Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Gifford, Ralph I., Photographs, circa 1910s - 1947

A wagon being driven through the surf on the Oregon coast, ca 1910s.

Information and Credits

P 218-SG 2

The Ralph I. Gifford Photographs consist of images taken by Gifford throughout Oregon, primarily during the 1930s and 1940s. The photographs depict many Oregon landmarks and scenes, including the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Mount Hood, the Wallowa Mountains, and the Snake River Canyon. The collection includes numerous images of sport fishing as well as several photographs of Native Americans. Ralph Gifford was the son of Benjamin A. Gifford and took over his father's Portland photography business around 1920. In 1936, Ralph became the first photographer of the newly established Travel and Information Department of the Oregon State Highway Department, a position he held until his death in 1947.


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


2.5 cubic feet, including 2089 photographs ; 17 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes, and 1 map folder


The Ralph I. Gifford Photographs are arranged in 9 series: I. World War I Views of Whiddy Island, Ireland, 1918; II. Gifford Family, circa 1920 - circa 1930; III. Nitrate Negatives, circa 1910s - circa 1935; IV. Numbered Series, circa 1935 - 1947; V. Highway Commission Photographs, 1936-1946; VI. Postcard Photographs, circa 1935-1945; VII. Coastal Bridges, circa 1936; VIII. Un-Numbered Photographs, circa 1935 - 1947; and IX. Color Transparencies, circa 1937 - 1947.

Related Papers

This is one component of the Gifford Photographic Collection (P 218) held by the OSU Archives. Other components are: Benjamin A. Gifford Photographs (P 218-SG 1); 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 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.

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