Southern Oregon Smokejumpers

Stories of Southern Oregon

The Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA) is a digital library with thousands of scanned images and documents. These collections are curated, digitized, and made available to the public on the Hannon Library website .

Our newest SODA collection, Stories of Southern Oregon, archives generations of regional history and the life stories of the people of Southern Oregon. This project celebrates cultural traditions and a shared heritage of agriculture, the timber industry, mining, mills, and even aerial wildfire suppression.

Smokejumpers

Among the new collections are historic photographs from the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum, which is located at the Illinois Valley airstrip outside of Cave Junction, Oregon. Smokejumpers are specially trained firefighters that parachute into remote forest areas to combat developing wildfires. The smokejumper base in Cave Junction was established in 1943, when smokejumping was still a relatively new approach to firefighting.

Photos from this collection capture the life and work of smokejumpers during the 1940s through the 1970s. From behind-the-scenes images of the Siskiyou Base to live shots of jumpers launching themselves from airplanes, this collection is a special part of Oregon’s history.

Men examining equipment for parachuting and firefighting

firefighters preparing to parachute out of a plane

Firefighter parachuting into the forestView more photos on our SODA website.

Digital Collections

Hannon Library has two platforms for digital collections. The original platform, Knowvation (formerly ArchivalWare), includes the BioregionFirst NationsSouthern Oregon History collections as well as the Institutional Repository with SOU scholarship from faculty and students. These are primarily collections of text documents.

Most of the library’s other collections are primarily image collections and are on a CONTENTdm platform.

Several of these projects were supported in whole (or in part) by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library. Other support also provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

logo for the Institute of Museum and Library Services

logo for National Endowment for the Humanities

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