Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Gifford, Benjamin A., Photographs, circa 1885 - circa 1920

Unidentified men standing at the base of a large tree, ca. 1910.

Information and Credits

P 218-SG 1

The Benjamin A. Gifford Photographs consist of photographs made by Gifford during his career as a photographer in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon. The images depict Native Americans, primarily of the Columbia Plateau region; the Columbia River and the Historic Columbia River Highway; Central and Eastern Oregon; Gifford Family members; and many unidentified individuals and groups. Gifford arrived in Oregon and worked first in Portland until 1895, when he opened a studio in The Dalles. He returned to Portland in 1910.


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

Biographical Note 

Scope and Content Note


4.5 cubic feet, including 855 photographs; 49 boxes, including 1 oversize box, and 1 map folder


The Benjamin A. Gifford Photographs are arranged in 17 series: I. Native Americans, 1899-1908; II. Columbia River, 1899-1915; III. Columbia River Highway, circa 1915-1920; IV. Cascades, 1899-1904; V. Central and Eastern Oregon, circa 1900 - circa 1916; VI. Portland, Oregon, circa 1910 - circa 1920; VII. Shipbuilding, circa 1915; VIII. Logging and Timber, circa 1895-1915; IX. Farm and Ranch Scenes, circa 1905-1920; X. Businesses, circa 1903-1917; XI. Landscapes, circa 1895 - circa 1920; XII. Gifford Family, circa 1885-1919; XIII. Logos and mask charts, circa 1905- circa 1920; XIV. Studio and formal portraits, circa 1905 - circa 1920; XV. John Egan and wife camping, circa 1920; XVI. Unidentified informal portraits and other unidentified photos of people, circa 1905 - circa 1920; and XVII. Damaged Glass Negatives, circa 1905 - circa 1920.

Related Papers

This is one component of the Gifford Photographic Collection (P 218) held by the OSU Archives. Other components are: Ralph I. Gifford Photographs (P 218-SG 2); Ralph I. Gifford Motion Pictures (P 218-SG 3); Wanda M. Gifford Photographs (P 218-SG 4); Ben L. Gifford Photographs (P 218-SG 5); Gifford Collection Photographs by Unknown or Other Photographers (P 218-SG 6); and Gifford Collection Documentary Materials (P 218-SG 7).

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.

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