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Maps as Primary Sources

Map of the Columbia River in the Washington Territory

"Maps are especially useful for explaining geographical relationships...Maps also reflect the geographical knowledge of the time in which they were made and the worldview of the people who made them."

--Pocket guide to writing in history. M.L. Rampolla. 7th ed. Boston : Bedford/St Martin's. 2012. p. 83.

The Columbia River from Ainsworth to Kettle Falls, 1881. Found in: Report of Capt. Alfred T. Pingstone to Manager Oakes on the Columbia River from Ainsworth to Kettle Falls and the Feasibility of navigating it by sternwheel steamboats to its headwaters; together with a brief sketch of the character of the country adjacent and its settlements; and a diary kept while coming down the river from Kettle Falls to Ainsworth, in February and March, 1881.  

Digitized Map Collections

A large collection of maps is located at the north end of the Microforms area on the first floor of Holland Library.  It includes U.S. Army maps, British maps, and U.S. government maps. A wide range of historical atlases can be found in the Holland and Terrell Reference collection and in the circulating book collection in Holland and Terrell Library.  In addition, several electronic collections provide access to thousands of U.S. government and local Washington historical maps.  The U.S. Congressional Serial Set has a large collection of maps covering almost 200 years of American History and the Sanborn Fire Maps offers digital access to historical city maps for the state of Washington. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections also has a large digital and print collection of historical maps.  See the Maps and Atlases subject guide for more detailed information on the WSU Libraries map holdings.

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