Guide to the Oregon State Highway Maps

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Oregon. State Highway Department.
Title: Oregon State Highway Maps
Dates: 1918-1991 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.5 cubic feet, including 84 maps (2 map folders and 1 oversize box)
Collection Number: MAPS ORStateHwy
Summary: The Oregon State Highway Maps consist primarily of the official highway map produced annually by the Oregon State Highway Department. The maps depict federal and state highways, key landmarks, and other information for drivers and visitors.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 

Content Description

The Oregon State Highway Maps consist primarily of the official highway map produced annually by the Oregon State Highway Department from the late 1910s through early 1990s. The collection also includes road and recreation maps produced by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1920s-1930s and several commercial highway maps.

Highway maps produced annually by the Oregon State Highway Department are included for almost all years between 1918 and 1991; maps for 1918-1942, 1945, 1948-1977, 1979-1986, and 1991 are part of the collection. Two of the commercial highway maps also include Washington. All of the maps are at a small scale (approximately 1 inch = 15 miles) in order to depict the entire state on one sheet. The more recent maps include maps of cities and towns. Many of the maps have linen backing that obscures text on the verso. Some of the state highway maps are photocopies. Duplicate copies of some maps are part of the collection.

In addition to showing federal and state highways in Oregon, the maps depict municipalities; predominant land features, such as rivers, lakes, and mountain ranges; state boundaries; populations of cities; mileage between towns and junctions; and National Parks, State Parks, and wildlife refuge locations. The maps also note locations of airports, roadside rest areas, fish hatcheries, lighthouses, county seats, and winter sport areas. Many of the maps also include tourist information for travelers, crucial State Laws pertaining to automobiles and drivers, and mileage tables for calculating trip distances.

Official highway maps published by the State Highway Department are available online in the Oregon Maps digital collection.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Oregon State Highway Maps (MAPS ORStateHwy), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Oregon State Highway Maps are arranged in four series: I. Road and Recreation Maps, 1920-1930; II. Main Traveled Automobile Roads, 1918-1953; II. Official Highway Map of Oregon, 1954-1991; and IV. Commercial Highway Maps, 1941-1984.

Acquisition Information :  

These materials were transferred from the Oregon State University Libraries' maps collection to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center in 2014.

Related Materials :  

Additional and more current highway maps for the state of Oregon are available in the Oregon State University Libraries general map collection. The Special Collections & Archives Research Center's holdings also include Highway Maps of Oregon Counties, 1965-1976 (MAPS Highway) and Oregon State Highway Division Maps of Oregon Cities and Towns, 1969-1989 (MAPS ORCities). More detailed maps of Oregon national forests are available in the National Forests in Oregon Maps, 1910-1989 (MAPS USFS).

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Road and Recreation Maps, 1920-1930
4 maps

Series I includes maps published in 1920, 1923, 1927, and 1930 by the U.S. Forest Service. The maps depict highways as well as national forests and parks in Oregon. Linen backing obscures text on the verso of the sheets.


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Series II:  Main Traveled Automobile Roads, 1918-1953
36 maps

Series II consists of the offical automobile road map and main traveled roads for Oregon. Maps are included for 1918-1942, 1945, and 1948-1953.


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Series III:  Official Highway Map of Oregon, 1954-1991
37 maps

Series III is a continuation of the road maps that comprise Series II. Maps are include for 1954-1977, 1979-1986, and 1991.

box 3 1954-1965
fldr 2 1966-1991

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Series IV:  Commercial Highway Maps, 1941-1984
7 maps

Series IV consists of commercially produced highway maps, primarily sold at gas stations. The series includes maps published by Shell Gas & Power, Richfield Credit Card, Big Sky Maps, and A Travel Vision. Two of these maps also include Washington.


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    • Subject Terms :
    • Roads--Oregon--Maps.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Oregon--Description and travel.
    • Oregon--Maps.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Maps.
    • Tourist maps.
    • Transportation maps.
      • Other Creators :
      • Oregon. Department of Transportation.
      • United States. Forest Service.

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