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WSU Libraries

Digital Collections

About this collection

This Government Documents collection is part of the Washington State University Libraries' participation in the Western Waters Digital Library, a two-year pilot project intended to establish a solid foundation for the continued development of a comprehensive digital information resource about water in the western United States.

The Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington State, the largest concrete structure in the United States, was a result of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project which aimed to bring into use half a million acres of arid, unproductive land of mid-Washington. The huge potential of the dam on a major Northwest river, the Columbia, was also realized in its capacity for hydroelectric power and flood control. 

 

The clippings of the Wallis and Marilyn Kimble Northwest History Database and the background documents presented here tell the fascinating story of how the dam was first imagined and proposed to the decades-long political and social conflict that took place from Olympia, Washington, to Washington, D.C. in order for the dam to be realized.  News stories from Seattle , Wenatchee, and Spokane relate the history of the time, and Congressional committee hearings and reports detail the debates from the 1920's to the 1960's about the authorization and management of the project.

 



 

In developing the Western Waters Digital Library twelve academic libraries in eight western states initially developed and hosted digital collections covering four major river basins: the Platte, Rio Grande, Colorado, and Columbia. Selected materials will include a variety of government reports, legal transcripts, water project records, photographs, and personal papers, representing a variety of formats. The index of the metadata from the geographically dispersed collections is harvested by a central server at the University of Utah to enable virtual, seamless searching of all the collections from a single web site. Our plan is to increase geographic coverage and participation as the project develops.

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