Oregon starts encyclopedia project in Bay Area - The World - Coos Bay

Oregon starts encyclopedia project in Bay Area


Tuesday, February 26, 2008 |


Where did the name Oregon originate? What was the Roseburg Blast of 1959? How did the Pendleton Roundup get started? What little publicized, but notorious deed took place in Christmas Valley in the 1960s?

For the first time, people interested in finding out answers to these questions, and to thousands of others like them, will have a single authoritative place to look.

The Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University invite the public to "open their minds to Oregon" and participate in the creation of "The Oregon Encyclopedia." This is anew online resource where information on the state's significant people, places, events, institutions, and biota will be available to anyone with Internet access at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org.

Public meetings will be held statewide on the project, starting in Coos Bay on March 8.

The facilitator will be William G. Robbins, distinguished professor emeritus of history at Oregon State University. Robbins published the book "Hard Times in Paradise: Coos Bay, Oregon, 1850-1896." The morning meeting will provide information about The Oregon Encyclopedia, and the afternoon session will focus on the gathering of information for the project, including a writing workshop.

"What we want to accomplish in our meeting is for Coos area people to gain ownership of what goes onto the Web. We want to tap into local sources of historical and cultural knowledge about significant people, places, events, and institutions and come away with a list of suggested writers for proposed encyclopedia entries," said Editor-in-Chief Ulrich Hardt.

The Oregon Encyclopedia will include entries on all parts of the state, with special attention to smaller communities. It will include information on Oregon history, art, architecture, literature, anthropology, ethnology, folklore, and more. Following the Coos Bay meeting, Encyclopedia editors and staff will involve local communities across the state in gathering information through local workshops.

Content will be added to the Web site every week. The official launch date is timed to commemorate the Oregon Statehood Sesquicentennial in 2009.

The Oregon Encyclopedia grew out of the recognized need for a single, definitive source of information about Oregon's history and culture. An Editorial Board of more than 24 scholars and specialists from across the state will advise on editorial policy, help determine content, write entries and essays, and encourage submissions. Among the members are Mitzi Loftus, former longtime resident of Coos Bay, author.

Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society are the institutional partners for The Oregon Encyclopedia. The project is also supported by a collaboration of the state's five cultural partners - the Oregon Arts Council, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, and the State Historic Preservation Office - with funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust. Additional support has been provided by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, the Oregon Heritage Commission and the Oregon Council for the Humanities.

Local meeting

The Oregon Encyclopedia Project will kick off a series off meetings statewide in Coos Bay.

* Saturday, March 8: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Coos Bay Public Library, Myrtlewood Room, 525 Anderson Ave.

Oregon Encyclopedia - Oregon History and Culture

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