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Pacific Northwest Development Association (PNDA) records

Identifier: Bx 143


Collection is primarily comprised of research files created by the Pacific Northwest Development Association.


  • Creation: 1943-1961


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

In early spring of 1948, unseasonably warm temperatures loosened and melted Idaho snowpack, swelling the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Between May and June, the Columbia overflowed its banks from Umatilla to Oregon; in Vanport, Oregon’s second largest city at the time, river dikes crumbled, killing fifty. The total death toll in the Columbia basin numbered over sixty, with nearly half a billion dollars in property damage. This flood, combined with an increasingly urgent need for electricity in the region, was the impetus to move forward with previously stalled plans to build the Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River on the border of Idaho and Oregon.

Formed in August of 1948, and directed by Daniel B. Noble, the Pacific Northwest Development Association - along with the National Reclamation Association and the National Water Conservation Conference - was opposed to the creation of regional authorities, and lobbied against the Hells Canyon High dam project. The PNDA focused its efforts instead on establishing local authority, preserving state water laws, and promoting state participation in water resources developments.

[Source: Public Power, Private Dams: The Hells Canyon High Dam Controversy, by Karl Boyd Brooks]


6 linear feet (12 containers)


Material within this collection is arranged alphabetically by subject/research topic. Any arrangement is derived from the records' creators or custodians, or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Related Materials

Other collections relating to the Pacific Northwest Development Association at Special Collections and University Archives include:

Thomas M. Robins papers, Ax 278.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Rachel Lilley, 2016.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Pacific Northwest Development Association records
Complete Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team. Revised finding aid prepared by Rachel Lilley.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA