Harney County Library

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Claire McGill Luce Western History Room

The CML Western History Room provides public access to local and regional historical resources. Special collections feature over 2,500 publications, many of which were donated by local authors, historians, and rare-book collectors. Genealogical resources include birth-death-marriage indexes, cemetery records, local oral histories, family histories, photographs and more. A newspaper and microfilm archive contains 78 reels of microfilm.

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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

Steens Mountain

Schools, Post Offices and Settlements

Wild Horses

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

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

          Ancestry logo             Heritage Quest logo

Do you have a family reunion planned?  Consider adding a visit to the Western History Room to your family activities. 
Record memories of family in our oral history recording 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.

    Images of America: Harney County

Images of America: Harney County

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



Research Requests?



Contact Us

Location & Hours

80 West "D" Street
Burns, OR  97720

Contact Us

Mon. 10:30am-7pm
Tues. 10:30am-7pm
Wed. Noon-7pm
Thurs. 10:30am-6pm
Fri. 10:30am-6pm
Sat. Noon-4pm
Sun. Closed


 Research Question?

Mon. 10:30am-5pm
Tues. 10:30am-5pm
Wed. Noon-5pm
Thurs. 10:30am-5pm
Fri. 10:30am-5pm
Sat. or eve's by appointment

e-mail Western Room

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