Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Gifford Photographic Collection, circa 1885 - 1958

"A Basket full of Wool." Dickman lambs in a basket, ca 1950s.

Information and Credits

P 218

The Gifford Photographic Collection consists primarily of photographs taken by four Gifford Family photographers: Ralph I. Gifford; his father, Benjamin A. Gifford; his wife, Wanda Gifford; and his son, Ben L. Gifford. The collection also includes motion pictures filmed by Ralph I Gifford, some photographs for whom the photographer is not identified, images by other photographers, and documentary materials. The Gifford Family's photographic work began in 1888, when Benjamin A. Gifford emigrated to Portland, and continued into the 1950s. The collection documents Oregon landmarks and scenic views on the Oregon coast and in the Cascade Mountains, Willamette Valley, and central and eastern Oregon; agriculture in Oregon; and Native Americans, especially of the Columbia Plateau.


Gifford Photographic Digital Collection
Gifford Photographic Digital Collection
A growing online repository of the Gifford Family photographers' documentation of Oregon from 1890-1950.

Biographical Notes 

Scope and Content Note


14.3 cubic feet, including 7372 photographs and 8 film reels; 82 boxes, including 7 oversize boxes; 2 map folders; and 1 film can


The Gifford Photographic Collection is arranged in 7 subgroups: SG 1. Benjamin A. Gifford Photographs, circa 1885 - circa 1920; SG 2. Ralph I. Gifford Photographs, circa 1910s - 1947; SG 3. Ralph I Gifford Motion Pictures, circa 1925-1940; SG 4. Wanda Gifford Photographs, 1948-1958; SG 5. Ben L. Gifford Photographs, 1950-1955; SG 6. Gifford Collection Photographs by Unknown or Other Photographers, circa 1915-1955; and SG 7. Gifford Collection Documentary Materials, 1897-1996.

Related Papers

Other collections that contain Benjamin A. Gifford's work include the Extension Service Photographs (P 062), E. R. Jackman Photographic Collection (P 89), Oregon State University Historical Photographs (P 025), and Visual Instruction Department Lantern Slides (P 217). Images by Gifford and his partner, Arthur Prentiss, are available online in the Gerald W. Williams Collection. Images of Native Americans by other photographers are available online as part of the Oregon Multicultural Archives Digital Collection. Other photographs of Oregon landscapes are part of the Gerald W. Williams Collection and the Roland G. Holmes Collection of Oregon and Washington Postcards (P 283). Most of Benjamin A. Gifford's photographs are part of the Gifford Photographs Collection (Org. Lot 982) at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland.

Other collections containing Ralph Gifford's work include the Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photograph Collection (P 120), Clackamas County Jersey Cattle Club Scrapbook, Roland G. Holmes Collection of Oregon and Washington Postcards (P 283), Gerald W. Williams Collection, Edwin Russel Jackman Photographs (P 089), and the John E. Smith Collection. Photos taken by Ralph Gifford for the State Highway Commission can be found at the Oregon State Archives in the records of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Other images of Salem, Oregon, are available in the Walter R. Baker Photographs (P 018), Oliver Matthew Photographs (P 118), and Oliver Matthews Collection.

More Information