Photographs, films, and research materials illuminating the history of the U.S. Forest Service and related topics such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, Gifford Pinchot, logging in the Pacific Northwest, and the Smoky the Bear campaign form the core of a recently acquired collection reflecting the work of Forest Service Historian Gerald W. Williams.
Encompassing a wide variety of materials which include oral histories, maps, road signage, and lithographic prints, these papers document over 35 years of historical research by Williams. Nearly half of this collection is made up of photographs (about 24000 images in total) that mostly date from the early 20th century and depict national parks and other natural landscapes in Oregon, Pacific Northwest lumber operations, the U.S. Forest Service, Civilian Conservation Corps camps, and Native Americans. In addition to authoring the official centennial history of the Forest Service, Williams wrote over 75 other publications and conference papers on subjects ranging from the U.S. Army Spruce Production Division to the Native Americans’ use of fire in managing their environment. This collection also reflects Williams’ research of the origins of place names in the McKenzie River region of Oregon.
A graduate of Southern Oregon University, Williams began his career with the Forest Service in 1979 at the Umpqua National Forest. From 1998 to 2005, he served the National Historian for the Forest Service.