Clifford R. Koester (1912-1991) worked as a journeyman electrician for the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, first at the Leavenworth (WA) fish hatchery and then at the Grand Coulee Dam. As a long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and a resident of the town of Coulee Dam (WA), Koester made a history of the construction of the dam from the perspective of those who lived and worked in Coulee Dam. Clifford Koester emphasized the workers' experience in his photograph and project history. In Koester's A History of the Columbia Basin Project, he focused on the contributions of laborers to this monumental project. In the dedication, he observed that "the ability and achievements of the planners and engineers have often been extolled elsewhere. I wish to speak now of the craftsmen and common workmen who toiled here, and gave a part of their lives to further this great work." Koester's collection emphasizes the narrative and images of the workers who constructed the dam and surrounding facilities. The primary focus of Koester's archive and digital collection is the construction and operation of the Grand Coulee Dam. The digital archive includes a three volume unpublished history of the dam and a substantial amount of ephemera (primarily newsletters and pamphlets) mainly complete reproductions of the Columbia Basin Project Safety News, 1944-1950. It also contains scans of original Bureau of Reclamation photographs taken through the entirety of the construction process
Searching the Database:
Entering search terms in the box located at the top of the page will search across all of the database fields. Search results are displayed as a series of thumbnail images that may be browsed, both forward and backward. To view the larger image and its corresponding description, double click on the thumbnail. Any highlighted text in the description below each full-size image is searchable; just click. Options to return to the Collections front page, the MASC front page, the Historical Photographs page and ordering images, are provided in the metadata of each item. Clicking on Advanced Search will permit you to search the collection via CONTENTdm to look in individual fields or specify the item you desire. Below are links to the newsletters, project histories, and notable themes represented in the digital collection.
Creating the Database:
In cooperation with WSU Libraries-Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, University of Washington History graduate students Nathan Roberts and Grant Fruhwirth, scanned all images, produced the metadata and edited the database. Cheryl Gunselman, Special Collections Librarian, and Alex Merrill, Systems Librarian, provided technical support for CONTENTdm and general supervision of the project.