Scope and Content Note
The Ralph I. Gifford Photographs consist of images taken by Gifford throughout Oregon, primarily during the 1930s and 1940s. Many of Ralph Gifford's landscape photographs complement those he took for the State Highway Commission, as they were taken at the same time. He extensively photographed the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Silver Falls, Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge, the Pendleton Round-Up, the Wallowa Mountains, and the Snake River Canyon. Many of his photographs were made into postcards or view sets, which were sold at souvenir shops throughout the state.
Gifford also photographed the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and the Columbia River Highway; the Oregon State Capitol and other state buildings in Salem; the Oregon Caves; highway bridges on the Oregon coast; and Oregon agriculture, especially orchards and ranches. Several Oregon rivers are depicted in the collection, including the Chetco, Imnaha, John Day, McKenzie, and Rogue Rivers as well as numerous Cascade Mountain lakes. Scenes of Portland, Brookings, and Salem are part of the collection. The collection includes numerous images of sport fishing and fishermen as well as several images of Native Americans, especially participating in the Pendleton Round-Up. Chief Clarence Burke, of the Umatilla Indians, is depicted in several photographs. Images of Gifford's wife, Wanda, and children are part of the collection.
The collection includes photographs Gifford took while stationed at Whiddy Island, Ireland, in the U.S. Navy during World War I. These images depict fellow servicemen, the local people of Whiddy Island, houses and structures, and landscapes and towns on the island.
The bulk of the collection consists of film negatives (853 items) and prints (902 items). Film negatives are predominantly 4x5 format; however, 5x7 and 8x10 formats are also included. The prints include 8x10 and larger sizes as well as postcard prints. The collection also includes 256 nitrate negatives, 22 glass negatives, and 56 color positive transparencies.
Many images in the collection are available online in several digital collections.
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