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WSU to dedicate historical Northwest clippings database

Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins and Director of Libraries Ginny Steel will host the Nov. 15 dedication of the Wallis and Marilyn Kimble Northwest History Database.

The event will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 518.

The financial support of alumni Wallis and Marilyn Kimble has allowed the libraries to develop a digitizing project to preserve and make available online a unique but deteriorating historical resource — the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Clippings Collection. The database, which includes more than 300,000 indexed newspaper articles about important Northwest events from the 1890s to the 1940s, provides an in-depth, first-hand look at the issues of this tumultuous era.

“The Wallis and Marilyn Kimble Northwest History Database contains a wealth of information that tells the story of communities and development in the Northwest. Clippings in the collection will be of benefit to anyone interested in water rights, genealogy, local history, Northwest politics and regional growth. We are thrilled that the Kimbles have made it possible for these materials to be preserved and made available to the world through the Web,” Steel said.

At the dedication, light refreshments will be served from 9:30-10:00 a.m. with the program scheduled for 10:00-10:30 a.m. A brief demonstration of the database will be provided by digital services librarian Ingrid Mifflin and student assistant Sameer Ramade.

Historians created the fragile newspaper clippings collection as a Works Progress Administration project during the Depression under the direction of Washington State College history professor Herman J. Deutsch. The clippings describe, in vivid detail, a period of rapid growth and development in the history of the Pacific Northwest.

During the early part of the 20th Century, the Pacific Northwest experienced an influx of inhabitants leading to rapid development in the area. Settlers were still arriving when farmable land and available water were getting scarce. Large and small irrigation and reclamation projects were planned, funded and built during this period. The profound impact of the settlers on the indigenous Native American population is documented in the newspaper clippings selected.

To date, more than 13,000 clippings in the database have been digitized.

The database also includes primary source material such as government reports, laws, maps, photos, etc., pertaining to the settlement and development of the Northwest. In addition, the database includes extensive links to other related Web sites, such as Native American cultural sources, relevant dam Web sites and important laws and legislation.

The database is a work in progress with new materials appearing daily. Some selected topics include the Bonneville Dam; Columbia River; Grand Coulee Dam; Industrial Workers of the World movement; international affairs; inventions and inventors; irrigation and reclamation; mining industry; timber and lumber industries; Sen. Borah of Idaho; Native American self-government; Spokane Indians; Colville Indians; Coeur d’Alene Indians and Nez Perce Indians.

The Wallis and Marilyn Kimble Northwest History Database is accessible at http://content.wsulibs.wsu.edu/pncc/pncc.htm.

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