Claire McGill Luce Western History Room
The Western History Room features numerous publications detailing the history and settlement of Harney County.
Topics of special significance include:
Ranch History--including P Ranch, Double-O Ranch
Edward Hines Lumber Company
Camp Harney (also known as Fort Harney)
Basque Heritage and Culture
Sagebrush Symphony Orchestra and Mary Dodge
Harney County Fair, Rodeo and Race Meet
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and John Scharff
Schools, Post Offices and Settlements
Historic Houses and Buildings
Titles of many of the publications available in the Western History Room are cataloged in the SAGE library online catalog system. The items in the special collections are not in circulation and can be accessed only in the Western History Room. Photocopies and scans are available for a fee of 10 cents per printed page.
Over 500 oral histories focusing on Harney County settlement and pioneers are available as printed transcripts, PDF files, original audio cassettes and digital audio files. Select oral history interviews are also available on VHS and DVD. The oral history project began in the 1970s and continues to add new interviews with Harney County residents.
The Chester and Helen Felt Oral History Recording Room
Thanks to a generous grant from the Helen Felt Family, Harney County Library is home to the only known recording room in the region dedicated to recording and preserving the oral histories of its citizens. The Chester and Helen Felt Oral History Recording Room is equipped with the latest digital technology for recording small interviews. The sound insulated room and its recording equipment preserves the voice of the storyteller for permanent archival storage. The transcripts are made available for scholarly research, for family members and genealogists. Also available is a portable digital sound recorder for recording interviews on location.
The Chester and Helen Felt Oral History Recording Room is available for public use free of charge with the assistance of library staff. Appointments for recording oral history interviews can be made by contacting the Western History Room.
Access FREE versions of Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest on site in the Western History Room
Research local family and events
Access Ancestry.com and other genealogical websites
Display family photos and memorabilia
Scan and copy documents and photos to share
MYSTERY PHOTOS- Can you help identify the people or places in these photos? Click here to view some unidentified photos submitted to the Western History Room.
The latest book about Harney County, compiled by staff of the Claire McGill Luce Western History Room, features photos from the combined collections of the Claire McGill Luce Western History Room and the Harney County Historical Museum along with photos from the private collections of families throughout the county. This book can be purchased at the Harney County Library and other local retailers.
To view more titles in this series, visit