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Research Guides

Researching Seattle: Background & History

Sources for research into Seattle and the surrounding area

Selected Books on Seattle History

book cover: Seattle, past to present
book jacket: Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle
book jacket: Too High & Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography
book jacket: Seattle & the Roots of Urban Sustainability
book jacket: The City is More than Human: An Animal History of Seattle
book jacket: Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belonging
book jacket: Before Seattle Rocked: A City and Its Music
book jacket: Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese America
book jacket: Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing Over Place
book cover: The Seattle general strike
book cover: Building tradition : pan-Asian Seattle and life in the residential hotels
book cover: Monumental Seattle : the stories behind the city's statues, memorials, and markers
book cover: Seattle's El Centro de la Raza : Dr. King's living laboratory
book cover: Seattle sports : play, identity, and pursuit in the Emerald City
book cover: Emerald Street : a history of hip hop in Seattle
book cover: The river that made Seattle : a human and natural history of the Duwamish
book cover: Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance



The following are a selection of historic Seattle newspapers. For current coverage check out Access World News and Proquest U.S. Newsstream. Additional local newspapers such as the Ballard News are available on microfilm in the newspaper collection on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library. To identify articles published in Seattle newspapers and other publications use the Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper & Periodical Index. The complete index is located in Special Collections (basement of Allen Library South).

Pacific Northwest Collection

The Pacific Northwest Collection, comprised of printed and archival materials, documents the people, history, and culture of the region. Some of the published and all of the unpublished primary source material related to Seattle history is located in the PNW Collection housed in Special Collections (basement Allen Library South). Unpublished archival materials include personal papers such as letters, diaries, scrapbooks, organizational meeting minutes, photographs and other material. The PNW Collection guide provides information on finding and using this material.

The following guides provide an inkling of the range of material available in Special Collections. Digitized material including photographs and documents can be found in the UW Digital Collections.

Additional History Resources

For additional material on Seattle history see the Pacific Northwest History research guide.

This research guide is currently maintained by Kathleen Collins. It was created by Sarah Schroeder, based on UW Libraries guides for GEOG 277: Geography of Cities created by Amanda Hornby and Kian Flynn and ENGL 281: Investigating Seattle's Communities created by Theresa Mudrock. Used with permission.