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History: Library Resources: PNW Tertiary Sources

Databases for articles on history of all eras

Tertiary Sources


Tertiary Sources are distillations and collections of primary and secondary sources. The information is compiled and digested into factual representation, so that it does not obviously reflect points of view, critiques or persuasions. Tertiary sources are typically the last to be published in the information cycle.  Because it has been filtered through many reviewers, it tends to consist of highly reliable and accurate information, plus contain broad perspectives of topics. 

Use tertiary sources for a general overview of your topic and for background information for your research.  


General examples: Encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, handbooks, guides, classification, chronology, and other fact books.

Repplinger, John. "Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources:." Willamette University, 5 Apr. 2019, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019. 

History Reference Sources

Online Encyclopedias

eBooks & Encyclopedias

Note: To access the resources below you need to sign-in with your Bigfoot username & password to use the databases. 

Bigfoot Username: 
your first name - first initial of last name - last 4 digits of your

Need help? Call the CCS IT Student Helpdesk at 509-533-4357 or contact the library at 509-533-3834 / 800-251-1972.

Books and More

The SFCC and SCC Libraries

SFCC and SCC share an online catalog. Most items at SCC can be requested for pickup at SFCC, usually in the next 3-5 days.

Here is a small selection of the books available at the SFCC and SCC libraries. These books are only a small sample; many more items on these and other relevant subjects are available at the library:

Economic, Trade, and Labor History of the Northwest

Across the Columbia plain : railroad expansion in the interior Northwest, 1885-1893 / Peter J. Lewty
SFCC Non-Fiction
385.0979 LEWTY

Children of the fur trade : forgotten MeĢtis of the Pacific Northwest / John C. Jackson
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.5004 JACKSON

Company towns of the Pacific Northwest / Linda Carlson
SFCC Non-Fiction
307.767 CARLSON

Otter skins, Boston ships, and China goods : the maritime fur trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785-1841 / James R. Gibson
SFCC Non-Fiction
382.4397 GIBSON

Radical heritage : labor, socialism, and reform in Washington and British Columbia, 1885-1917 / Carlos A. Schwantes
SFCC Non-Fiction
331.88097 SCHWANT

Ethnic and Cultural Groups of the Northwest

Captains, curates, and cockneys : the English in the Pacific Northwest / Frank L. Green
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.50042 G821c

Golden tassels : a history of the Chinese in Washington, 1857-1992 / Art Chin
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.7004 CHIN 1992

Indians of the Pacific Northwest : a history / Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.00497 RUBY

Lairds, bards, and mariners : the Scot in Northwest America / by Bruce Le Roy
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.50049 L562L

Memory, community and activism : Mexican migration and labor in the Pacific Northwest / Jerry Garcia and Gilberto Garcia, eds.
SCC Library--2nd Floor
331.544 MEMORY 2005

Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest : Japanese Americans & Japanese Canadians in the twentieth century / edited by Louis Fiset and Gail M. Nomura
SCC Library--2nd Floor
979.50049 NIKKEI 2005

Famous Historical People of the Northwest

The boys in the boat : nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics / Daniel James Brown
SFCC Non-Fiction
797.123 BROWN 2013

Edward S. Curtis in the land of the war canoes : a pioneer cinematographer in the Pacific Northwest
SFCC Non-Fiction
778.53 H73e

John Mullan : the tumultuous life of a western road builder / Keith C. Petersen.
SFCC Non-Fiction
623.6209 MULLAN PETERSE 2014

Royal family of the Columbia : Dr. John McLoughlin and his family / Alberta Brooks Fogdall
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.5 F687R

Spokane and Environs

African Americans in Spokane / Jerrelene Williamson, Spokane Northwest Black Pioneers
SCC Library--2nd Floor
979.737 WILLIAM 2010

The Inland Empire : unfolding years, 1879-1929 / John Fahey
SCC Library--2nd Floor
979.737 FAHEY 1986

Spokane : our early history : under all is the land / Tony and Suzanne Bamonte
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.737 BAMONTE

The Spokan Indians / John Alan Ross
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.00497 ROSS

Spokane & the Inland Empire : an interior Pacific Northwest anthology / edited by David H. Stratton
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.737 SPOKANE

Women in the Northwest

African American women confront the West : 1600-2000 / edited by Quintard Taylor, Shirley Ann Wilson Moore
SCC Library--2nd Floor
978.00496 AFRICAN 2003

More than petticoats : remarkable Washington women / L.E. Bragg
SFCC Non-Fiction
305.4092 BRAGG

Organized womanhood : cultural politics in the Pacific Northwest, 1840-1920 / by Sandra Haarsager
SFCC Non-Fiction
305.42 HAARSAG

Sowing good seeds : The Northwest suffrage campaigns of Susan B. Anthony / G. Thomas Edwards
SCC Library--2nd Floor
324.623 EDWARDS 1990

Washington women as path breakers / Mildred Tanner Andrews
SFCC Non-Fiction
979.7008 An27w

Women in Pacific Northwest history / edited by Karen J. Blair
SFCC Non-Fiction
305.40979 WOMEN 2001

Individual eBooks

These are just a few examples of the content available on the EBSCOHost and ABC-CLIO eBook collections. Search or browse the individual collections to find more resources:

Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest Coast of North America
by Donald Leland
EBSCOhost eBooks

Beyond the Reservation : Indians, Settlers, and the Law in Washington Territory, 1853-1889
by Brad Asher
EBSCOhost eBooks

Daily Life of Native Americans from Post-Columbian through Nineteenth-Century America
by Alice Nash and Christoph Strobel

Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest
by Robert H. Ruby and John Arthur Brown
EBSCOhost eBooks

Historical Atlas of Washington
by James W. Scott and Roland L. De Lorme
EBSCOhost eBooks

Indians of the Pacific Northwest : A History
by Robert H. Ruby and John Arthur Brown
EBSCOhost eBooks

John Slocum and the Indian Shaker Church
by Robert H. Ruby and John Arthur Brown
EBSCOhost eBooks

Native America, Discovered and Conquered : Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny
by Robert J. Miller

The Native Peoples of North America : A History
by Bruce E. Johansen

Organized Womanhood : Cultural Politics in the Pacific Northwest, 1840-1920
by Sandra Haarsager
EBSCOhost eBooks

Renegade Tribe : The Palouse Indians and the Invasion of the Inland Pacific Northwest
by Clifford E. Trafzer and Richard D. Scheuerman
EBSCOhost eBooks

Other Libraries

Inter-Library Loan

Inter-library loan (ILL) is a service agreement in which participating libraries share items across the United States, such as books and articles. The SFCC Library borrows materials from other library collections for our students and the local community. In turn, the Spokane Falls Library loans items to other libraries.

Libraries lend materials and supply photocopies in accordance with national and international copyright laws.

Spokane Falls faculty, students and staff may use this service at no fee or cost.

Spokane Public Library

The Ned M. Barnes Northwest Room at the Spokane Public Library also has a collection, including many rare items related to the history of the Inland Pacific Northwest. These materials are searchable through the library catalog, but cannot be checked out. Please be mindful of the library rules and hours.

Research Help

Contact Options

Our professional librarians are available to help you with using any of the library's electronic resources. Please contact us if you require assistance.

In Person
SFCC, building 2.
By Email
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509.533.3834 or 1.800.251.1972
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