The digital collection American Indians of the Pacific Northwest integrates photographs and text relating to the American Indians in two cultural areas of the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Coast and Plateau. To provide context for the digitized materials, particularly for teachers wishing to use this collection in the classroom, ten essays were commissioned from anthropologists, historians, and teachers. These essays include study questions and are illustrated with materials from the collection. Some essays feature specific tribal groups in the region. Others cover topics that relate to several American Indian groups, such as salmon fishing and the boarding schools established by the United States government starting in the 1880s.
The collection incorporates 2,300 photographs drawn from the extensive collections of the University of Washington Libraries, the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (formerly the Cheney Cowles Museum/Eastern Washington State Historical Society) in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Most of the photographs date from before 1920. Primary text sources include six Indian treaties negotiated in 1855 and over 3,800 pages from the Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior from 1851 through 1908. Secondary sources include 89 articles from the Pacific Northwest Quarterly and 23 papers from the University of Washington Publications in Anthropology series. A few additional photographs and articles were sought from other institutions and added to the collection to complement the topical essays.
For more details about the project and the criteria used for selection, see the Project Overview (external link) from the University of Washington Libraries.
The source materials for this collection are housed at the University of Washington Libraries (external link), the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (external link) in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry (external link) in Seattle. For information about the original materials or to obtain reproductions, contact the appropriate repository institution. Contact information (external link) is available from the University of Washington.
The digitization and presentation of these materials by the University of Washington Libraries was supported by an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. The digital reproductions of the materials are also mounted at the awardee institution.