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William A. Langille papers

Identifier: Ax 635

Scope and Contents

The William A. Langille papers consist of scattered diaries, letters, and historical articles on Alaska and Oregon, and photographs (mainly of Brazil). In Series I: Correspondence, the major correspondent is Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent. Among the manuscripts found in this collection is a biography of Boardman. Langille and his younger brother, Harold D. Doug Langille corresponded most of their adult life. This collection includes correspondence received from Doug and his correspondence to William. With the W.A. Langille papers are the papers of Harold D. Langille (1874-1954), a forester and engineer. His papers include letters to his brother, William, written between 1935 and 1953 from mining areas in western Idaho and Sonora, Mexico. There are also 72 letters written from France, 1917-1919, when Doug was a major in the 505th Engineer Service Brigade.

Series II: Reports, Manuscripts, Publications, contains two short stories about Alaska and numerous papers covering forestry topics concerning Alaska and Oregon. The diaries in this collection focus mainly on Langille's life in Oregon but also include a diary from his four months spent in Sao Paulo, Brazil. During his stay in Brazil, Langille was an avid photographer and this collection includes a large portion of photographs and 2.5x5 black and white negatives of this area. These photographs document Brazilian native life and natural environment. Other subjects include Alaska and Oregon. The final series includes Langille mementos, awards, citations, and photographs.


  • 1891-1955


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

William A. Langille was born in 1869 in Nova Scotia. In 1882, he came to Hood River, Oregon where the Langille family was associated with the construction and operation of the Cloud Cap Inn. Construction began in 1889 and they operated the inn from 1891 until 1906. William and his brother, Harold D. "Doug" Langille, were early climbers and guides on the mountain. In 1897 William went prospecting in the Klondyke gold fields. A few years later, in 1903, he was appointed forester of Alaska. Many of the manuscripts and some of the diaries in this collection reflect on his time spent in that area. Due to his association with Alaskan lumber companies, he was hired in 1912 by the Paulista Lumber Company to report on the Brazilian forest. After World War I, Langille worked for the forest service and the Oregon State Parks Department.


1.5 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



William A. Langille (1869-1956) came with his family to Hood River, Oregon in 1882. The Langille family operated the Cloud Cap Inn on Mt. Hood. Langille was a prospector in the Klondyke gold fields and Alaska state forester; eventually he was appointed forest manager for the Oregon State Parks Department. This collection contains correspondence, short stories, articles and reports that focus on his time in Alaska, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Oregon.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I. Correspondence

Series II. Reports, manuscripts, publications

Series III. Langille diaries

Series IV. Photographs

Series V. Langille mementos and family photographs

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

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 William A. Langille Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Mary Beth Hepp-Elam
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA