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City Archives (Historical Records)

Black and white photo of 3 men and 1 woman with large volumes of records waiting to go into a vault for storage.
The City's historical records date back to 1851 and are maintained by the City Archives. Records include documents, photos, maps, plans, and reports.

The City Archives is open to everyone and you don't need to be a scholar to do research! We don’t do the research for you, but we can help get you started by recommending records to fit your questions.

We work with people to do research both virtually and in-person. Many photographs, maps and reports have been scanned and can be accessed through our online database, Efiles.  A public records request form does not need to be submitted when accessing records at the Archives.

The City of Portland's historical records provide information about how the city has evolved since 1851. Records about urban planning, parks, land use, public works, economic development, public safety and social issues are just several of the subjects covered in the collections.  

Learn more about visiting the Archives.

Read the City Archives' Statement on Harmful and Bias Language in Archival Description.