Medieval Portland

Hands holding open a medieval book of your to a page with illustration of a burial.

Overview

Medieval Portland gathers resources that are in Portland, Oregon connected with the premodern and early modern past of Europe and the Middle East.

  • Objects will lead you to locally housed objects from the period
  • Buildings explore ways our built environment calls upon the medieval past
  • Experiences highlight performances and reenactments in the area
  • Teaching and Learning point to ways educators and students might use this site and tap into local resources

Much of the work on this page was created by students in the Medieval Portland Capstone taught by Anne McClanan, Professor of Art History at Portland State University.

Medieval Portland database screenshot with thumbnail images of medieval objects
Medieval Portland database offers the opportunity to explore hundreds of objects housed in our region.

Objects

The Medieval Portland database of objects and architecture is currently housed in Artstor's Shared Shelf Commons

Medieval Portland's inclusion in Shared Shelf Commons is through the National Digital Humanities Award. Most of the pre- or early modern works from where we now label Europe and the Middle East housed in the larger Portland, Oregon region are manuscripts and early printed book leaves, but there are also paintings, sculptures, lamps, glass, metalwork, and more.

Read about Medieval Portland on the Artstor blog: Case Study: Medieval Portland by Anne McClanan

The following collections are currently all or partly included:

We gratefully acknowledge the assistance provided by the many people at each institution who have given ongoing and generous guidance to the Medieval Portland Capstone students over the years of the project.

Gothic style rose window on Portland's Trinity Episcopal Church
Gothic style rose window on Portland's Trinity Episcopal Church.

Buildings

In addition to the Medieval Portland objects that have found their way to the Pacific Northwest, the capstone students have also researched aspects of the built environment that have been shaped by the medieval past.

Medieval Portland walking map

Medieval Portland Walking Map

Our Medieval Portland Walking Map highlights some of the medieval revival buildings of Portland and continues to be expanded as more students uncover new material.

Regional Research Resources

Want to know more? In addition to researching these structures at your university library, the Architectural Heritage Center and the Oregon Historical Center libraries often have valuable resources in this area as well.

Antiphonal leaf with musical notation for the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
Antiphonal Leaf with musical notation for the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (PSU Library Special Collections, Rose-Wright Manuscript Collection no. 10)

Experiences

Music

The Portland area is lucky enough to have a varied and active set of groups that perform and bring to the area performances of early music.

Teaching

We’ve developed a number of resources to support teachers (Links to be activated soon)

  • Study Guides
  • Assignments
  • Community Outreach

 

Learning

We hope that this project has piqued your interest in discovering more about the medieval world. At the university level, courses are taught that delve into this period all across the city, including Lewis and Clark College, Reed College, and the University of Portland, and of course here at Portland State.

You can learn about Medieval Studies in many different ways even within one institution. At Portland State, you can earn a Medieval Studies Minor, focus on the Middle Ages in the Interpreting the Past Cluster, or take individual classes in the Art History, English, History, Music + Theater, and World Languages + Literature programs.

Don’t forget the Medieval Portland Capstone, too!