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Philip Brogan papers

Identifier: Coll 454

Scope and Contents

The collection of Phil Brogan’s papers consists of documents, photos and correspondence concerning the history and geology of Central Oregon. Brogan’s work for the Bend Bulletin resulted in the acquirement of documents and research in the fields of Oregon history, geology and astronomy. Thus, this collection includes articles written by Brogan as well as others concerning events such as the John Day Fossil Beds Monument, the naming of Smith Rock, the Tetherow Bridge, Camp Hancock, the lost wagon train of 1853, Bend’s pioneers, and the Big Lava Lake murders among others.

Additionally, the collection of Brogan’s papers contains documents from the Oregon Historical Society and Geographic Names Board as well as documentation from the Deschutes County Historical Society. The collection contains articles, correspondence, meeting notes, photos, and event papers from these societies.

The collection also contains correspondence between Brogan and other historians and journalists from around the country. These collections of correspondence concern various stories involving Oregon and Oregon personnel that Brogan researched and wrote about.

The collection also includes hundreds of photos collected by Brogan. These photos include photos from Bend Oregon as well as other sites in Central Oregon. The photos also include historical figures from Oregon and photos from events through Oregon’s history.


  • 1902-1991
  • Majority of material found within 1929-1980


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

Phillip Francis Brogan, better known as Phil Brogan, was an Oregon journalist and author who became known for his expertise in Oregon geology, history and astronomy. Brogan’s main contributions came through his work at the Bend Bulletin where he worked for 44 years, serving as a reporter, writer and editor.

Brogan was born on March 23, 1896 in the Dalles, Oregon. As a boy Brogan lived and worked on ranches in the regions surrounding Ashwood and Antelope, Oregon. After serving in the US navy in WWI, Brogan returned to Oregon and eventually entered the University of Oregon in 1919 as a journalism student. During his time at the U of O Brogan wrote for the Eugene Register-Guard, writing articles about Oregon geology. Four years later Brogan left the University missing two classes and, thus, without his degree.

Brogan’s journalism career truly started in 1923, when he was hired by the Bend Bulletin to report on science in Oregon. During his career as a journalist Brogan became an expert in many fields, reporting on subjects such as central Oregon’s history, geology, paleontology, geography, meteorology and astronomy to name a few. Brogan published thousands of articles for the Bulletin while simultaneously acting as a correspondent for the Oregonian in regards to Central Oregon. He also participated as a part of the Oregon Geographic Names Board, serving as president for 20 years. Additionally, Brogan’s book East of the Cascades, published in 1964, acted as a huge contribution to the study of central Oregon history.

Brogan’s role in Oregon journalism left a big impact, for, he brought attention to otherwise unknown aspects of Oregon’s past. Brogan improved public awareness of Oregon’s unique geology and archeology, sparking public interest through his stories and engaging writing style. Due to this important contribution, Brogan won a number of awards including the American Heritage award given by the Oregon Historical Society, The Distinguished Service Award provided by the University of Oregon, the Thomas Jefferson Award by the National Weather Service and the Amos Voorhies Award which named him the “most outstanding Oregon newspaperman.”

By the time of his retirement, Brogan was a well-known journalist across the state as well as Oregon’s best known geologist. Brogan retired in 1967 and would eventually go on to move to Denver, Colorado, where he would die on May 30, 1983. However, the legacy of Brogan lives on with his name honoring a viewpoint near Lava Butte.


3 linear feet (2 containers) : 2 record storage boxes

Language of Materials



Phil Brogan was an Oregon journalist who spent his career reporting for the Bend Bulletin. His stories covered a range of topics, focusing on the geology, history, and geography of Bend and Central Oregon. The Brogan collection consist of documents, photos and correspondence concerning stories he wrote and researched. Additionally, the collection of Brogan’s papers contains documents from the Oregon Historical Society and Geographic Names Board as well as documentation from the Deschutes County Historical Society.


Material within this collection may have little to no intellectual or physical arrangement. Any arrangement may have derived from the records' creators or custodians. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Elizabeth and William Orr

Processing Information

Collection processed by Marcella Hardin

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 Philip Brogan Papers
Complete Description
Marcella Hardin and Stephanie Kays
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is 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