Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Look at Northwest History!

Two new books in our Good Reads collection allow you to see Northwest history through maps and documents.

Derek Hayes, Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon (F891.H39 2011 at Good Reads) has lots of maps, as you'd expect from the title, but also includes essays discussing the context and significance of the maps. And there are drawings and photographs, too—for example, the section on water and power (pp. 186-91) includes maps, a vintage brochure of the Skagit Power Project, a diagram of the Bonneville Dam, and a 1937 ad proclaiming that "Seattle's Model Kitchens are All-Electric."

Obviously, historical maps could be of interest to legal scholars looking at property and land use. But this book touches on many more legal topics, for example, Indian law, environmental and natural resources law, and civil rights. (Color maps of the Japanese Evacuation Program from a 1943 report are on p. 196.)

Lorraine McConaghy, New Land, North of the Columbia: Historic Documents That Tell the Story of Washington State from Territory to Today (F891.M447 2011 at Good Reads) has a wide range of documentary material: postcards, photographs, posters, legal documents, newspaper stories, menus, even a paper doll (p. 95).

In just the first thirty pages, you can see the first marriage certificate in King County (Arthur Denny married Louisa Boren) (p. 3), the Point Elliott Treaty between the federal government and several tribes (pp. 4-5), the inventory of a decedent's estate in 1874 (p. 17), documents about anti-Chinese violence in 1885-86 (pp. 22-23), the summons in a case about women's suffrage (p. 27), the telegraph announcing Washington's statehood on Nov. 11, 1889 (p. 28).

A brochure (p. 102) asks Congress to investigate the size of the Olympic National Park—some citizens thought that it was too large; more should be in the National Forest and hence available for logging and other productive uses.

 (This dispute is also in the Historical Atlas, at 153, where another image shows that the park is bigger than Rhode Island.)

You can also see flyers from the local elections to create Metro and clean up Lake Washington (p. 106), to save the Pike Place Market (p. 117), and to fund the Kingdome (p. 121).

There's a handwritten letter from Washington Territory's surveyor-general in 1860, protesting the actions of Canadians who had helped his slave escape to Victoria (p. 11).

You can browse information and documents about industry, culture, labor, war. A poster for the 1995 Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride March/Parde & Freedom Rally in Seattle (p. 137), the application for a patent on what became the Sonicare toothbrush (p. 136), documents from the Industrial Workers of the World (pp. 68-69), a songbook from the Senior Loyal Temperance Legion (p. 56), . . . I could go on and on, but I'll stop with one more: a Seattle Times magazine section cover, "The Girl in the Cigar Factory," from a series on Seattle working women (p. 40).

These books are packed with information as well as with beautiful and arresting images. Take a look!

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