Past Light, Past Lives

Text by Frank Miller

These photos, taken between 1914 and 1918, represent a small portion of the Otto and Robert Paulus Glass Plate Negative collection. Otto shot the majority of the images while a student at Willamette, and his brother Robert also photographed extensively in the Willamette Valley. During that time they created a body of work of over 1,000 images, and today the photos are a window into the mundane and extraordinary events that made up life nearly one century ago. The collection was donated in the 1990s to Willamette by Robert (the photographer’s descendant) and Norma JD‘62 Paulus, and is available for online viewing at