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Bonneville Dam construction photograph album

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: PH 203_020

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains 114 black and white photographic prints taken during the original construction of the Bonneville Dam and the Spillway from 1933-1937. A construction worker on the dam project made this album. He worked on the Fishway Bridge as well as the Spillway. He also spent three weeks working at Mona Bell Hill's house.

Scope and Contents note

Album of construction of Bonneville Dam, 1934-1936. Images by R.W. Oliver and Bichel; most unsigned. Shows housing, equipment, excavation, construction, spillways. Some workers named.


  • Creation: 1934-1936

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections & 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 & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical/Historical note

The Bonneville Dam is named after a camp of a fur trader and AWOL solider, Captain Benjamin L. Eulalie Bonneville.

The workers on the dam were often from the relief roles or veterans.

The Bonneville Dam is located at mile 146.1. It is 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon. The primary purposes of the dam are electrical generation and river navigation. The Bonneville Dam was constructed from 1933-1937 by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the New Deal. The Spillway is located on the North, or Washington side, of the Columbia Rive and Bradford Island.

The dimensions are: First Powerhouse - constructed 1933-1937; 313 m (1,027 ft) long; 10 generators with an output capacity of 526,700 kw. Located on the Lower end of Bradford Island. Spillway constructed 1933-1937; 18 gates over a length of 442 m (1450 ft); maintains the reservoir (upriver) usually 18 m (60 ft) above the river on the downstream side.


0.2 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of one album of the construction of Bonneville Dam, 1934-1936. Images by R.W. Oliver and Bichel; most unsigned. Shows housing, equipment, excavation, construction, spillways. Some workers are named.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased from Tom Robinson in 2004.

General Physical Description note

1 album (114 photographs)

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Normandy S. Helmer.

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 Bonneville Dam construction photograph album
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Normandy Helmer
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