All Collections

Ben Maxwell


The Ben Maxwell Collection consists of more than 5000 photographs donated to the Salem Public Library by the estate of Mr. Ben Maxwell, a noted Salem photographer and historian who died in 1967. Mr. Maxwell was a native of Salem where he was born in 1898. He attended college at Oregon State University where he studied history and …


Ben Maxwell
Oregon Archives

The Oregon State Archives Collection consists of over 2200 photographs selected from the files of the Oregon State Archives in Salem, Oregon. This collection includes photos from throughout the state of Oregon taken in association with the activities of the various state agencies in Oregon government. As one might expect, there is a …


Oregon Archives
Special Collections

The Special Collections group is a collection of photographs from almost twenty distinct sources and events including local exhibits, documentaries, and private collections, most characterized by specific themes or purposes. These collections contain as few as six to as many as 588 images from individual contributors for a total of …


Special Collections
Marion County Historical Society

The Marion County Historical Society Collection includes several hundred photographs of the Salem and Marion County area from the 1880’s to the 1950’s. These photographs are selections from the Historical Society collections of more than 200,000 negatives and prints, as well as others loaned to the society by a private donor for …


Marion County Historical Society
Statesman Journal

The Statesman Journal Collection consists of almost 1000 photographs of the Salem and the Willamette Valley areas selected from the files of the Statesman Journal Newspaper, including photographs from predecessor newspapers - the Oregon Statesman and the Statesman Publishing Company. The collection includes photographs of people, …


Statesman Journal

About the collections

The history of Oregon preserved in six collections of photographs of people, places, and events that provide snapshots of the states history from 1840 to more recent times.  The collections are statewide but with special emphasis on Salem and other Willamette Valley communities.  Included are photographs from numerous sources including the Ben Maxwell estate, the Statesman Journal Newspaper, Oregon State Archives, Marion County Historical Society, the Asahel Bush family, and other contributors.

Searching the Collections
To search for photographs in all collections, enter appropriate search terms in the space next to the word "search" at the top-left of this page and click on the colored search button. For more precision in your search, click on the "Advanced Search" link next to the search button. To search in just one collection, clicking on the collection name will bring up a carousel of selected scrollable thumbnails and a search box for just that collection. For more detailed instructions on use of this site, click on the “Help” link in the navigation bar at the top of this page. 

Uses of the photographs
Images from library-owned collections such as the Ben Maxwell Collection may be downloaded for personal or educational use like personal websites, school reports, and similar non-commercial uses. Photographs can also be reproduced from negatives as reprints or high-resolution digital files for a reasonable fee from a vendor of the librarys choosing. To access an order form for prints, click on
reprints. To order digital files, click on digital copies.  At least two weeks should be allowed for this transaction. Photographs with an alpha-numeric ID may not be owned by the library and conditions for reproductions should come from the source named in the text accompanying the photograph. 

Credits for use
Photographs used in publications should credit the "Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon", and any other credits specified in the Credits and Restrictions field in the photographs metadata.

Other resources
Visit our Salem History web site for additional facts and links to historic resources in the Salem area. Other resources are available at the Salem Public Library web site.  Program funded with a generous grant from the Salem Public Library Foundation

For additional information about these collections, contact Salem Public Library at 503-588-6224, or email at 



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