York Street, 17 files
2 (d) 57 Upsher Street, 16 files
2 (d) 58 Thirteenth Street, 9 files
2 (d) 59 Fifteenth Street, 40 files
2 (d) 60 Guilds Lake, 21 files
2 (d) 61 Larabee, 35 files
2 (d) 62 Macadam, 31 files
2 (d) 63 Forest Grove, 54 files
2 (d) 64 Oregon City, 2 files
2 (d) 65 Salem
2 (d) 66 Other Locations

Series 2: 2010-2012

Subseries 2.1: Archival Materials & Reports
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 17 Arkema / Atofina Chemical Corporation, Front Street c. 2010

Subseries 2.2: Publications
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
1 18 National Railroad Historical Society Bulletin, 2011 date

Subseries 2.3: Field Notes & Correspondence, Digital
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
3 (d) 1 Correspondence, Charlie Comstock 2015
3 (d) 2 Correspondence, Rich Erwin 2014
3 (d) 3 Correspondence, Amy Harris, 2010-2011 2010-2011
3 (d) 4 Correspondence, Jeff Smith, NRHS Bulletin 2010-2011
3 (d) 5 Correspondence, Robert Scott 2011
3 (d) 6 Press Release, City Club Exhibit 2011

Subseries 2.4: Organization & Presentation Materials
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
3 (d) 7 Organization and Texts for Flickr presentations 2009-2011
3 (d) 8 Cartography, 2 Files 2009
3 (d) 9 Promotional Video, Script 2010, November
3 (d) 10 Promotional Video, Audio Files, 5 Files 2010, November
3 (d) 11 Promotional Video 2010, November
3 (d) 12 Business Cards, 4 Files 2011, February
3 (d) 13 Web site support graphics, 6 Files 2011, February

Subseries 2.5: Exhibits, Digital
Container Description Dates
Box Folder    
3 (d) 14 Exhibit, Conceptual Designs, 3 Files 2010-2011
3 (d) 15 City Club Exhibit, Print Files, 10 Files 2011
3 (d) 16 City Club Exhibit, Interpretive Panels, 7 Files 2011
3 (d) 17 City Club Exhibit, Captions, 2 Files 2011
3 (d) 18 City Club Exhibit, Postcards, 4 Files 2011
3 (d) 19 City Club Exhibit, Photos, 4 Files 2011
3 (d) 20 Exhibit Selection,, 3 Files 2011

Subseries 2.6: Images, Web Resized, Primary
Container Description
Box Folder    
3 (d) 21 Albina, 14 files
3 (d) 22 East Water Street, 11 files
3 (d) 23 East First Street, 12 files
3 (d) 24 East Second Street, 18 files
3 (d) 25 East Third Street, 8 files
3 (d) 26 Twelfth Street, 31 files
3 (d) 27 Front Street, 10 files
3 (d) 28 York Street, 23 files
3 (d) 29 Upsher Street, 4 files
3 (d) 30 Thirteenth Street, 8 files
3 (d) 31 Fifteenth Street, 13 files

Subseries 2.7: Images, Web Resized, Primary
Container Description
Box Folder    
3 (d) 32 Larabee, 11 files
3 (d) 33 Macadam, 3 files
3 (d) 34 Forest Grove, 2 files
3 (d) 35 Newberg, 2 files

Subseries 2.8: Clippings
Container Description
Box Folder    
3 (d) 36 Clippings, 3 Files

Series 3: 2018+

This series is currently active. It will be processed after a closing date is determined.


Introduction. For further reading, as well as transparency, a complete bibliography for this project is included below. This has been divided into five categories for clarity: archival collections, mapping systems, scholarly sources, public documents, and journalism.

Archives, Libraries, & Photographic Repositories

Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

Environmental Design Library, U.C. Berkeley

Library of Congress
Historic American Building Survey.
Historic American Engineering Survey.
Prints & Photographs Collection.

Minnesota Historical Society
Northern Pacific Railway, President's Files.

John Wilson Room, Multnomah County Library

Oregon Historical Society

Portland Archives and Records Center, Office of the Auditor, City of Portland

Map systems and databases

Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970, ProQuest,

National Parks Service, National Register of Historic Places, accessed via the National Archives Catalog database,

The Oregon Encyclopedia, Oregon Historical Society,

The Historical Oregonian, 1861-1987, Newsbank,

Pacific Coast Architecture Database, University of Washington,

Portland Maps, City of Portland,

ProQuest Historical Newspapers, ProQuest,

USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer, United States Geological Survey,

Scholarly books and articles

Abbott, Carl. Greater Portland: Urban Life and Landscape in the Pacific Northwest. Philadelhpia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.

Abbott, Carl. Portland: Planning, Politics and Growth in a Twentieth-century City. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

Abbott, Carl. Portland in Three Centuries: The Place and the People. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2011.

Batlz, Lewis. The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California. Originally published 1974. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2001.

Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Translated by Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981.

Brouws, Jeff and Burton, Wendy. Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013.

Cowie, Jefferson, and Heathcott, Joseph. "The meanings of deindustrialization." In Cowie, Jefferso and Heathcott, Joseph, eds., Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization, Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 2003.

Easterling, Keller. Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. London: Verso, 2014.

Gaertner, John T. North Bank Road: The Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway Pullman, Washington: Washington State University Press, 1991.

Groth, Paul and Bressi, Todd W., eds. Understanding Ordinary Landscapes. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997.

Hales, Peter Bacon. Silver Cities: Photographing American Urbanization, 1839-1939. Revised and Expanded. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Jackson, John Bricnkerhoff. The Necessity for Ruins, and Other Topics. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1980.

Jackson, John Bricnkerhoff, Edited by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz. Landscapes in Sight: Looking at America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

Kelsey, Robin. Archive Style. Berkeley, California: UC Press, 2007.

Lansing, Jewell. Portland: People, Politics, and Power, 1851-2001. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2003.

Lewty, Peter J. Across the Columbia Plain: Railroad Expansion in the Interior Northwest, 1885-1893. Pullman, Washington: Washington State University Press, 1995.

Lewty, Peter J. To the Columbia Gateway: The Oregon Railway and the Northern Pacific, 1879-1884. Pullman, Washington: Washington State University Press, 1987.

MacColl, E. Kimbark. Shaping of a City: Business and Politics in Portland, Oregon, 1885-1915. Portland: Georgian Press, 1976.

MacColl, E. Kimbark. Growth of a City: Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon, 1915-1950. Portland: Georgian Press, 1979.

MacColl, E. Kimbark, with Stein, Harvey. Merchants, Money and Power: The Portland Establishment, 1843-1913. Portland: Georgian Press, 1988.

Ruwedel, Mark, with Reynolds, Jock. Westward the Course of Empire New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008.

Sandweiss, Martha. Print the Legend: Photography and the American West. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Salvesen, Britt Salvesen, with Nordström, Alison. New Topographics. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2010.

Schwantes, Carlos Arnaldo. Going Places: Transportation Redefines he Twentieth-Century West. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2003.

Schwantes, Carl Arnaldo. Railroad Signatures Across the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: University of Washngton Press, 1993.

Schwieterman, Jospeh P. When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment: Western United States. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2004.

Stilgoe, John R. Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American Scene. New Haven: Yale Unviersity Press, 1983. .

Vance, James E., Jr. The North American Railroad: Its Origin, Evolution, and Geography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

White, Richard. Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011.

Glenn Willumson. Iron Muse: Photographing the Transcontinental Railroad. Berkeley, California: UC Press, 2013.

Contemporaneous Works

Gaston, Joseph. A Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1911, Volumes 1-3. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1912.

Gaston, Joseph. Portland, Oregon: Its History and Builders, Volumes 1-3. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1911.

Robinson, Charles Mulford. The Improvement of Towns and Cities New York: Putnum, 1906.

Scott, Harvey W. The History of Portland, Oregon. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1890.

Villard, Henry. The Early Transportation History of Oregon, Oswald Garrison Villard, ed. Eugene, Oregon, University of Oregon Press, 1943.

Journalism & popular writing

Armstrong, John H. The Railroad: What it is, What it Does: The Introduction to Railroading. Omaha, NE: Simmons-Boardman, 1978.

Austin, Ed and Dill, Tom. SP&S: The Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. Edmonds, Washington: Pacific Fast Mail, 1996.

Austin, Ed and Dill, Tom. The Southern Pacific in Oregon. Edmonds, Washington: Pacific Fast Mail, 1987.

Dill, Tom and Grande, Walter T. The Red Electrics: Southern Pacific's Oregon Interurban. Edmonds, Washington: Pacific Fast Mail, 1994.

Grande, Walter T. The Northwest's Own Railway: The Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway. The Mainline, Volume 1. Portland, Oregon: Grande Press, 1992.

Grande, Walter T. The Northwest's Own Railway: The Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway. The Subsidiaries, Volume 2. Portland, Oregon: Grande Press, 1995.

Mullett, Alfred. Portland Terminal Railroad Company. Images of Rail Series. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Press, 2016.

Snyder, Eugene E. Portland Names and Neighborhoods: Their Historic Origins. Portland, OR: Binford & Mort, 1979.