Skip to main content

Thomas M. Robins papers

Identifier: Ax 278

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of engineering project and research files, which include correspondence, legislation, drawings, reports, and manuscripts. Projects include the Yale Dam, the Pelton hydroelectric development, and the dams of the Idaho Power Company. Also included are reports by commissions, corporations, and associations, including the National Water Conservation Conference, Pacific Northwest Development Association, National Reclamation Association, and Interstate Compact Commission. The correspondence is largely official in nature (1931-1945), except for an exchange of about three hundred letters, 1913-1919, between Robins and Eleanor Reifsnider, who would later become Mrs. Thomas M. Robins.


  • Creation: 1912-1964


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

Thomas Matthew Robins was born in Snow Hill, Maryland and graduated from West Point in 1904, as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He served in Cuba in 1908, and in Manila from 1909 to 1912. During World War I he was the engineer officer at the Hoboken, New Jersey port of embarkation.

By 1929 he was the division engineer of the Southern Pacific Division, headquartered in San Francisco, California; he would later become the division engineer of the Northern Pacific Division in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, he was in charge of all rivers, harbors, and flood control work, including construction of the Bonneville Dam. He was later stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and became Deputy Chief of Engineers. He retired in 1945, and did private consulting work.


13.25 linear feet (8 containers) : 5 record storage boxes, 1 small artifact box, 1 clamshell box, 1 oversize folder


Thomas Matthew Robins was a native of Maryland who graduated from West Point and served in Cuba in 1908 and in World War I. He later moved to Portland, Oregon where he was in charge of construction of the Bonneville Dam. Collection contains engineering project and research files, speeches, correspondence, personal information and photographs.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Papers Subseries A: Project and research files Subseries B: Correspondence Subseries C: Personal Subseries D: Writings Subseries E: Artifacts Subseries F: Oversize map

Series II: Photographs

Other Finding Aids

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections and University Archives, Paulson Reading Room.

Related Materials

Other collections relating to Thomas M. Robins at Special Collections and University Archives include: Pacific Northwest Development Association (PNDA) records, Bx 143.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff. Reprocessed at the folder- and item-level 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 Thomas M. Robins papers
Complete Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team and Tanya Parlet. Finding aid updated by Rachel Lilley, 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA