Local History & Primary Source Research

  • Access to library databases and Summit requesting will be intermittently unavailable for several hours starting at 4:30 pm tonight. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Wed hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

As one of the three Heritage Resources programs at Western Libraries, the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies provides a wealth of local & regional resources for primary source research.

CPNWS holdings include a wide variety of resources about the regional commercial fishing industry. Pictured here is a digitized letter from the Archie W. Shiels Papers, in which Filipino workers protest conditions at the Pacific American Fisheries cannery in Nushagak, Alaska (letter dated June 15, 1933). Archie W. Shiels was then President of the Pacific American Fisheries, a major salmon fishing and packing operation headquartered in Fairhaven, Washington.

Additional CPNWS holdings related to fish and fishing include the Pacific American Fisheries Records, Alaska Packers Association Records, Northwest Ethnohistory Collection, Women in the Commercial Fishing Industry Research Collection and the holdings of Galen Biery, a long-term PAF employee and one of Bellingham’s best-known historians.

Western Libraries houses additional primary sources about the regional fishing industry & canneries, including Filipino American newspapers on microfilm such as the Alaska Fish Cannery Workers Union of the Pacific. The Washington State Oral/Aural History program (available on microfilm at CPNWS and at the main library) meanwhile contains transcripts from interviews conducted in the 1970s, documenting lives and experiences of African Americans and Filipinos in Washington State.

If you're seeking primary sources about campus, local or regional history, consult Western Libraries and the Heritage Resources staff and archival collections: these are the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries' Special Collections, and/or the WWU Archives and Records Center. Links to additional and useful primary source repositories are also included in the Library Guide "Resources for Researching Local and Regional History".

Contact Person: 
Topics: