Vanport was Oregon's second largest city from 1942 to 1948, with a population, at its height, of 40,000. At the time, it was the largest WWII federal public housing project in the United States. The city was destroyed by floods on Memorial Day of 1948. In 2016, journalist and historian Laura Lo Forti helped organize the first Vanport Mosaic festival to recognize and celebrate the city's history and residents. The festival has since become an annual event. Describing its work as "memory activism," the non-profit Vanport Mosaic also works with community members to collect and preserve oral histories of their memories of life in Vanport.,
PSU Library Special Collections has partnered with Vanport Mosaic to preserve and share the interviews and documentaries facilitated by Vanport Mosaic's ongoing participatory oral history project.
Vanport Mosaic's short documentaries draw upon archival footage, historic photographs, and first-person narratives to tell the stories of the community that made up the city of Vanport.
Browse The Vanport Mosaic Collections: