Guide to the Oliver Matthews Collection
1905-1969

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Matthews, Oliver Vincent, 1892-1979
Title: Oliver Matthews Collection
Dates: 1905-1969
Quantity: 16 cubic feet
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Summary: The Matthews Collection consists of scrapbooks and trip logs pertaining to Oregon trees, logging methods, and wood products.
Repository: Oregon State University
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165
Email: archives@oregonstate.edu
Web: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives

Languages: Materials in English 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Oliver Matthews (1892-1979), dendrologist and self-described "botanical tramp," traveled all parts of Oregon for more than 40 years in pursuit of trees, particularly the biggest of each species. Matthews graduated from Willamette University in 1913 and later received teacher training as a post-graduate at Oregon College of Education, but had no formal training as a botanist.

He served in Europe during World War I and worked as a carpenter and an extra in the silent film industry in Hollywood after the war. He returned to Oregon in 1928 and except for seasonal work as a carpenter and in a Salem cannery, devoted the rest of his life to the study of Oregon's trees. He corresponded extensively with herbariums, state and national forest services, newspapers, and individuals; collected hundreds of wood specimens; discovered a new cypress that bears his name; extended the known geographical range of several trees; contributed extensive botanical specimens to many herbariums; and located, measured, and documented the largest specimens of many trees, including Douglas Fir and Weeping Spruce.

Content Description

This collection consists of scrapbooks and logs pertaining to Oregon trees, logging methods, and wood products. The scrapbooks, arranged by species or other subject, include correspondence, clippings, photographs, and postcards. The logs contain day-by-day and mile-by-mile information on trips taken by Matthews in his search for botanical specimens, wood samples, and rare or large trees. The logs include maps, photographs, correspondence, trip narratives, and receipts.

Use of the Collection

Preferred Citation :  

Oliver Matthews Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized in three series: 1. Scrapbooks; 2. Logs; and 3. Publications.

Related Materials :  

Other materials relating to this collection can be found in the Oliver Matthews Photographic Collection (P 118) and in the Memorabilia Collection.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Scrapbooks
Container(s)
Description
Box
1 Scrapbook 1
apx 12x17 in.
Box
1 Narrow Leaf Cottonwood
apx 12x17 in.
1 Willows and Birches
apx 12x17 in.
World's largest Northwest Paper BirchDiscovery of extension of Northwest Paper Birch growth to area other than the Minam River
1 Scrapbook 2
apx 12x17 in.
Box
1 Sumac
apx 12x17 in.
Oregon's largest Scarlet Sumac
1 Driftwood
apx 12x17 in.
Wood collecting on Oregon's beachesGifts of wood samples to State Forestry Department and to OSU Forestry School
2 Scrapbook 3
apx 12x17 in.
Box
2 Johnson Fir
apx 12x17 in.
2 "Sport" trees
apx 12x17 in.
2 Noble Fir
apx 12x17 in.
3 Scrapbook 4
apx 12x17 in.
Box
3 Incense Cedar
apx 12x17 in.
Uses
4 Scrapbook 5
apx 12x17 in.
Box
4 Oregon Ash
apx 12x17 in.
Salem historical photos, newspaper clippings.
4 Elderberries
apx 12x17 in.
"Detective Work" (letters, gathering of Herbarium materials, etc.) in trying to establish a new elderberry.
5 Scrapbook 6
apx 12x17 in.
Box
5 Largest tree ever cut in Oregon
apx 12x17 in.
5 Early logging methods
apx 12x17 in.
Ox teams, skid roads, donkey engines, trestles, railroads, yard engines.
6 Scrapbook 7
apx 12x17 in.
Box
6 Mountain Alder
apx 12x17 in.
6 Red Alder
apx 12x17 in.
6 Cut-leaf Alder
apx 12x17 in.
6 Sitka Alder
apx 12x17 in.
Growth on Saddle Mountain.
6 White Alder
apx 12x17 in.
7 Scrapbook 8
apx 12x17 in.
Box
7 Blue Blossom (Blue Myrtle)
apx 12x17 in.
7 Buffalo Berry
apx 12x17 in.
Growth in Harney CountyAlvord County
7 Dogwood
apx 12x17 in.
7 Tasseltree, Silktassel
apx 12x17 in.
7 Madrone
apx 12x17 in.
7 Kinnikinik, Heather, Manzanita, Huckleberry
apx 12x17 in.
7 Rhododendron
apx 12x17 in.
7 Azalea
apx 12x17 in.
8 Scrapbook 9
apx 12x17 in.
Box
8 Syringa
apx 12x17 in.
8 Rose
apx 12x17 in.
8 Evergreen Blackberry
apx 12x17 in.
8 Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany
apx 12x17 in.
8 Curl-leaf Mountain Mahogany
apx 12x17 in.
8 Oregon Crabapple
apx 12x17 in.
8 Western Serviceberry
apx 12x17 in.
8 Black Haw (Hawthorn)
apx 12x17 in.
8 Columbia Haw
apx 12x17 in.
8 Bitter cherry
apx 12x17 in.
8 Chokeberry
apx 12x17 in.
8 Wild Plum
apx 12x17 in.
9 Scrapbook 10
apx 12x17 in.
Box
9 Douglas Maple
apx 12x17 in.
9 Bigleaf Maple or Broadleaf Maple
apx 12x17 in.
Maple burls and veneersPowWow tree
9 Kimball Maple
apx 12x17 in.
9 Vine Maple
apx 12x17 in.
Phantom BridgeSilver Creek Falls
9 Cascara Buckhorn or Chittim
apx 12x17 in.
10 Scrapbook 11
apx 12x17 in.
Box
10 Chinquapin
apx 12x17 in.
10 Western Hackberry
apx 12x17 in.
10 Oregon Grape
apx 12x17 in.
10 Oregon Myrtle (California Laurel)
apx 12x17 in.
10 Avocado
apx 12x17 in.
11 Scrapbook 12
apx 12x17 in.
Box
11 Aspen
apx 12x17 in.
11 Black Cottonwood
apx 12x17 in.
12 Scrapbook 13
apx 12x17 in.
Box
12 Redwood
apx 12x17 in.
FossilsRedwood Highway (photos from 1926)Metasequoia
13 Scrapbook 14
apx 12x17 in.
Box
13 Old Forestry Building, Portland
apx 12x17 in.
Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1905
13 Old logging photos and postcards
apx 12x17 in.
13 Cordwood, wood-burning stoves, furnaces
apx 12x17 in.
13 Virgin Douglas fir photos, postcards
apx 12x17 in.
13 Southeast corner of Oregon
apx 12x17 in.
14 Scrapbook 15
apx 12x17 in.
Box
14 Forest Fires
apx 12x17 in.
Tillamook Burn, 1933, 1945.
14 Photos, wood samples
apx 12x17 in.
14 Witchbroom on Douglas fir
apx 12x17 in.
14 Mistletoe
apx 12x17 in.
15 Scrapbook 16
apx 12x17 in.
Box
15 California Juniper
apx 12x17 in.
15 Dwarf Juniper
apx 12x17 in.
15 Rocky Mountain Juniper
apx 12x17 in.
15 Western Juniper
apx 12x17 in.
15 Robinson Juniper
apx 12x17 in.
Matthew's part in naming new specimen.
16 Scrapbook 17
apx 12x17 in.
Box
16 Early Roads in Oregon
apx 12x17 in.
16 "Life Zones" in Oregon
apx 12x17 in.
17 Scrapbook 18
apx 12x17 in.
Box
17 Determinants of Vegetation
apx 12x17 in.
RainfallSoilLatitude
17 Fire
apx 12x17 in.
17 Logging
apx 12x17 in.
18 Scrapbook 19
apx 12x17 in.
Box
18 Alpine Larch
apx 12x17 in.
18 Western Larch
apx 12x17 in.
18 Tamaracks
apx 12x17 in.
18 Mountain Hemlock
apx 12x17 in.
Crater LakeBuried forests
19 Scrapbook 20
apx 12x17 in.
Box
19 Western Hemlock
apx 12x17 in.
19 Paper Industry
apx 12x17 in.
20 Scrapbook 21
Box
20 Tanoak
20 Oregon White Oak
Pioneer cemeteriesVarious large or historic oaks in Oregon
20 Scrapbook 22
Box
20 California Black Oak
20 Canyon Live Oak
20 Dwarf Oak
20 Oracle Oak
20 Scrapbook 23
Box
20 Western Red Cedar
Shingle cutting
20 Hogan Cedar
21 Scrapbook 24
Box
21 Alaska Cedar (Alaska Yellow Cedar)
21 Port Orford Cedar
21 Scrapbook 25
Box
21 Sitka Spruce
"Wart" treesWeeping formOregon Coast - photographs
21 Scrapbook 26
Box
21 Weeping Spruce
Siskiyou National Forest - Miller Lake area"Great trees"
21 Scrapbook 27
Box
21 Engelmann Spruce
21 Steamboats, beach scenes
22 Scrapbook 28
Box
22 Ponderosa Pine
Early logging photos
22 Scrapbook 29
Box
22 Sugar Pine
22 Western White Pine
22 Whitebark Pine
Bonsai trees
22 Scrapbook 30
Box
22 Pacific Yew
Bows and arrows
22 Florida Yew
22 Coast (or Beach) Pine
22 Digger Pine
22 Jeffrey Pine
22 Knobcone Pine
22 Scrapbook 31
Box
22 Limber Pine
22 Spiral grain in trees
22 Bristlecone Pine
22 Lodgepole Pine
23 Scrapbook 32
Box
23 Douglas fir -- big trees
23 Early surveying in Oregon
23 Coos Bay, lumber port
23 Scrapbook 33
Box
23 Uses of Douglas fir
Chips, Christmas trees, cooperage, ship's decking, doors, drugs, javelins, piling, sawdust, plywood, tanning, veneer, etc.
23 Enemies of Douglas fir
23 Scrapbook 34
Box
23 Origin of Christmas Tree
23 Alpine Fir
23 Silver Fir
23 Lowland White Fir
23 Scrapbook 35
Box
23 Red Fir
23 Shasta Fir
23 White Fir
24 Scrapbook 36
Box
24 Douglas fir
ShippingBig treesLog raftsPole business
24 Scrapbook 37
Box
24 Discovery of Matthew's Cypress, Cupressis Bakeri subsp. Matthewsii
24 Monterey Cypress
24 Miller Lake area, Southwest Oregon
24 Scrapbook 38
Box
24 Matthews Cypress
24 McNab Cypress
24 Baker Cypress
24 (Botanical Notes, many from specimens gathered by Matthews)
24 Scrapbook 39
Box
24 Matthews Cypress
25 Scrapbook 40
Box
25 Matthews Cypress
apx 12x17 in.
25 Scrapbook 41
Box
25 Matthews Cypress, arranged by area of growth
apx 12x17 in.
Unnumbered Scrapbooks
Box
24 National Forest Maps
25 Big trees, vol. I and II
apx 12x17 in.

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Series II:  Logs, 1928-1967
Container(s)
Description
Box
26 1932-1939
27 1940-1946, 1928, 1931
28 1947-1955
29 1956-1967

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Series III:  Publications, 1948
Container(s)
Description
Box
25 "The New World Cypresses" by Carl B. Wolf and Willis E. Wagener, 1948

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Subjects

  • Corporate Names :
  • Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition (1905: Portland, Or.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Coos Bay (Or.)
  • Salem (Or.)
  • Subject Terms :
  • Christmas tree growing.
  • Cypress.
  • Douglas fir--Oregon.
  • Forest fires--Oregon.
  • Forest products--Oregon.
  • Forests and forestry--Oregon.
  • Logging railroads.
  • Logging--Machinery.
  • Logging--Oregon.
  • Tillamook Burn, Or., 1933.
  • Trees--Oregon--Identification.
  • Wood--Identification.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Scrapbooks.

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