Peter and Linda Janke papers

Identifier: JankePL-RSCA-ORPR-US

Scope and Contents

The papers consists of the writing of Peter Janke ‘62 and a collection of materials documenting Linda Williams Janke’s acting career from 1950-2003. Peter Janke’s writing consists of diaries from 1957-1982 showcasing Peter’s life on the West Coast, time at Reed College, world travels, correspondence with his family and friends, and eight bound books written by Peter. Linda Janke’s materials contain personal notes from loved ones, reflective images both in character and behind the scenes, volunteer theater camp work she did at the end of her career in the early two thousands, as well as theater pamphlets and programs for every play she directed and acted in. Included also are handwritten notes, publicity such as newspaper cut outs of ads and reviews, as well as private notes from friends and family congratulating her accomplishments and or wishing her well.


  • 1957 - 2018

Biographical / Historical

Peter King Janke was born on July 16, 1940 in Oregon. He graduated from Reed College with a BA in Psychology in 1962. His mother, Ruth McDonald Janke ‘30, and his brother, Tim Janke ‘68, also graduated from Reed College. After graduating, Peter studied for a few semesters at UC Berkeley where he was part of the Sproul Hall 800, a group of students that were arrested for a sit-in in Sproul Hall. He taught English as a Second Language in Kumasi, Ghana through the Peace Corps and went on a hitchhiking/backpacking trip across 31 countries. He studied Germanic Literature at UC Santa Barbara, graduating in 1971, and became a teacher in the Portland, Oregon area. He taught English, French, German, and English as a Second Language. In 1975 Peter Janke met Linda Williams Janke while working together at CODA Drug Treatment Programs in Portland and they married in 1980. According to Linda's obituary in Oregon Live, this was the second marriage for both, but lasted the remainder of her life. Linda’s first marriage ended in the late 1970’s and resulted in one son, two daughters and nine grandchildren. It was during her marriage to Peter that Linda became an accomplished actress and traveled the world. Linda was born in Pinehurst, N.C., June 22, 1943, though she considered herself a native Portlander. She attended Catholic school in Portland from first grade through her senior year and during his candidacy, met John F. Kennedy, touched him on the shoulder and told him that her parents would vote for him. Linda was well-loved and respected in the Portland theater community. She starred in and directed dozens of productions and was a mentor to many. Linda lost her battle with cancer at the age of 78 on March 18, 2022 and is deeply missed by Peter, their children, grandchildren and the Portland Theater Community. Information about Linda Janke found in her official obituary published by The Oregonian from Apr. 15 to Apr. 17, 2022.


11 Linear Feet






Peter King Janke ‘62 had a career as an English, French, German, and ESL teacher in the United States as well as abroad, and was an avid diarist. He graduated from Reed College in 1962 with a BA in Psychology. He and Linda Janke met in 1975 while working together. Linda Janke had a prolific career as an actor in the Portland area from 1950-2003.


Collection arranged by series: Peter Janke correspondence, Peter Janke diaries, Peter Janke geneaology, Linda Janke theater documents, Linda Janke scrapbooks, In Memory of Linda Janke, and Peter and Linda correspondence. Materials in each series are organized chronologically.

Physical Location

East Stacks Compact Shelving (near L17)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Peter and Linda Janke papers were donated by Peter Janke.

Reed Womack-Hoffman and Jena McRoberts
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Reed College Special Collections and Archives Repository

3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard
Portland Oregon 97202-8199 United States