Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Horner Museum Oral History Collection, 1952-1993

Historical Note:

Established by Oregon Agricultural College and Professor John Horner in 1925, the Museum of the Oregon Country was a place where people could "see the world" without leaving Corvallis, Oregon. It was renamed the John B. Horner Museum of the Oregon Country in 1936, three years after he died, and became commonly known as the Horner Museum. The museum housed an eclectic mix of artifacts, photographs, and archival materials; supported an active oral history program from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s; and was the repository for many - perhaps most - of the oral history projects conducted by Oregon State University faculty, students, and departments during that time. Jennifer A. Lee was the Horner Museum staff member that worked most closely with the oral history program, sometimes in collaboration with her husband, Forestry professor Royal G. Jackson.

The museum was located in various buildings on the Oregon State University campus, until it moved to its final campus location in Gill Coliseum in 1951. In 1995 the 60,000-artifact museum officially closed to the public due to statewide budget cutbacks resulting from the passage of Oregon Ballot Measure 5 (1990). Not long after, certain of the museum's records, including its vast oral history collection, were transferred to the Oregon State University Archives. Ten years later, in 2005, a final agreement for transfer of physical custody of the remainder of the museum's collections was signed between Oregon State University and the Benton County Historical Society. The society subsequently transferred the Horner Collection materials to their facility in Philomath, Oregon.

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