ARA-8.06 - Public Access to Records Stored at the Archives and Records Center (PARC)

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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City records stored at the Archives and Records Center are available for public review, with few exceptions. This policy establishes usage policies.


Members of the public have the "…right to inspect any public record of a public body in this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by ORS 192.501 to 192.505." (ORS 192.420).

City Code Chapter 3.76.090 Public Access to Records:

All City records, except for those exempted by law, are available for inspection and copying by the public. The City may require that records use occur during certain business hours and at specified locations, and may charge fees to recover the cost of retrieval and copying.


  1. Records stored at the Archives and Records Center are available for public review with the following exceptions:
    1. In some unique instances, bureaus may choose to have all public records requests for their records channeled through their office. In these cases, the requestor will be notified and given a contact within the bureau of record.
    2. The records identified by state law as exempt from disclosure cannot be accessed at PARC; requestors will be referred to the City Attorney’s office.
  2. People wishing to inspect or conduct research may do so during Research Hours. Open hours, along with instructions for using the Archives, can be found here
    Archives and Records Management
  3. Members of the public are not charged for access to the records, but may be charged a copy fee as set by the Auditor’s office.
  4. Upon arrival at the Archives, completion of a registration and use form and picture ID are required.
  5. The public reading room is supervised at all times and researchers may not remove records from the premises.
  6. Copies may be made of public records
    1.  PARC staff will either make copies or arrange to have copies made if on-site copying is unavailable.
    2. All standard copy fees are posted at the Archives. Requests exceeding the typical copy request may include additional charges, which will be discussed at the time of request.
    3.  Depending on the extent of the requested copies, researchers may not receive copies at the time of their appointment.
    4. Some requests for copies may not be fulfilled if the item may be damaged during copying. PARC staff will discuss alternatives if this is the case.
  7. While PARC does not charge the public for on-site access and assistance, the staff is unable to commit to more than 15 minutes of research for individuals unable to do their own research in person
    1. Researchers with questions involving more than 15 minutes or those of a nature requiring interpretation are invited to make arrangements with PARC staff for conducting research on-site.
    2. The City does not recommend any researchers for hire, but may provide a list of people who are available to conduct research-for-a-fee.

The following document is incorporated into these policies by reference: Using the City of Portland’s Archives (Historical Collection)


Ordinance No. 182637, passed by City Council April 1, 2009 and effective May 1, 2009.

Amended by the City Auditor November 8, 2012.

Administratively renamed ARA-8.06 on December 6, 2022

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