Views of the Pacific Northwest consists of photographic prints, drawings, and watercolors chiefly depicting sights on the Northwest Coast, particularly around Vancouver Island (a few European and South American scenes and landmarks also are included). The images originally were housed in a scrapbook kept by an unidentified individual; based on the contents of the scrapbook it is presumed that the person was a member of the joint U.S./British Northwest Boundary Commission.
By the time the scrapbook arrived at Yale its condition had seriously deteriorated. Consequently, the volume was disassembled by conservators, and the views were matted and housed in portfolios according to size. Manuscript notes and captions, which appear on the verso of some of the pieces, were photocopied and the copies mounted on the back of the mats. Items found lying loose within the scrapbook were designated "Miscellany" and numbered; they are listed in the finding aid at the end of Part II. The volume itself, which still contains some manuscript captions, was retained; it is housed in box 6.
The photographs, taken by an unidentified photographer or photographers, depict deck scenes from a ship that may be the H.M.S. Satellite; Victoria Indians; Hudson's Bay Company outposts at Fort Vancouver, San Juan Island, and Victoria; encampments on San Juan Island; Nanaimo and Esquimalt, Vancouver Island; Valparaiso, Chile; and Stanley Harbor in the Falkland Islands.
The drawings (in both pen and ink as well as pencil) and watercolors, include four works signed by James Madison Alden, as well as drawings by W. H. Hall, J. Palmer, James Robertson, Marcus Lowther, B. Tucker, and possibly William McMurtrie. Scenes depicted include Vancouver Island; San Juan Island; Pt. Grenville, Washington Territory; the Fraser River; coastal landmarks of South America; Victoria Indians, encampments, ships, and birds.
This finding aid lists the contents of the former scrapbook three different ways: according to format (Part I), according to their original order in the scrapbook (Part II), and according to the present storage order of the materials (Part III). The lists for Part I and Part II provide references to the current box and folder location of the materials.