Free is a very good price at the Oregon Historical Society

New policy applies to Multnomah County residents and guests

The Oregon History Museum and Library is open free to residents of Multnomah County, thanks to voter approval of a local option levy to support the Oregon Historical Society, which operates the institutions on the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland.

The five-year county levy was approved by around 54 percent of county voters at the 2010 November General Election. Free admission began on July 1.

The museum is hosting three major exhibits. One is 'Pedal to the Metal: Oregon Motorsports Tradition,' a look at the long history of automotive racing in the state, including historic Indy cars, midget race cars, motorcycles and soap box derby cars. It runs until Sept. 4.

The other is 'Timeless Quilts,' a collection of handmade quilts from the turn of the century to today, including some that blur the line between craft and art. It runs until July 31.

The third is 'Soccer City, USA,' a look at the Portland Timbers during the team's North American Soccer League years from 1975 to 1982.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on the Fourth of July and other holidays.

The library is officially known as the Davies Family Research Library. It is also welcoming Oregon school groups for free. Beginning on July 1, its hours were expanded from 12 to 32 hours each week. New library hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Additional benefits for Multnomah County residents include $10 off any level of society membership, invitations to members-only exhibit previews, a subscription to the Oregon Historical Quarterly, discounts on museum store purchases and tickets to Mark O. Hatfield Distinguished Historians Forum events, enhanced family membership, a free admission for two guests of Multnomah County residents, regardless of where they live.

Proof of Multnomah County residency is required to receive the benefits.

The Oregon Historical Society is at 1200 S.W. Park Ave.