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Old College Hall (Pacific University) Records

Identifier: RG-8-101

Scope and Contents

The collection includes records related to Old College Hall on the campus of Pacific University.


  • 1849-1851

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Pacific University owns the copyright to some, but not all, of the materials housed in its archives. Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Pacific University is retained by Pacific University and requires its permission for publication. Copyright status for other collection materials varies. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Historical Note

Old College Hall, built in 1850 on the campus of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is one of the oldest collegiate buildings in the western United States. It was the first building constructed specifically for the use of classes at Tualatin Academy, which was the parent institution of Pacific University.

The Hall was originally located just to the southwest of where Marsh Hall currently sits on the campus. It consists of four main rooms: two on the bottom floor and two on the top floor, with a central staircase connecting them. In its earliest years, classes were held on the bottom floor and the college's president lived on the unfinished top floor. The top floor was not completely finished until the 1860s. At that time the upper south room was used as a library, and the upper north room was used for church meetings. Since then, Old College Hall has been moved several times, and its function on the campus has also changed. As of 2012, its bottom floor was being used as meeting space, and its top floor housed the Pacific University Museum.

Chronology: 1849 - Plans for construction begin. 1850 - Construction begins. A "raising" party is held on 4 July. 1851 - Two rooms on the bottom floor are finished and used as classroom space. 1860s - Two rooms on the top floor are finished; south room used as library and north as church meeting space. 1889 - Weather Bureau of the State of Oregon places weather instruments in the building. 1894 - Hall is moved from its original location to make way for Marsh Hall. Its new location is on the north-central side of campus, approximately where Price Hall now sits. It is rotated 90 degrees so that it sits on an East-West axis. It is renamed "Science Hall" and houses biology and chemistry laboratories and classrooms. 1941 - Remodels and repairs. The building is rededicated. 1949 - Upper floors are re-purposed to house the Pacific University Museum. 1964 - Hall is moved again. It is rotated another 90 degrees, so that it is again on a North-South axis, but with the doors facing the opposite direction of the original orientation. It sits approximately where the University Library is now. The foundation, floor framing and sills are rebuilt. Hall functions as meeting rooms (bottom floor) and museum (top floor). 1974 - Hall is entered on the National Register of Historic Places. 1975-1980 - Historic restoration of the building. Central stairway, which had been displaced in earlier restorations, is restored, along with original ceilings, floors, walls and other features. 2003 - Hall is moved again to make way for the new University Library. It sits on the southwest corner of campus, facing College Way, perpendicular to the old Carnegie Library building.


1.5 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Old College Hall, built in 1850 on the campus of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is one of the oldest collegiate buildings in the western United States. This collection includes records pertaining to its construction and renovation.


Accruals are expected.

Related Archival Materials

This collection relates to the construction and renovations of Old College Hall. Records related to the Old College Hall Museum, which is housed on its second floor, are held separately. Contact the Pacific University Archives for more information.
Guide to the Old College Hall (Pacific University) Records
Eva Guggemos
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsored by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Repository Details

Part of the Pacific University Archives Repository

2043 College Way
Forest Grove OR 97116 United States