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Northwest Subject Index Guide

The Northwest Subject Index Collection pulls together citations for specific subjects drawn from books, newspapers and archival collections. This guide explains how to interpret these citations and locate the full text resources.

Book and Archival Collections:

Ballard Card

If you see a citation with a call number, this refers to a book or archival collection most often held in the Seattle Room at the Central Library. Search the library catalog to find more information.

Newspaper Articles:

Central Area Card

The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer are the two most commonly cited papers in the Northwest Subject Index.

  • "S. Times" indicates newspaper articles from the Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Historical Archive database provides online access to may of these articles. Seattle Public Library cardholders may access this database free of charge through our database page. For non-cardholders, paid subscription options are also available through the Seattle Times website. Articles are also available on microfilm at the Central Library.
  • "P-I" indicates newspaper articles from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Pre-1901 issues of the Post-Intelligencer are available online through Chronicling America. To see dates of availability and other Seattle papers available online, consult Chronicling America's list of Washington papers. Later articles are available on microfilm at the Central Library.
Often, citations will appear for other local papers such as the Seattle Mail and Herald, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Municipal News, Argus and others. Availability details for these papers can be found by searching for the paper within the library catalog. If a card has a citation that includes the word "clipping" and/or an underlined letter and number (for example R3) this indicates that there is also a copy of the articles available in the Seattle Room clipping files.

Notes on Digitization:

Cards in the index sometimes have information on both the front and back sides. Card fronts will have an identifier ending in 'a.' Card backs will have an identifier ending in 'b.' To find the other side of a card, you can search using the identifier. For example, if you want to find the back side of the card with the identifier spl_ni_nwdistricts_0001a, search for spl_ni_nwdistricts_0001b. If you are choosing to browse cards, the default for display is for "Index Order" which shows cards in the order they appear in the index. If using this display option, you can simply use the arrows that appear at the top right of the page to navigate from the front of the card to the back of the card.

Questions?

Contact us at Ask-a-Librarian.

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