This resource guide provides annotated listings of websites relevant to the history of the Pacific Northwest. Visit the Research page for additional resources.
Asahel Curtis Photo Company Collection
This collection includes over 1,700 photographs taken between 1850 and 1940 of industrial activity, scenic views, and daily life in the Pacific Northwest. Purchased from the Curtis Company by the University of Washington Libraries in 1940, the entire collection is available online as part of the UW Libraries Digital Libraries Initiatives. The image database can be easily searched by keywords, and records include full descriptive data and notes about the photographs.
British Columbia History Digital Collections
This site, created by the University of British Columbia, houses several thematic photograph collections depicting early B.C. as well as Hudson's Bay Company sketchbooks and missionary letters.
Early Washington Maps
A collaborative project between Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections and the University of Washington Libraries, this website documents three hundred years of Washington and Pacific Northwest history through maps.
Historical Photographs of B.C. and the Yukon
The online Historical Photographs Database provides access to approximately 25,000 images, pulled from a collection of more than 250,000 black and white negatives and prints. The images capture life in B.C. from the 1890s through the 1980s.
Idaho State Historical Society Digital Collections
A variety of digital sources pertaining to Idaho history including web exhibits, photographs, maps, and manuscripts. Materials highlight Idaho's mining and political history.
Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
This website offers the complete text of the Lewis and Clark journals as edited by Gary. E. Moulton. Comprised of over five thousand pages of text, the journals are searchable and contain supplementary text and images.
Labor Archives of Washington State
LAWS includes more than 200 separate collections of labor related materials, including hundreds of photographs and digitized documents showing workers, industrial settings, strikes and union activities, civil rights campaigns, and more.
Meeting of Frontiers
A bilingual English-Russian digital collection that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Montana Memory Project
The Montana Memory Project provides access to Montana themed digital collections from a number of libraries and universities.
Oregon State University Digital Collections
This online database contains digitized documents, photographs, maps, and data. It includes large collections devoted to the history of science, environment, and Oregon ethnic minorities.
Alaska Historical Society
In addition to providing an overview of Alaska history, this website contains information on the Alaska Historical Society, its publications, conferences, and museums.
Center for Columbia River History
The Center for Columbia River History is a joint venture by the Washington State Historical Society, Portland State University, and Washington State University, Vancouver that conducts and supports interdisciplinary research on the Columbia River Basin.
Idaho State Historical Society
A gateway to the Idaho Historical Museum; the Idaho State Oral History Center; virtual, traveling, and other exhibits; public archives and research libraries; historic sites; educational resources and programs; family and public history events; and Idaho history timelines. http://www.idahohistory.net
Montana Historical Society
Established in 1865, the Montana Historical Society is the oldest of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Learn more about Montana's Museum, the Montana Historical Society Press, Montana The Magazine of Western History, the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, and the MHS Research Center.
Pacific Northwest Historians Guild
Founded in 1980 to promote the study, preservation, teaching, and presentation of Pacific Northwest historical materials covering Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, membership includes professional and amateur historians, teachers, librarians, students, and archivists. The site includes information on joining the Guild, membership meetings, a member directory, plus "rambles" and history tours to historically significant sites in the region.
Oregon Historical Society
This site provides a wealth of historical resources covering Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon History Project, a history timeline created using objects from the society's archives, and the Oregon Encyclopedia. Explore the online exhibits and learn about the Oregon Historical Society Museum's upcoming events and exhibitions. The Oregon Historical Society's Research Library maintains more than 32,000 books, 25,000 maps, 12,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 3,000 serials titles, 5,000 vertical files, 16,000 reels of newspaper microfilm, 8.5 million feet of film and videotape, 10,000 oral history tapes, and more than 2.5 million photographs.
Washington Women's History Consortium
The consortium promotes the preservation of materials related to women’s history and improvement of access to women’s history statewide. The site contains oral histories, a list of upcoming events, and links to digital collections about women.
Washington State Historical Society
The society runs the Washington State History Museum and the State Capital Museum, publishes Columbia, a magazine of northwest history, and maintains a regional archive. The site makes available many resources including lesson plans, online exhibits, featured archival collections, finding aids, and information about upcoming events and conferences.
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Located on the University of Washington-Seattle campus, this museum specializes in collections concerning the natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest. The Burke also houses collections in three scientific divisions: anthropology includes ethnological and archaeological collections, geology covers mineralogical and paleontological artifacts, and zoology includes collections of birds, mammals and terrestrial invertebrates. The museum offers education programs including tours and study kits for multicultural studies, earth science, and life sciences.
High Desert Museum
The High Desert Museum is devoted to the art, history, and natural history of high desert environments, especially central Oregon. A mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibits focus on wildlife, environmental change, living history, and local history.
Museum of History and Industry
The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) has one of the largest historical research libraries in the Pacific Northwest, including books, maps, manuscripts, and over 500,000 photographs from 1859 to the present. Permanent exhibits detail the history of Seattle and Puget Sound since the 1780s.There is an events schedule listing current, ongoing and upcoming exhibits, as well as information on programs and special events. http://www.seattlehistory.org
Northwest African American Museum
The museum follows the journey of African Americans to the region as recent immigrants and through slavery and their struggle to establish communities in the northwest. Exhibits and programs feature the visual arts, music, crafts, literature, and history of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest.
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Located in Spokane, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) is the largest museum devoted to the Inland Northwest. The museum houses collections related to regional history, Indian culture, and fine arts. The website contains digital exhibits as well as information about the museum's research library and archives.
Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum, founded in 1886, is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. Dedicated to the study of British Columbia's natural and human history, the museum housing exhibits on first peoples, modern history, and the changing natural world. The museum also houses the provincial archives.
Wing Luke Museum
Located in Seattle, the Wing Luke Museum is dedicated to the Asian Pacific American Experience. In addition to an array of permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum hosts community events and houses the Governor Gary Locke Library & Community Heritage Center. An oral history lab is available to the public to record the life stories of friends, family, and community members.
Alaska History and Cultural Studies
A resource for teachers, students, and others interested in Alaska's history. A time line charts Alaska history alongside world events. Each unit contains essays, maps, images, and bibliographies.
HistoryLink: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State
HistoryLink provides a free, authoritative, and easily accessible history reference for the benefit of students, teachers, journalists, scholars, researchers, and the general public. With a few noted exceptions, all essays and features on this site are original works prepared exclusively for HistoryLink.org by staff, contract writers, volunteers, and consulting experts. It is constantly expanding, with new essays added every week.
The state's site for the history of Idaho includes a timeline, history overview, and links to other resources. http://idaho.gov/aboutidaho/history.html
A site provided by the Office of the Washington Secretary of State that contains historic records search, a territorial timeline, classics in Washington history, historical maps, the state constitution, and other resources.
The West Beyond the West
A search portal devoted to the history, heritage, and culture of British Columbia.
African American History in the American West
This site, created by Professor Quintard Taylor at the University of Washington, is a gateway to the vast and growing array of information on the lives and histories of the millions of African Americans who have and continue to make the West their home.
The Oregon Trail
Created by Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher, makers of the award-winning documentary film The Oregon Trail, this site includes a thorough history of the Oregon Trail, descriptions and pictures of its historic sites, and obscure "Fantastic Facts" about events that happened along the way. There is also an online study guide can be printed and duplicated for classroom use.
Our Homes are Bleeding
A digital collection devoted to the rise of the reserve system in British Columbia. The collection draws a variety of materials, mostly from the McKenna McBride Royal Commission (1913 - 1916) to explore the history of aboriginal land issues and claims. In addition to lesson plans and other classroom materials, the website directs users to a variety of other print materials and resources.
Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project
This multi-media web site brings the vital history of Seattle's civil rights movements to life with dozens of video oral histories, hundreds of rare photographs, documents, movement histories, and personal biographies. Based at the University of Washington, the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project is a collaboration between community groups and UW faculty and students.
Who Killed William Robinson?
Explores a series of three murders of settlers on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, between 1867 and 1868. These murders were committed against members of the island's black community, and an aboriginal man was convicted and hanged for one of them--yet historical evidence suggests he may have been framed. This site investigates the primary documents related to the mystery of who killed William Robinson, as well as exploring settler society, the justice system of that period, race relations, and issues surrounding colonial contact with aboriginal people. This incredibly rich site allows four approaches to researching this historical event, all of which are interconnected.