The Reference Room
Indexes can provide the researcher with abstracted information and instructions about how to find specific individuals, subjects, and places within a given record or across numerous records. Many bound volumes have attached indexes, for example, probate journals and marriage records. Other records, such as death certificates, can be accessed by means of direct alphabetical indexes on microfilm. Some indexes, such as many of the federal censuses, use the Soundex alphanumeric coding. The reference room library has numerous indexes compiled by volunteers at the Archives and donated by various organizations and associations. Finally, many indexes are available on the Archives Web site and will be discussed in the Web resources section.
Two large sets of index cards in the west alcove of the reference room are excellent tools for genealogists and others searching for individuals. The first set includes thousands of cards that index and abstract the following records:
Oregon provisional and territorial government records, 1837-1859 (by far the largest group of records indexed by these cards- see sample card and description)
Oregon Supreme Court case files, 1855-1904
Oregon Defense Council personal military service records, 1917-1918
Oregon soldiers home patient histories, 1894-1933
Oregon State Treasurer quarterly reports of estates, 1903-1913 (probate)
The second set of card indexes provides
information from the Oregon Military Department and
its predecessor, the Oregon Militia. The service
records of thousands of individuals from a 100 year
period are abstracted and researchers are often
referred to more detailed records (see
sample card and description).