Ask Me Anything: Astoria Public Library's Historical Collections


John Goodenberger, Historian


Rachael Woody, Archivist










Submit Questions With the Form Below!

In order to efficiently answer your questions during the webinar, I'm gathering your questions ahead of time. This session will be pre-recorded in order to deliver the maximum amount of information in an effective manner. It will premiere on December 17, 2020.


This is an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session where City of Astoria historian John Goodenberger and consulting archivist Rachael Woody team up to answer questions related to the history of Astoria and the treasure trove of historical artifacts found in the basement of the Astoria Public Library. Reserve your spot by registering to attend with the "Reserve My Spot" button above.

This webinar was made possible thanks to the Astor Library Friends Association and the Oregon Cultural Trust.


John Goodenberger, City Historian for the City of Astoria

My education is in architecture. I earned a BARCH from the University of Oregon. The historic preservation classes were of real interest to me. The day after graduation, I was hired by one of my instructors, Gregg Olson. I became his apprentice, using like tools and methods on farmhouses and outbuildings dating to the 1850s and 1860s.

Gregg gave me an appreciation for the care and thoughtfulness that goes into preservation. We weren’t simply repairing or replacing building parts, in many cases we were replicating. In order to do that, we had to understand the story of the people who first worked on the building.

This resonated with me; I grew up in Astoria and was surrounded by both beautiful architecture and the stories associated with its buildings. When work with Gregg ended, I returned home where my work branched into three areas: design for restoration projects, research and education. It is not easy juggling them, but all aspects lead toward the same goal, which is to preserve the architecture and social history of the Lower Columbia region.

Rachael Cristine Woody, Consulting Archivist

Rachael Cristine Woody is the owner of Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC, a firm that provides services to archives, museums, and cultural heritage organizations. She specializes in establishing collection programs, assessment and planning for historical collections, teaching grant acquisition strategy, and implementing digital collection management platforms. 

Woody has worked extensively with Astoria Public Library by performing a collection assessment, crafting a collection plan, winning both an Oregon Cultural Trust and Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, and now publishing the collections online.

Previously she revived the archives at the Freer|Sackler Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and launched the Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield College.

She received her Master of Science in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management from Simmons University, and has 15 years of experience in the museum and archives field. 

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