Published by Primary Source Microfilm
The Pacific Northwest and Canadian Northwest occupy a special place in the history of westward expansion. This collection makes available a number of rare primary source materials on the early history of the two regions.
The Pacific Northwest was the setting for a great deal of activity and controversy. Fur trade on the coast and in the interior was the focus of rivalry between Spain, Great Britain, the United States and Russia. Explorers, on the other hand, were caught up in the controversial search for the Northwest Passage and countless scientific expeditions were assembled to seek out this route between Europe and Asia. Another search, less grandiose, perhaps, but no less difficult, was that of the settlers traveling the Oregon Trail.
As in the United States, settlement in Canada leaped from mid-continent to the Pacific Shore. The plains area between was left to be settled and developed at a later date. Geographically, this area is an extension of the Great Plains. Historically it offers a parallel and a contrast in matters of land policy, railroad building and relations with Native Americans.
The 511 texts in this collection take many forms, from reports of expeditions to political pamphlets, but nearly all of them are, in some way, first-hand narratives of the events that helped shape the country.
Many of these texts are unavailable in the average college library because of their rarity or prohibitive cost. Under the guidance of Archibald Hanna, former curator of The Yale Collection of Western Americana, this collection is organized with the emphasis on making available out-of-print and rare documents.
Complete collection: 50 reels
Canadian Northwest: 20 reels
Pacific Northwest: 30 reels