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History, Trans-Mississippi American West

This guide cites primary and secondary sources relevant to the history of the United States west of the Mississippi River.

Environmental history

Fire in the Pacific Northwest: For more on fires in the Northwest, please see this subject guide.

Framing the West (Library of Congress): This collection comprises photographs by Timothy O’Sullivan (1840-1882), who documented western landscape during two government expeditions in the West--the King survey of the 40th parallel and the Wheeler survey west of the 100th meridian.

Hanford Nuclear Site: For more on Hanford, please see this subject guide.

John N. Cobb Photographs (University of Washington)
: These photographs by the founder of the University of Washington College of Fisheries document fisheries in the United States. Among the photographs included in this digital collection are images of salmon, halibut and cod fisheries along the West Coast, whaling activities in Alaska, and clamming and oystering industries in Washington.

Las Vegas and Water in the West (University of Nevada Las Vegas): This project documents the planning and construction of Hoover Dam. The collection includes reports, studies, promotional literature, and photographs taken by the Bureau of Reclamation and the consortium of companies that constructed the dam.

Nevada Test Site Oral History Project: This project comprises interviews with scientists, engineers, military personnel, Native American tribal leaders, protesters, ranchers, and community members affected by the Nevada Test Site during the Cold War nuclear era.

Northwestern Improvement Company Field Survey Notebooks, 1908-1923 (Central Washington University): The collection consists of field survey notebooks composed by surveyors of the Northwestern Improvement Company of Cle Elum, Washington, from 1908 to 1923. The notebooks contain surveys of construction projects in Cle Elum and Roslyn, WA. The collection can be accessed at the CWU Archives, 4th floor, Brooks Library.

Rufus Woods Papers, 1896-1980 (Central Washington University): This collection contains the papers of Rufus Woods, a key promoter of the Grand Coulee Dam. Materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, and congressional legislation related to the dam. The collection can be accessed at CWU Archives, 4th floor, Brooks Library. Select materials are also available online via the Brooks Library Digital Collections.

Western Waters Digital Library (Greater Western Library Alliance): This digital library provides free public access to digital collections of significant primary and secondary resources on water in the western United States.