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March 2005

Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive
A massive site on the ethnic history of the Northwest.
Grade Level: Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

The Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive is a digital archive that includes the records, images, recollections, artifacts and histories of ethnic groups from this region. It is a joint project of Washington State University Vancouver, the Idaho State Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society, and Washington State University Pullman.
The content is well organized into three main sections presented on the main page. The database can be browsed by any of eleven ethnic groups or searched by keyword, ethnic group, institution, material type, date, or subject. Flash Player and Real player are required.

This is a rich resource for history teachers and students interested in the development of this area that includes territory in seven states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah) and one Canadian province. Over the last two hundred years a number of ethnic groups including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Europeans have migrated to this area giving it a rich ethnic heritage. This site seeks to bring together the resources of several museums and libraries to share the records, images, recollections, artifacts and histories of this region with the general public. The first section is an introduction that describes the project, the partners and the team that developed it as well as presenting a map of the area. The database, of course, is the meat of the site. First time users will want to explore by browsing the areas by ethnic group. Each section in this area gives historical background and primary documents that focus on that particular ethnicity. The tutorial section provides information on how to research and interpret library and museum resources as well as four standards-based lesson plans for teaching about primary sources in the database. Also included is a discussion forum for dialogue about ethnic history sources and issues.


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