Introduction: A Bird's Eye View


Lt. Claude B. Washburne of Junction City was one of thousands of Oregonians who service in World War I. (OSA, Oregon State Defense Council Records, World War I Personnel Photographs)

This exhibit consists of hundreds of images and documents describing Oregon and World War I. It focuses on the lives of ordinary Oregonians and how they responded to the challenges of world war. To set the stage, the exhibit examines aspects of Oregon life before the war. Then, it profiles the military service of Oregonians and looks at the incredible changes on the home front. Finally, it follows the veterans home as they coped with a tumultuous postwar period and the ominous signs of another world war.

Target Audience

While designed for a general audience, this exhibit includes extensive resources for students. Middle school students and older will find useful information. See the Appendix for more about learning resources.

Content Note

Please note that some of the subject matter and images deal with violent situations, injury, and death. Also, some materials portray certain groups in a negative light (e.g., Germans as Huns or beasts).

Records Used

This exhibit uses mostly primary records. These consist of original documents, publications, and other items created during the years surrounding World War I. The main focus is on the records of the State Council of Defense for Oregon. But other record groups are used as well. These are documented in the Appendix. The primary sources are augmented by secondary sources such as books and periodicals. Relevant sources are cited at the bottom of pages.


Images in this exhibit have been edited for display purposes. Most are from the records of the State Council of Defense for Oregon. These are supplemented by images from other Oregon State Archives record groups as well as outside sources. All images with citations starting with "OSA" are available at the Oregon State Archives.

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