The Archdiocesan Historical Commission (founded 1972) actively promotes the preservation of Catholic history in Oregon.  With the initial support of Archbishop Robert Dwyer, retired Bishop Francis Leipzig and dedicated clergy and parishioners, the AHC began the task of preserving Catholic heritage in the Pacific Northwest.  Currently the AHC, formally meeting quarterly, is under the authority of the Archbishop, who appoints voting members (12 plus delegated representatives) and supports Commission activities.


It’s all about the story. Records and personal papers, artifacts and personal items, and photographs and oral histories all tell a story.  They tell stories of individuals and stories  of families, cities, a state, and a nation. They tell the story of a parish, of the Native Americans and settlers, missionaries and explorers, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Oregon Trail, and the generations of pioneers and immigrants – all threads of the diverse fabric of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon. They tell the story of the Church.   These stories offer us a sense of identity. We must make every effort to collect, and carefully preserve, records of the ministry of Jesus Christ in western Oregon - from the earliest days until today.  Without our diligent efforts, irreplaceable documents, photographs, items and memories, and along with them, the story of the Church, might be lost forever.

The Bishop Francis P. Leipzig Award

This award is named for Bishop Francis P. Leipzig, energetic historian, archivist, and a founder of the Archdiocesan Historical Commission of Portland in Oregon.

The illustrious Leipzig Award has honored exemplary individuals since its 1972 inception.  Outstanding historians and archivists, writers, and editors have joined the list of recipients.

Past awardees of note include:
- Fr. W. P. Schoenberg, S.J., 1988, prolific and comprehensive author of church, religious orders and printing histories.

- Joseph D. McKay, 1992, enthusiastic postmaster and mayor of St. Paul,
Oregon, founder of local historical society and museum curator

- Patricia Brandt and Dr. Lillian Pereyra, 1996, co-authors of Adapting in Eden, The Oregon Catholic Minority 1838-1986

- Robert Pfohman, 2003, veteran editor fostering the preservation of parish and individual histories

Do you know someone whose work and works serve as an example? Nominees need not be Catholic, but must have actively and productively preserved and disseminated Northwest Catholic history (Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington) in a written, oral or visual format.

Nominations may be made by anyone any time per this form available for download on the web page of the Historical Commission of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon,   click here .


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