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Primary Sources: Washington State & Pacific NW History

Find historical primary sources for your research, both online and in print

Finding Primary Sources for Research in Washington State and Pacific Northwest History

On this page you can find primary source material on Washington State, the Pacific Northwest area, and our 'neighbor states' of Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon.  Tacoma, Washington: April 30, 1927. The Pt. Defiance to Gig Harbor ferry boat. The "Defiance" is the largest ferry operating in Puget Sound. Britannica ImageQuestSee:  

Primary Source Websites
WSA Databases with Primary Sources

Books in the WSA Library, with primary source material on:

Washington State History
Washington State Indian tribes
Washington Civil Rights Advocates 
Washington Japanese-American Internment in World War II 

For help with any question about Washington State government:

Ask the Librarian Service at the Washington State Library

Primary Source Websites for Washington State and Pacific Northwest History Research

Take care when using Internet sites for primary sources. Most sources contain both primary and secondary texts.  Be sure you have properly identified your document.

Library Books - Washington State History

Ask a Librarian Service at Washington State Library

Mazama pocket gopher (Rod Gilbert photo)Do you need information on Washington State government?

Have a question on the state budget process, use of deadly force laws, environmental regulations, or a state agency?

Looking for general election results and voter’s pamphlets? Trying to track initiatives and referenda?

Wondering about the Barefoot Schoolboy law or where to find a Mazama pocket gopher?

Washington State Library’s Ask a Librarian service can help – their staff are experts in Washington State government and other Washington-related topics.

Using the Washington State Government Publications Collection, they can find answers and get your research on track.

The WSL librarians are available to answer questions via email and chat Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Email requests may be submitted any time.

Phone service is available at 360-704-5221 Monday through Friday 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Gilbert, Rod. "Figure 1. Mazama pocket gopher." Washington State Species of Concern Lists. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.                                  < mazama_pocket_gopher.pdf>. Illustration for the 2012 Threatened Species Annual Report for the Mazama Pocket Gopher. 

WSA Databases with Primary Sources

See the box below for suggestions on what keywords to use when searching WSA databases for primary sources.

Library Books - Washington Tribes

Library Books - Civil Rights in Washington

Japanese-American Internment in World War II

WSA Library Books

Quick Links


West Sound Academy Library | PO Box 807 |16571 Creative Drive NE | Poulsbo, WA 98370 | 360-598-5954 | Contact the librarian