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Women in the Pacific Northwest Outdoors: A UW Special Collections Guide


If you've ever read about the horseback riding librarians of Kentucky during the Great Depression, how Alam Wagen was the first female guide with Mt. Rainier National Park, or how Louise B. Marshall established the Washington Trails Association, you’ll know women have historically made an impact in the outdoors through rain, snow or shine. Seattle and the surrounding area hold a population which is passionate about the natural landscape and culture of the Pacific Northwest; it is also rich with historical women defying social expectations to climb mountains, join training teams, participate publicly in causes, and build trails which are still used today. 

The role of libraries and archives is to make information readily available and to help make the past part of the present. This research guide is not exhaustive, but rather a reminder to open the research door and remember how women contributed to outdoor preservation, education, storytelling, and advocacy. As a capstone project, and as a way to transition from student to librarian, my goal was to encourage researchers to include women in their thinking and studying of the past. I hope it is a useful tool, and in the meantime, I'll see you on the trails and in the libraries. 

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