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Willamette University and Northwest collection

Identifier: WUA014

Scope and Contents

The Willamette University and Northwest collection contains a wide range of materials documenting the history of Willamette University and the Northwest. Included are maps, photographs, letters, newspaper articles, and manuscripts by and about significant members of the area. Individuals featured throughout the collection are Ketturah Belknap, Lucy Anna Lee Grubbs, Jason Lee, and William Wallace Youngson. Maps include reproductions of the Lewis and Clark route, the Willamette Valley, and the Hudson's Bay Company. Also included in the collection is a history of the Philodosian Literary Society of Willamette.

The bulk of the collection was compiled by Robert Moulton Gatke in an effort to create a Northwest Collection. Also included are materials gathered by Francis H. Grubbs about Jason Lee. Notes and letters throughout the collection reveal items added in subsequent years in an effort to grow the collection.


  • 1770-1975
  • Majority of material found within 1843-1974

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Historical Note

This collection was largely pulled together by Robert Moulton Gatke during his tenure at Willamette University. Gatke began attending Willamette Academy in 1914. He then attended both undergraduate and graduate school at Willamette, receiving his Master of Arts in 1920. He was also ordained as a minister of the Methodist Church in 1920. Gatke then joined the Willamette faculty as a history instructor. He later founded the political science department at Willamette. In 1935, he was promoted to professor of political science and history.

Gatke was particularly interested in the history of the Northwest. While gathering research for Chronicles of Willamette, he compiled letters, documents, and other historical materials to help document the history of Willamette University and the Northwest. More materials have been added throughout the years by those interested in growing the collection.


14 Linear Feet (7 boxes, 7 oversize boxes)


This collection contains letters, manuscripts, maps, and photographs pertaining to the history of Willamette University and the Northwest.


This collection has been organized into four series: I. Subject Files; II. Francis H. Grubbs collection on Jason Lee; III. Manuscripts; and IV. Newspapers.

The collection is loosely alphabetical.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library

Related Materials

For more Willamette University and Northwest history, see the Robert M. Gatke “Chronicles of Willamette” research collection, the Reuben P. Boise family papers, the Sybil Westenhouse Research papers on Oregon and the City of Salem, and the Willamette University publications collection.

Separated Materials

Publication materials such as student yearbooks, Alumnus magazines, and catalogs were added to the University Publications collection.


Gatke, Robert M. Chronicles of Willamette :The Pioneer University of the West (Portland, Or.: Binfords and Mort, 1943).
Guide to the Willamette University and Northwest collection, 1770-1975
Finding aid processed by Ashley Toutain.
© 2014
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States