PSU Library Special Collections' Historic Black Newspapers of Portland contains original and digital versions of newspapers published by Black-owned presses in Portland and the Pacific Northwest from the 1910s to the 1980s. Portland activist and community leader Verdell Rutherford collected the original papers, which were donated to Portland State in 2012 by her daughter Charlotte as part of the Rutherford Family Collection.

The newspapers date from the 1910s to the 1980s and provide a unique window on community reportage of national, regional, political, and cultural events of the times. Photographs and announcements featuring local people and newsmaking events, as well as advertisements by area businesses, also show the vitality of the communities the newspapers served.

With support from a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, Special Collections has preserved and reproduced the Historic Black Newspapers of Portland collection with high-resolution, searchable digital scans of each issue and full-size color print facsimiles. These preservation copies make the full collection accessible online and allow readers to flip through the pages and experience the papers' physical size, scale, and arrangement.

Digital files for several more papers from Verdell Rutherford's collection were donated to PSU Library Special Collections by Oregon Black Pioneers in 2023. Papers from the Oregon Black Pioneers collection are identified in the notes for each issue.

For more information or to make a research appointment, please contact PSU Library Special Collections at


Browse the Historic Black Newspapers of Portland Collections:


Advocate Register

Albina Newspaper

Clarion Defender

Northwest Clarion

Northwest Defender

Northwest Enterprise


Oregon Advance Times

Oregon Mirror

People's Observer

Portland Advocate

Portland Challenger

Portland Inquirer

Portland Observer

Portland Times