About Washington County Heritage Online

The Washington County Heritage Online (WCHO) site is a collaborative project that brings together historic images and documents from public and private institutions across Washington County, Oregon. It currently includes over 7,000 items (mostly historic photographs) that were created here between the 1850s and the present. The original photographs and documents are still in the collections of the organizations that contributed them. It is our hope that this site will allow members of the public to more easily find and use these historic materials for learning about our communities, creating family histories, conducting academic research and other purposes that serve the common good. 

Contributing partners each have their own "sub site" within WCHO. See: Pacific University ArchivesWashington County Museum | Banks Historical Society | Centro Cultural | Cedar Mill Community Library | City of Beaverton | Community Action | Cornelius Public Library | Forest Grove City Library | Friends of Historic Forest Grove | Garden Home History Project | Tigard Public Library


Founded in 2011, Washington County Heritage Online (WCHO) seeks to document the unique heritage of Washington County, Oregon. We aim to:

  • digitize and display items of historical and cultural importance
  • celebrate local history
  • encourage cooperation between archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations
  • allow for wider access to the unique materials found in Washington County
  • train contributors to adhere to standards that create consistency and allows for WCHO to contribute to regional and national projects


Administration and Funding


Washington County Heritage Online was originally funded through by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Oregon State Library. Since 2013, the site has been self-funded by its two lead partners, Pacific University and the Washington County Museum. The site's technical infrastructure, which runs on the Omeka S platform, is hosted by Pacific University. To get in contact with the administrators of the site or to inquire about joining the site as a new partner institution, please email: archives@pacificu.edu

Partner Institutions

The historic images and documents in WCHO were contributed by these partner institutions from across Washington County, Oregon:

Pacific University Archives
Located in Forest Grove, Oregon, the Pacific University Archives contain records of the University, papers of its alumni and faculty, photographs and other material related to the Pacific community since its founding in 1848. It supports the educational mission of the University and is open to researchers.

Washington County Museum
The Washington County Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, exhibits and collects the region's heritage. Hosting educational programs, lectures and outreach, its archives are open to researchers.

Banks Historical Society
The Banks Historical Society seeks to celebrate the history and heritage of this small community in western Washington County, Oregon.

Cedar Mill Community Library
Cedar Mill Community Library opened in 1976. It has since grown to become one of the top ten libraries in Oregon in terms of attendance and circulation.

Centro Cultural
Founded by immigrant families in 1972, Centro Cultural supports the Latino community of Washington County through educational programs, cultural events and outreach.

City of Beaverton
The City of Beaverton, incorporated in 1893, holds historic photographs of the town and the surrounding region.

Cornelius Public Library
Founded in 1912, the Cornelius Public Library offers historic documents and photographs from the city's administrative, library, fire and police departments.

Community Action of Washington County
Founded in 1965, Community Action is the largest private nonprofit social service agency serving residents of Washington County. Its collection includes issues of the newspaper, The Rural Tribune, and photographs of their activities.

Forest Grove City Library
Forest Grove City Library, first established in 1908, documents the historic and architectural heritage of the city in its Stewart History Room.

Friends of Historic Forest Grove
The Friends of Historic Forest Grove was organized by enthusiastic individuals who recognized the distinct and important place Forest Grove has in the history of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. In addition to operating many public programs, the Friends hold a substantial collection of original photographs, documents and artifacts related to local history.

Garden Home History Project
The Garden Home History Project is non-profit organization dedicated to documenting and sharing the history of the Garden Home area in Washington County, Oregon. Their volunteers collect stories and photographs about historic Garden Home from the community. A small sample of their collected photographs have been added to WCHO.

Tigard Public Library
Tigard Public Library serves the city of Tigard, Oregon. Their contributions to WCHO were collected by the Tigard Historical Assocation, which is dedicated to the preservation of local heritage.