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SSI1-132: Wild Things

Selecting Your Primary Source Material

Selecting your primary source text(s) is one of the most important decisions you will make as you undertake a research project. Try to give yourself sufficient time to explore multiple options. You will want to choose primary sources that invite numerous questions related to the theme of the course and that are rich and complex enough to allow for extended analysis and interpretation. 

For this project, you have several options for locating digitized primary source materials, which you may integrate into your final essay.

Archival Collections

Tourism and Conservation in the National Parks

This digital teaching collection investigates the topics of tourism and conservation in U.S. National Parks between 1897-1932. It includes digital versions of most of the primary sources we examined during our archives session.

You may wish to read the overview essay and then continue to the list of primary sources to read a description and find out which materials are available online. Click on the images to be taken to a digital database where you'll find a larger version of the object, more details about it, and be able to download a copy to use for research.

Abby Williams Hill

Abby Williams Hill Collections

The Abby Williams Hill Collection is an extensive collection of diaries, letters, photographs and paintings documenting the activities of this early 20th century artist. A small sampling of material from the collection is available online.



Abby Williams Hill Journals

Nine of Abby Williams Hill's journals are also digitized, transcribed, and available online. These journals focus on Hill’s travels throughout the United States with her four children between 1895 and 1906 and provide a unique female perspective on significant issues affecting the nation at that time.

  • Mount Rainier & Hood Canal journal (1895). In this journal, Hill takes a 26-day expedition to Mt. Rainier and writes about her experiences.
  • Northern Pacific Railway Commission journal, Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 (1905-1906). Hill painted in Yellowstone National Park in both 1905 and 1906. In 1905 she focused on painting Yellowstone Canyon and Yellowstone Falls, and in 1906 she worked on the geysers.

These journals are fully keyword searchable and relevant records will be highlighted in red. Use the "filtered" tab to see the full list of your search results. A full PDF transcript is available to download at the end of each journal and a transcription is also available underneath each individual image.

Find out more about our archival and manuscript collections at Archives West. If you would like to learn more about Abby Williams Hill and other materials from A&SC, please contact


National Park Brochures

Archives & Special Collections Hours

The Archives & Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Collins Memorial Library.

Set up an appointment: We are open to researchers by appointment Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. To make an appointment, email or book online

We look forward to assisting you!

Visiting the Archives & Special Collections

Students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the public with research inquiries are welcome to consult the Archives & Special Collections. Appointments are highly recommended to ensure availability of materials and staff assistance, but we also have drop-in hours during the week when appointments are not required. See the Archives & Special Collections Hours box above for information on drop-in hours. 

A few things to be aware of when visiting the Archives & Special Collections:

  • Materials in the Archives & Special Collections do not circulate. They are available for use only in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • Pencil only, no pens. We have pencils available if you forget to bring one.
  • Laptops are permitted.
  • Phones and cameras may be used with the permission of the Archivist.