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History: Pacific Northwest History


Pacific Northwest History

Information Sources


This Research Guide will help you find information in books, library databases, websites, and primary sources.

 Fort Spokane quartermaster's barn photo

Fort Spokane Quartermaster’s Barn
Source: National Park Service


Use the search box on the library homepage to find books.

If you're just wanting to browse, Pacific Northwest History books can be found in the 979s.

Books that check out are on the 2nd floor of the library.

Reference books are on the 1st floor. These include specialized encyclopedias and historical atlases. Reference books are often good starting points for research. Here are some examples:

Help with Research

You can get help with your research by chatting online with a librarian (available 24/7), by emailing us (, or by calling the SCC Library Reference Desk at (509) 533-8821 during our library open hours.

Citation Guides
Consult guides which show you how to cite sources in Chicago and other citation styles.

Library Databases

Library databases contain reliable information that is generally not available elsewhere on the Web. For this class the following databases will be particularly useful.  They can be found in the library databases section of the SCC Library homepage.  Access from off-campus will requires your Bigfoot login. 

Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

 "Primary sources are the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include but are not limited to: letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, maps, speeches, interviews, documents produced by government agencies, photographs, audio or video recordings, born-digital items (e.g. emails), research data, and objects or artifacts (such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons). These sources serve as the raw materials historians use to interpret and analyze the past."

Source: Primary Sources on the Web: Finding, Evaluating, Using, Reference and User Services Association

Reference Books with Primary Sources

Located on the 1st floor of the library:

Annals of America (R973 An72o)

Early Washington Maps (Atlas Case 979.7 P926e2)

Encyclopedia of American Historical Documents (R 973.03 ENCYCLO)

Eyewitness to America: 500 Years of America in the Words of Those Who Saw It Happen (R 973 EYEWITN)

First Encounters: Native Voices on the Coming of the Europeans (R 909 FIRST E)

Historic Documents (R 973 HISTORI)

Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest (R 979.5 HAYES)

Historical Early Oregon (Atlas Case 911.795 H629e)

Milestone Documents in American History (R 973 MILESTO)

New Land, North of the Columbia: Historic Documents That Tell the Story of Washington State from Territory to Today (R 979.7 MCONAG)

Primary Sources in Books That Check Out

Ask a librarian to help you find books that have the following subheadings: correspondence, diaries, interviews, personal narratives, sources, speeches, documents.

Library Databases that include Primary Sources

Find these databases on the library page, Databases A-Z.

 Websites that contain Primary Sources


Some local history journals

  • 1906 - 1935       The Washington Historical Quarterly
  • 1936 - 2021       Pacific Northwest Quarterly [Continuation of Washington Historical Quarterly]
  • 1901 - present   Oregon Historical Quarterly 

These three journals are useful when you are researching Northwest history.

Some are indexed in SCC Library's JSTOR database, some are free online, and each journal has a index on the web which you can use to find article titles. 

NOTE: If you find are article title and cannot locate the full-text, just request the article from an SCC Librarian.