Vanport, Oregon flood photographs
Scope and Contents
This collection contains 35 black and white photographs of the flooding of Vanport, Oregon in 1948.
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
Vanport was a World War II era public housing city in Multnomah County, Oregon built to accommodate workers of the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. The city took its name from these two neighboring cities. Vanport was constructed in 1942 out of necessity to accommodate a massive influx of workers to the area, a large number of which were African-American. At its height, Vanport was home to 40,000 people making it the second largest city in Oregon, and the largest public housing project in the United States. The population dropped after the end of the war. In order to attract post-war veterans to Vanport, the Housing Authority of Portland established the Vanport Extension Center in 1946, which would later be renamed Portland State University. On May 30, 1948 a section of a railroad embankment which served as a dyke along the Columbia River collapsed, and Vanport was flooded. The flood killed 15 people and left between 17,000 and 18,000 people homeless. This event contributed significantly to the integration of Portland, Oregon which was a majority white city, and deeply segregated prior to World War II. The location of Vanport is now home to Delta Park and the Portland International Raceway.
McGregor, Michael. “The Vanport Flood.” The Oregon History Project. March 17, 2018. https://oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/essays/the-vanport-flood/#.XUiRSSBlBPY.
.1 linear feet (1 container) : 1 folder
Language of Materials
Vanport was a World War II era public housing city in Multnomah County, Oregon built to accommodate workers of the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. This collection contains 35 black and white photographs of the flooding of Vanport, Oregon in 1948.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition unknown.
Collection processed by Emily Haskins, 2019.
- Guide to Vanport, Oregon flood photographs
- Complete Description
- Finding aid prepared by Emily Haskins.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note