About the Historical County Records Guide

Welcome to the Oregon Historical County Records Guide presented by the Oregon State Archives. The guide contains a descriptive inventory of records for each of Oregon's 36 counties.

Records Inventories

County records inventories​ list records held by the counties, the Oregon State Archives and other repositories. This section includes an explanation of how the records series descriptions are compiled.

County Histories

Individual county histories​ trace the evolution of county governments in Oregon. Histories include the creation and naming of the county; designation of boundaries; location of the county seat; construction of the county courthouse; development of the county government; and description of the major industrial geographical, demographic, or historical features of the county.

Scenic County Images

A look at Oregon scenic images and landscape photos​ of the counties. High resolution copies of the images are available for purchase.

County Context

An overview of the development and current form of county government generally in Oregon as well as the evolution and current function of major county offices.

Oregon Maps

Maps of the state of Oregon​ showing counties, county seats and geographical features such as mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. 

Inventory Background

The Inventory Background​​ provides project history, inventory parameters and descriptions of records. Important legal and logistical considerations for researchers are the focus of the "Gaining access to the records" page. The "Using this guide" page explains the parts of record series descriptions.


The Appendix​​ provides glossary of terms used in the inventory as well as contact information and links to related publications.

​Qui​ck Link​s​

Wallowa Lake with mountain in background, boat tied to dock in foreground.
Wallowa Lake (Photo No. walDA0063) from the Scenic County Images​.