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Oregon Historical Society, Portland

#3 of 19 in Museums in Portland
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Oregon Historical Society is dedicated to making Oregon’s long, rich history visible and accessible to all. For more than a century, we have served as the state’s collective memory, gathering and preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, films, manuscripts, books, and oral histories.

Researchers from around the world travel to our library, unearthing information that challenges conventional thinking. Curious individuals come to us to explore their family trees or discover the history of their homes or neighborhoods. Archaeologists, environmentalists, filmmakers, architects, novelists, artists, and others all find their way to us, asking questions, making discoveries, creating knowledge.

We share our vast collection through thought-provoking museum exhibits and robust digital platforms. We bring history directly to Oregon’s students in ways that bridge gaps of time and perspective, and we support lifelong learning through our many public lectures and events. We advance critical inquiry through the Oregon Historical Quarterly, a journal that has sparked conversations throughout our community for over a century.
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Oregon Historical Society reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
446 reviews
  • Good overview of Oregon history on the top floor. Showed the many different "Oregon Trails" - various ways that people emigrated into the area. The museum is culturally sensitive (attempting to show.....  more »
  • very interesting especially for local Portland- ask about the Lincoln connection and the coin flip. Great staff  more »
  • This was not a very large museum, but a very educational and interesting place to visit to learn about Oregon and it's history from various times. There were a good number of well displayed exhibits with lots of great facts and information to immerse yourself in this great State's history. We were lucky and arrived on a Saturday Family day, so the entry was free. It is always nice to visit someplace for free, but if you don't make it on such a day, they do offer a number of discounts including a AAA discount if you have your card. Start from the 3rd floor and work your way down. The 3rd. floor is where you will find most of the historical stuff. Lots of well preserved artifacts from time past and great information behind them to really educate yourself with. The second floor which is their main entrance area contains special exhibits. At the time we visited, there was a beer, Beatles, and a historical exhibit from a local high school I think. The Beatles exhibit was fun with lots of memorabilia from the bands heydays. The beer exhibit had a few interesting things, but was in such a large space seemed to make it look very small and lacking something. The first floor or what seemed like a basement depending on the side of the building it was on, contained art and photos as well as an interactive area for children. This was nice visit and was glad we went.
  • Wow! This place is super nice and clean. The exhibits are well thought out. 3 floors of exhibits and 1 floor for research. Small gift store but they carry a lot of different items. Wonderful ladies selling tickets and trinkets.

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