As part of its mission to promote education about the westward emigrant trails, OCTA invests energy and resources to produce a wide-ranging set of quality publications. The Overland Journal is our scholarly, quarterly journal. News From the Plains is our quarterly association newsletter. Both the Overland Journal and News From the Plains are sent free to all members as a benefit of membership. In addition, OCTA publishes specialized books on the trail experience, including diaries of emigrants, histories of specific individuals who traveled the trail, and modern-day guides to particular features such as graves and markers of the trails.
The Overland Journal is OCTA's quarterly journal of scholarly research into the emigrant experience and the trails. In addition to research articles, the journal regularly includes book reviews, letters to the editor, and a page of diary quotes by Andy Hammond titled “The Look of the Elephant.” Recent issues have included “Southwestern Vignettes,” a series of articles by Patricia A. Etter on the southern emigrant trails.
The OJ is always interested in proposals for articles. Writer's guidelines are also available online. Inquiries regarding proposed articles should be sent directly to:
Attn: Marlene Smith-Baranzini, Editor
P.O. Box 1146
Pullman, WA 99163
Overland Journal articles are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life and online in Uncover. The Overland Journal is sent to all members as a benefit of membership.
- The Look of the Elephant, by Andy Hammond
- With Thanks, by Robert A. Clark
- The Yuma Crossing and the California Desert in 1849, by David Miller
- Perseverance & Enterprise: How Overlanders Changed the West and the West Changed Overlanders, by Will Bagley
- The Significance and Value of the Overland Journal, by Dale L. Morgan
- Reviews from the Trail
Articles in Recent Issues:
- The Old Spanish Trail: John N. Macomb's 1859 Expedition to the Canyonlands of the Colorado, by Steven K. Madsen (Fall 2011)
- Surveying the Border with John Russell Bartlett: An Interview with Robert Hine, by Deborah and Jon Lawrence (Fall 2011)
- Pieces to the Puzzle: Rediscovering Idaho's North Alternate Oregon Trail, by Jerry Eichhorst (Summer 2011)
- Pawnees!!, by Andy Hammond (Summer 2011)
- Re-Running the Pony Express Route 150 Years Later, from St. Joe's to Sacramento in Six Days, by Melody Miyamoto (Spring 2011)
- "A Continuous Line of Stock and Wagons": A Reappraisal of 1857 Overland Travel, by Michael Landon (Spring 2011)
- "On Mountain and Prairie": The (Possible) Playing of Baseball on the Gold Rush Trails, by Monica Nucciarone (Winter 2010)
- Lansford Hastings, Orville Pratt, Google Earth, and GPS, by Rush Spedden (Winter 2010)
Back issues available for purchase through the OCTA Bookstore.
News from the Plains
News From the Plains is edited by Candy Moulton and sent to members of OCTA quarterly as a benefit of membership. The newsletter contains news about members and the organization, convention reports, legislative action, genealogy, trail preservation and special activities along with some pieces of research, shorter than those which appear in the Overland Journal on the emigrants and the trails.
News from the Plains
P.O. Box 29
Encampment, WY 82325
OCTA Special Publications
OCTA publishes books devoted to specialized aspects of the trail experience. The current list of OCTA special publications is as follows:
by Harold James
- Rediscovered Frontiersman: Timothy Goodale, by James W. McGill
- The Look of the Elephant: The Westering Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It, 1841-1861, by Andrew and Joanne Hammond. Paperback, Hardbound.
- Historic Inscriptions on Western Emigrant Trails, by Randy Brown. Paperback, Hardbound.
- Graves and Sites on the Oregon and California Trails, by Randy Brown and Reg Duffin.
- From the Old Northwest to the Pacific Northwest: The 1853 Oregon Trail Diaries of Patterson Fletcher Luark and Michael Fleenan Luark, edited by Howard Jablon and Kenneth R. Elkins. Paperback, Hardbound.
- The 1854 Oregon Trail Diary of Winfield Scott Ebey, edited by Susan Badger Doyle and Fred W. Dykes.
- The 1849 Trail Diaries of Elijah Preston Howell, edited by Susan Badger Doyle and Donald E. Buck.
OCTA welcomes proposals for well-written, well-researched books on the historic emigrant trails and related history. Books submitted for OCTA special publications are subject to a review process and are edited to maintain quality of content and presentation. Guidelines for submission can be found in the document Publishing a Book through the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA).