Off-Campus Access


Race and Re-Education: American Indian Boarding Schools

Background Sources | Secondary Sources: Books | Secondary Sources: Journal Articles | Finding Published Primary Sources | Selected Web Resources


Background Sources

Encyclopedias and dictionaries provide background information and can be used to identify key people, events and dates which can then be used as search terms for finding additional information. More importantly, because encyclopedias often cover the major issues surrounding the subject, they can help you narrow your research from a broad “who, what, where, when” topic to a “how or why” question. In addition many encyclopedia articles include short bibliographies that will lead you to the major works on the topic.
  • Encyclopedia of American Indian civil rights
    Suzzallo Reference - KF8210 .C5 E53 1997
  • Encyclopedia of Native American legal tradition
    Suzzallo Reference - KF8204 .E53 1998
  • Encyclopedia of North American Indians
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference, Special Collections - E76.2 .E53 1996
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference - E77 .G15 1998
  • A guide to the Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference - E78.N77 R79 1986
  • Handbook of North American Indians
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference, Special Collections - E77 .h35
  • Native America in the twentieth century: an encyclopedia
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference, Special Collections - E76.2 .N36 1994
  • Native American education: a reference handbook
    Suzzallo Reference - E97 .H138 2002

Finding Books

Use the following databases to locate books in the UW Libraries and in other libraries around the region, nation and world. Books unavailable at the UW can be requested through Summit (if available at one of the member libraries) or through Interlibrary Loan.


  • UW Libraries Catalog
    A listing of the books, journal subscriptions and other material available at the University of Washington Libraries.
  • Summit
    Joint catalog of more than 25 academic libraries in Oregon and Washington. Books can be requested and shipped to the UW for pick-up.
  • OhioLINK
    Use OhioLink to access chapters of recent books, use the "Words" search option.
  • OCLC WorldCat [UW only]
    Joint catalog of thousands of major libraries in the U.S. and abroad.

Finding Articles

Use indexes (databases) to find articles (from scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers and sometimes books, dissertations, government reports, etc.) on a topic. There are indexes covering all sorts of subjects, use those which best fit your research topic. For a complete list of databases see Research Databases on the UW Libraries Homepage.

Once you identify articles you need make sure you have the complete citation (author, title, journal name, volume, pages and year), then look in the UW Libraries Catalog for the journal name (do a title search for the journal name to see if the UW subscribes) to see if and where the journal is kept (library location and call number).

Databases marked UW Only require that you use the Off-Campus Access link on the top right-side corner of this page to logon before you use the databases from home. Articles from journals which the UW does not own can be requested via Interlibrary loan.

  • America History & Life [UW only]
    Major index to articles in U.S. and Canadian history. Also includes citations to selected books, dissertations and reviews.
  • Anthropology Plus [UW only]
    Index to articles and books covering anthropology and archaeology. Can be used to identify some primary sources since coverage dates back to the late 19th century.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch [UW only]
    Full-text collection of ethnic newspapers with selective coverage dating back to 1960. Includes Navajo Times, Indian Country Today, Cherokee Advocate, Seminole Tribune and other Native American publications.
  • Expanded Academic Index [UW only]
    Interdisciplinary index to magazine and journal articles in all subjects, includes some full-text. For a similar database also see Research Library [UW only]
  • ERIC [UW only]
    Index to articles and reports in the field of education.
  • JSTOR [UW only]
    Searchable collection of back issues of selected journals including the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History. For another collection of searchable electronic journals related to history see Project Muse.

To locate printed bibliographies search the UW Libraries catalog:

Finding Published Primary Sources

Using Secondary Sources to Find Primary Sources

Secondary sources, scholarly journal articles and books, are a great source for identifying potential primary sources. Find a few articles, books or dissertations related to your topic and then mine the footnotes and bibliography. You will have the best luck finding published primary sources such as articles, books and government publications within the UW Libraries.

Finding Primary Sources -- Books

The UW Libraries has a strong collection of books that can be considered primary sources for history. These include books written during the period for your topic (i.e., during the 1890s), books written by participants, published collections of correspondence and other personal writings, memoirs and reprints of collections of primary source material. Use the UW Libraries Catalog to search for these materials.

  • Limit your search by publication date.
  • Search for books written by key participants and organizations.
  • Browse the shelves in the appropriate subject area.
  • Use special subject terms that designate primary sources:
    sources, personal narratives, diaries, correspondence, interviews
  • Example:
    • boarding schools and indians and correspondence
    • indians and northwest and (sources or narratives or diaries or correspondence)

Finding Primary Sources -- Articles

The UW Libraries has a strong collection of magazines and journals from the 19th and 20th century. Many of them are in print (either in Suzzallo Periodicals or in a storage area), others are on microfilm. There is limited electronic indexing for early 20th century material.

The libraries also has a basic collection of major U.S. newspapers on microfilm for the 20th centuries. Complete runs are available for such papers as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune Oregonianand Seattle Times. The libraries has a strong collection on Northwest papers. Newspapers are housed in the Microform and Newspaper Collections (Mcnews) on the ground floor of Suzzallo.

Magazines and Journals
  • American Periodical Series Online [UW only]
    Though primarily a collection of fulltext 18 and 19th century American magazines also includes some early 20th century material such as The Living Age, McClure's and Forum.
  • Reader's Guide Retrospective [UW only]
    General index to American magazines for the period of 1890 to 1980. Also available in print in Suzzallo Reference AI3 .R48.
  • Education Index
    Index to education journals from 1929 to 1994. [Reference index area Z5813 .E23]. Online for the period 1983 onward - Education Fulltext [UW only].
Newspapers
  • Historic New York Times [UW only]
    Fulltext version of the New York Times from 1851 to 2001.
  • Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper and Periodical Index
    Card index available in the Special Collections (basement of Allen South). The regional index covers local newspapers, magazines, and other material dealing with PNW history from the 1850s to the present. Current years are available online.

    Other indexes providing retrospective coverage include the San Francisco Newspapers Index, 1904-1959 [on microfilm M-284] and the Library Association of Portland Newspaper Index, 1851-1984 [on microfilm M-1244].

Finding Primary Sources -- Government Reports

The UW Libraries has a strong collection of U.S. government documents including federal agency publications, congressional hearings and reports and other material. Some material is printed while others are available on microfilm. Some material can be found through the UW Libraries Catalog, for other material use the sources listed below. Also see Cass Hartnett's guide to Congressional Resources. For more information about locating government documents check with the Government Publications section on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library.

  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
    Digitized collection of the "records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75." Part of American Memory.
  • Congressional Universe [UW only]
    Full-text debates, bills, reports dating back to approximately 1989 and indexing of congressional reports and hearings dating back to 1789.
  • MarciveWeb Docs [UW only]
    Catalog to U.S. government documents published since 1976. For earlier documents see the Monthly Catalog to United States Government Publications (GovPub. 328.73 Un37m) and its predecessors.
  • Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
    Catalog of more than 120,000 digitized items from NARA's collection plus records for an additional 440,000 items.
  • The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History
    Collection of treaties, legal cases and other documents.
    Suzzallo Reference, Undergraduate Reference, Special Collections
    E93 .W27

Finding Primary Sources -- Microfilm Sets

These microfilm sets are collections of manuscript material, unpublished documents such as letters and organization records and reports. Microfilm is housed in the Microform and Newspaper Collections on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library. Guides to the sets are also kept in that area under the microfilm number.

  • American Indian Correspondence. The Presbyterian Historical Society Collection of Missionaries' Letters, 1833-1893 [35 reels]
    Microform-Newspapers A8384
  • Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881 [86 reels]
    Microform-Newspapers A1783
  • The Pacific Northwest tribes missions collection of the Oregon Province archives of the Society of Jesus, 1853-1960 [34 reels]
    Microform-Newspapers A8136
  • Papers of the Society of American Indians, 1906-1946 [10 reels]
    Microform-Newspapers A8210
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs central classified files, 1907-1939 [partial collection on health aspects only, 29 reels]
    Health Sciences Library B1833
  • Records of the Moravian Mission among the Indians of North America [40 reels]
    Microform-Newspapers A8387

Selected Web Sites

For other websites dealing with Indian history see Native American History.


Image: Carlisle school students.

Slides | Evaluation Form | History Subject Page | UW Libraries

8 February 2005
Theresa Mudrock - mudrock@u.washington.edu