Department of Corrections Records Guide
Scope and Content Note
The State Archives holds approximately 150 bound volumes and 87 cubic feet of records from the Department of Corrections.
The date range in the materials spans from 1853 to 1985, however the bulk of the records date before 1950.
Textual materials compose the bulk of the records of the Department of Corrections: ledgers, statistical data, registers, expenditure records, procedure manuals, admission and discharge papers, case files, commitment and disciplinary journals, description cards, indices, logs, time served calendars, minutes, production records, publications and correspondence.
Non-textual materials in the records consist of photographs, building plans, blueprints, and training films. The Inmate Case Files series contains a large number of the photographs. The Inmate Case Files series represents, at 38 cubic feet, the single largest series of the Department of Corrections.
The years in which the Oregon State Archives accessioned Department of Corrections records currently spans 1957 through 2001. The list of accessions is as follows (first number represents the year of accession):
57A-111/001; 57A-111/002; 57A-111/0068; 57A-111/009; 57A-111/010; 57A-111/011; 57A-111/013; 57A-111/014; 57A-111/015; 57A-111/016; 57A-111/021; 57A-111/022; 58A-030; 58A-032; 58A-052/005; 63A-047 - 20; 63A-047/007; 63A-047/015; 63A-047/018; 63A-047/09, 12, 13; 66A-013; 67A-024/001; 67A-024/003; 67A-024/004; 67A-024/005; 67A-024/007; 67A-024/009-029; 67A-024/010; 67A-024/011; 67A-024/012; 67A-024/013; 67A-024/020; 67A-024/022; 67A-024/024; 67A-024/006; 67A-024/026; 67A-024/027; 67A-024/14, 17, 19; 71A-028; 73A-003; 73A-111/002; 73A-111/003; 73A-111/004; 75A-150; 88A-010; 88A-036; 91A-031; 91A-090; 93A-032; 94A-007; 98B-038; 2001A-002; 2001B-031.
Related Records & Resources
Board of Control
Related records of the Corrections Department, both textual and non-textual, can be found in those of the Board of Control. Series' of interest would include:
- Corrections Division Correspondence
- Maps, Plans, and Drawings-NP1P
- Oregon State Correctional Institution Correspondence
- Penitentiary Cornerstone Box and Contents
- Penitentiary Correspondence
- Penitentiary Industry Correspondence
- State Building Specification Records
- Photographs and Drawings
Records related to the parole of inmates can be found in Governor's records for the following years:
- 1943-1947 - Earl W. Snell
- 1947-1949 - John H. Hall
- 1948-1952 - Douglas McKay
- 1952-1956 - Paul L. Patterson
- 1956 - Elmo Smith
Messages and Documents
These volumes, published by the State Printer, contain biennial reports to the Legislature from the State Penitentiary from the years 1868-1913. The 1868 report, for example, contains a narrative written by the superintendent that covers such topics as the condition of the convicts, labor, discharges, officers, guards, hospital, prison school, punishments, morals, food costs, and concludes with a series of a series of recommendations.
Tabular data in the report includes prisoners received and those discharged or who have died. Each table shows the prisoners date of reception, crime and sentence. Another table lists Penitentiary property such as buildings, furniture, medicines, tools and lumber. Following the inventory are three short reports by the Physician and Surgeon, the Chaplain, and the Building Commissioner.
Microfilm (east alcove of the reference room)
Oregon State Penitentiary, Inmate Registers, 1854-1910, 2 reels.
Oregon State Penitentiary, Master file of inmates, 1854-ca. 1969, 8 reels.