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Metadata for the photographs was created by the University of Washington Libraries using a graphic data dictionary developed for this project by the University of Washington Libraries (UW). Cataloging for the UW photographs was based on work done as part of a Higher Education Act Title II-C grant project in 1981-82. This cataloging was upgraded and authority work done on personal and geographic names and Library of Congress Subject Headings updated. Metadata conversion for the Museum of History and Industry (MOHI) was based on MARC cataloging done by MOHI. Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture metadata was converted from data sheets provided by Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. Authority work was done and Library of Congress Subject Headings added.

Articles in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly and scanned text in the Annual Reports of the Indian Commissioner were indexed by the UW Libraries using a text metadata dictionary developed for this project. Library of Congress Subject Headings and authorities were used. Metadata for the Indian treaties and University of Washington Publications in Anthropology was converted from the UW Libraries MARC records.

The form and spelling of many tribal and other names has changed over the years, so that different forms of a name are used in various publications and in the metadata for both photographs and text. The Library of Congress name authorities were used in the metadata subject headings. Whenever possible, alternate names and spellings were noted in the "notes" field. When searching "across all fields" or in the "notes field", a search should pick up these alternate forms.

Some examples of tribal names and the LC authority are:

Sometimes called

Library of Congress authority

Coeur d'Alene
Dwamish
Flathead
Pen Oreille
Rogue River
Yakima

Skitswish
Duwamish
Salish
Kalispel
Tututni
Yakama