Salem Historical Quarterly
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE


Directly across Court street from the Capitol is the historic State Library that will celebrate its centennial in 2005.
Established in 1905 and originally housed on several attic floors of the Supreme Court building, the Oregon Library Commission's first State Librarian was Cornelia Marvin. She instituted many innovative programs, including the first books-by-mail service in the country.
Harriett C. Long, who served as the State Librarian from 1930 until 1940, was a tireless campaigner for erecting a State Library building. This building was completed in 1939 as the first of the four marble state buildings on the North Capitol Mall. Faced in Georgia marble, granite steps lead to the main entrance and the seal of Oregon, carved by Gabiel Lavare. This artist also created the "Pioneer Mother" statuary in the main lobby, the brass elevator and the decorative architectural features of the second floor.
Jim Scheppke, the present State librarian, was instumental in promoting a renovation project which took place 1998-2000. A rededication in February of 2001 featured Senator Mark Hatfield as guest speaker.

Vistors and researchers are welcome in the Reference Room on the second floor.
It is open from 10 to 5, Monday through Friday.

When visiting the Library, there are metered parking spaces on Winter Street. More metered parking is available in the underground facility (entrance on Chemeketa Street). Use the elevator up to the Kiosk at ground level.

The Library entrance is on the east side of the building. From the lobby, take the elevator (to your left) to the second floor. As you walk down the hall to the Reference Room, notice the plaques along the wall memorializing persons and symbols notable in Oregon history.

When You Are Here:
The State Library contains a comprehensive collection of documents relating to the history of state government in Oregon and one of the finest genealogical collections in the state. Volunteers from the Willamette Valley Genealogical Society are always on hand to assist with family history research. The Society meets in the Reference Room on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 to 4.

A new exhibit on the second floor, "100 Oregon Books: 1800 to 2000" will open on January 27, 2005.

In May of 2005 Carleton Watkins' 'Photographs of the Columbia River" will be displayed after completion of a restoration of this important historical artifact.

To Learn More:
See the State Library website (above) for more information.

This reference on the Salemhistory website will give you a complete history of our Oregon State library.

A biography of Cornelia Marvin Pierce may be found at this salemhistory page.