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On a recent tour of Historic Deepwood Estate a group of school children sat on the parlor floor attentively listening to the tour guide. During her introduction to the house, she presented a number of historic facts and stories describing the families that had lived there and the way people lived at the turn of the last century. When she asked the group if there were any questions, one boy raised his hand and asked "How do you know all these things?" The tour guide politely responded "Through research!" and then explained how people gather historical information from a variety of written, printed and visual sources to help understand what had happened in the past.

To gain a better understanding of a particular historic person, topic or event researchers often review a number of sources of information. Since historic information is recorded in variety of different ways, researchers must often piece together facts from books, newspapers, photographs, maps, diaries, letters, and other sources. These documents may be preserved in libraries, archives or other repositories. Local Links has been created to assist you in locating various places in Salem where historic information and documents are preserved.

We invite you to browse each repositories' website then visit those places which might provide the best information for your research project. Many of the repositories listed below function differently than a public or school library. Fragile books and other materials may be requested from a librarian or archivist and cannot be selected from open shelves. You may also be asked to write only with pencil to avoid marking fragile items with permanent inks. Handling photographs may require the use of white cotton gloves to keep oils on your hands from leaving permanent prints. There may also be limitations on your ability to photocopy historic materials without assistance.

At first these simple rules may seem cumbersome and frustrating. It is important to remember, however, that the historic materials you are using are available to you because many people have used them with similar care in the past. To avoid any confusion you may want to discuss any use restrictions with the staff before you begin your research. You are also encouraged to practice your research skills at the Salem Public Library or Marion County Historical Society before visiting repositories which are set-up for patrons with more research experience.

Salem Public Library

Historic Photograph Collection

Every research project on Salem history should begin with a visit to the Salem Public Library. The Hugh Morrow Collection, located to the right of the Salem Heritage Room, contains an extensive collection of books, city and telephone directories and various pamphlets on Salem history. The Ben Maxwell Collection is an excellent source of photographic images of Salem as well as clippings and copies of Maxwell' s news stories. Back issues of the Capital Journal (1892-1972), Oregon Statesman ( 1851 - 1980) and Statesman-Journal (1980 to present) are available on microfilm along with other Oregon newspapers. Genealogical researchers will find a wealth of information in the Oregon Marriage and Divorce Index, the Oregon Biographical Index and the Oregon Death Index.

Marion County Historical Society

Complimenting the museum' s exhibits is a research library which contains a variety of books, publications and typed manuscripts on Marion County history. Research materials, including an extensive photo collection, are arranged for easy access and use.

Salem Historical Quarterly

Salem Historical Quarterly lists exhibits and events at twenty local historical sites in Oregon's capital city during a current three month period. The new downtown Convention Center, located in the center of our historical community, has opened and is receiving visitors. We invite them, as well as our fellow Salem citizens, to use this website to acquaint themselves with our local historical sites just a few steps away from this newest local attraction. Four historical walking tours, beginning near the Conference Center are also described in this website. Except for the Polk County locations in West Salem, across the Willamette, the twenty historical sites are all located in or near the center of our city and may be visited in any order. Notice the times when various sites are open and that a few may be visited only by appointment or may have admission charges. Parking information is also included.

Willamette Valley Genealogical Society

Located on the second floor of the Oregon State Library, the Willamette Valley Genealogical Society assists researchers with projects documenting specific families or individuals. Knowledgeable volunteers are available to guide patrons using microfilmed newspapers, published works and family histories.

Oregon State Library

The Oregon State Library has a unique collection of State of Oregon documents, historic photographs and manuscripts on Oregon history, with emphasis on Salem and Oregon State Government. For information regarding holdings, access and hours available for research contact the Oregoniana Specialist at (503) 378-4277 ext. 238.

Oregon State Archives

An important aspect of Salem's history is its role as Oregon's state capital. The Oregon State Archive is the permanent repository for state records as well as an excellent source for genealogical information. Though some gaps do exist in their historic documents due to the Capitol fire in 1935, researchers will find a wealth of historical documentation including birth and death records, military records and maps in addition to a variety of government records.

Willamette University Library

The Mark O. Hatfield Library addresses the needs of Willamette University students and most of the materials on Salem' s history duplicate publications found in other libraries. To document Willamette University, as an aspect of Salem's history, a variety of yearbooks, micro filmed newspapers and college catalogs are available. For research involving the history of the Methodist Church, and related personalities, researchers should write the United Methodist Archives, Oregon-Idaho Conference, 680 State Street, B-60, Salem Oregon, 97301 to schedule an appointment with the archivist.

Salem Pioneer Cemetery

Salem Pioneer Cemetery is located at the corner of Hoyt and Commercial Streets in South Salem. The land on which the cemetery is located was originally part of the Reverend David Leslie land claim and was set aside by him for family burials in 1841.The web site offers index listings of those buried at the cemetery including name, date of burial, birth, death and plot location.

Other sources of cemetery information:
Salem/Marion county cemetery information

Compiled by Ross Sutherland, Deepwood Estate

Second Capitol Building
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