The objective of the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest project is
to broaden access to new constituencies. It allows K-12 teachers and
students and other researchers to have direct access to important source
material on the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures. This online
collection represents only a selection of materials on American Indians of
the Pacific Northwest in the collections of the University of Washington
Libraries and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, and the
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in
Spokane. The criteria for selection are detailed below. The collection of
digitized materials is complemented by ten study topic essays.
Criteria for selection of an individual image included the image's
contribution to the historical record and the usefulness of the image to
K-12 teachers and students. Images that were repetitive or are
near-duplicates were not used unless the variations suggest an approach to
an historical problem. Photographs taken after 1920 were not included
unless copyright or other rights management issues were not a problem.
Northwest Coast images were selected from the University of Washington and
Museum of History and Industry collections. Plateau images were selected
from the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture supplemented by images from the University's collections. Seven images
from the Seattle Public Library and one image from the Washington State
Historical Society in Tacoma were also included. Some tribal groups are
better represented in the digital collection reflecting the uneven
holdings of the photography collections of the three institutions.
To complement the photographs, selected primary and secondary source
materials from the University of Washington's collections were digitized.
Apart from the relevance of the material to the topic, the major criterion
for selection of textual material was that it was free of copyright or
other rights management problems. (The primary source material was not
copyrighted and the copyright for the secondary material is owned by the
University of Washington.)
The Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary
of the Interior and six Indian treaties negotiated in 1855 were selected
as primary sources. Articles from the Pacific Northwest Quarterly and
selected University of Washington Publications in Anthropology provide
valuable secondary material for the study of American Indians of the
Pacific Northwest. Some additional information about the text selected for
- United States Office of Indian Affairs - Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior
Over 3,800 pages from the United States Office of Indian Affairs Annual
Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the
Interior from 1851 through 1908 were included.
An effort was made to identify and scan all material relating to the
Northwest Coast and Plateau cultural groups. Separate statistical
summaries (population, farming, etc.) and lists of liabilities at the back
of many of the reports were not included as part of this project. These
summaries and lists include information about tribes throughout the United
States. The tribes are usually listed in alphabetical order making it
difficult to capture only information about Pacific Northwest tribes.
Format of the reports vary over the years, e.g., agent's reports are
listed as "papers" in the early years and given number or letter
designations. Later reports have separate sections for "schools", "Indian
legislation", etc. Beginning in 1907, individual agent or school
superintendent reports were not published.
In some instances a full report has been scanned even though it includes
text out of scope for this project; e.g., the entire 1853 Stevens railroad
survey report was scanned, although some of the text relates to areas
outside the Pacific Northwest. Out-of-scope materials were not indexed.
Sections of the separate "summar" report of the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs at the beginning of each volume were scanned and indexed if
information on Pacific Northwest tribes was included.
All text for Oregon and Washington was scanned and indexed. For Idaho, only
text relating to the Nez Perce and Skitswish was scanned and indexed. Text on the Fort
Hall and Lemhi reservations in Idaho was not scanned since the Shoshone,
Bannock, and Sheepeater peoples on these reservations are not part of the
Plateau cultural group. For Montana, only reports relating to the
Flatheads were included. Only three reports (1868, 1869, and 1875) include
material on Alaskan natives. These reports were scanned and indexed.
- Pacific Northwest Quarterly
The Pacific Northwest Quarterly is published at the University of
Washington. It began in 1906 as the Washington Historical Quarterly, and
since its inception has featured many articles on Indians of the Pacific
Northwest. A total of 89 articles were selected for inclusion. The
articles date from volume l (1906) to volume 89 (1998). Selection of the
articles was made in consultation with the authors of the study topic
- University of Washington Publications in Anthropology
Twenty-three titles in the University of Washington Publications in
Anthropology series were digitized for the project. Only publications
relating to the cultural groups included in this project and without
rights management problems were included.
Two maps from the Handbook of North American Indians, a Nez Perce
legend, an article in West Shore Magazine, three pages of archival
material from the National Archives, two articles transcribed from
Harper's Weekly, and two transcribed newspaper articles were also
included. These materials were identified by the study topic authors to
complement their essays. Permission was obtained to include the materials
still in copyright.
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Library of Congress American Memory website
1998 LC/Ameritech Grant Proposal
Final Project Report