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Brooks Library Research Guides: HIST 301: Pacific Northwest History
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Brooks Library Research Guides: HIST 301: Pacific Northwest History

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Finding books
You can find books at Brooks Library using the Cattrax Online Catalog.

To gather together various books on a given topic, try a subject search. For instance, you can search "Women -- Washington (State)" or "Washington (State) -- History -- To 1889" or "Yakama Indian Reservation (Wash.)" to find more resources on these topics.

If you find a book on a topic that interests you, click on the subject headings at the bottom of the record to find similar books (see the example below).

To find a specific type of material (government document, book, DVD, etc.), use the advanced search option in Cattrax. Enter in keywords and select location or material type. For instance, by choosing "Special Collections, 4th floor" (see the example below), you will find books in the Special Collections and Archives at Brooks Library. Because many of these books are older, often you can find primary source material--especially on western American history.

Remember, if you cannot find a book at Brooks Library, you may be able to check it out using Summit. Via Summit, schools throughout the Pacific Northwest have agreed to share books and resources at no cost to students. Request an item from Summit by opening a record and clicking on the request button (see below). Remember that Summit items take 3-5 days to arrive at Brooks Library, where you can pick them up.

If you cannot find books at Brooks or at a Summit library, try requesting them via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). We will make every effort to locate the books/articles you need once you submit an ILL request.
Finding journal articles
To find journal articles, try a search in one of the databases from this list. Or use one of the suggested options below. This list is not exhaustive but it will give you a starting point in your research.

Research databases
Limit Your Results


Contains the complete back issues of over 600 core scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, the social sciences, as well as the natural and applied sciences.

Project Muse
Provides searchable full text of over 200 scholarly journals from scholarly publishers and covers history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, political science, gender studies, economics, and other subject areas.

Finding newspapers
When searching for newspapers, please note the following: Brooks Library provides many newspapers on microfilm or via database. Universities, national or local libraries may also provide digitized runs of newspapers online. Google also offers an index to many newspapers, as well as digitized editions. The following list of newspaper sources is far from exhaustive, so further exploration may be necessary.

Microfilmed newspapers at Brooks Library

Check with the Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms department on the third floor of Brooks Library to find local, national, and international newspapers on microfilm. Example titles include the London Times (1785-2003), the Wall Street Journal (1889-2010), the New York Times (1857-2010), the Seattle Times (1889-1891, 1895-1896, 1966-2011), and the Ellensburg Daily Record (1938-2005).

Google Newspapers

Google offers runs from a variety of newspapers. Some are full-text and some are abstracts only.

Historic Newspapers, Washington State

This website makes available newspapers from across Washington state, circa 1852-1892.

Student Newspaper Digitization Project, Central Washington University
Copies of CWU's student newspaper are available from 1917 to 2000.

Finding archival collections
To find archival collections in the Pacific Northwest, try using the Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA). NWDA provides guides to collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. If you would like to access a collection, contact the pertinent repository for more information.

To access collections held at Central Washington University, stop by the library's Archives and Special Collections department (4th floor, Brooks Library). You may wish to contact the Archives in advance to indicate your research interests. You can learn what's available at CWU by limiting your NWDA search results to collections at Central Washington University (see below).

Finding digital resources
Remember, when searching online, to consider the trustworthiness of websites. URLs ending in .gov (government sites), .edu (sites by universities and educational institutions), and .org (sites by non-profit organizations) will usually yield the most accurate information. You can limit your search results to trustworthy domain names by adding "inurl:edu" or "inurl:gov" or "inurl:org" to your search (see below).

Using this technique, you can find many primary resources online. The following are only a sampling of the sites that offer digital collections of photos, documents, and more.

Alaska, Western Canada and United States Collection (University of Washington)

This digital collection features historic photographs documenting the geographic area of Alaska, the western United States and the Canadian provinces of Yukon Territory and British Columbia. The collection features images of Oregon, Idaho, and areas of interest in Alaska and the Yukon Territory relating to the Gold Rush of 1898-1900.

American Memory
This site by the Library of Congress contains more than 9 million manuscripts, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and pieces of music pertaining to the history of the United States.

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

Yale Law School hosts this collection of primary materials dating from 4000 B.C.E. to the 21st century. Included are the full text of laws, colony charters, acts, and declarations, presidential proclamations, treaties and formal negotiations affecting the United States judiciary system and governmental foreign policy in general.

Central Washington University Digital Collections
These collections highlight the history, nature and culture of Central Washington University and the central Washington region. Featured are CWU yearbooks, newspapers, newsletters, and meeting minutes, as well as photos of campus buildings and surrounding areas.

Digital Collections (University of Washington)

See these collections for thousands of photographs, maps, newspapers, posters, reports and other media on topics relevant to the Pacific Northwest.

Eric A. Hegg Photographs (University of Washington)

Photographs documenting the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes from 1897 - 1901. Images include depictions of frontier life in Dawson City, the Yukon Territory, and Skagway and Nome, Alaska.

Washington State Digital Archives

This digital archives is dedicated to the preservation of electronic records from both state and local agencies that have permanent legal, fiscal or historical value in Washington state. Archival materials include audits, death records, birth records, property records, maps, surveys, family histories, court cases, and more.

WSU Archives Digital Collections
Includes photographs, documents, and maps on the history of eastern Washington, Native Americans, and more.

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