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William G. Dick Research Library

The William G. Dick Research Library is available for use by the public. You do not have to pay museum admission to use the library.

The collection includes over 2,600 books, files, DVDs and media covering all aspects of the Columbia River Gorge area including history of Native Americans, pioneers, Oregon Trail, recent history, genealogy, natural history of plants & animals, the Columbia River, salmon, geology, use of the river, and local history of Wasco County as well as some information about neighboring counties.

Vertical file cabinets contain local history in the form of clipped newspaper articles, etc. and copies of reference materials.  The genealogical file cabinets have clippings sorted by family names for people in Wasco County and some families in the nearby area.

Topic files in the collection include: Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark Expedition, history of railroads in Wasco County, Paleo-Indians, Wasco County history, and more. Genealogy files include over 800 surnames. We received a donation in 2023 of a database and over 5000 images of Oregon Trail Emigrant Inscriptions. Names chiseled in rocks, written with tar or wagon axle grease were photographed all along the Oregon Trail. Library staff can help you research names to see who left their mark along the Oregon Trail.

Visitors can use a computer and public access WiFi.

Photocopies are available for a small fee.


We lost several of our key volunteers during the pandemic. Current volunteers usually staff the Library Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. most weeks (the schedule is subject to change). It is wise to schedule before your visit if you wish to do research in the library.

If you plan to do library research please request an appointment by email at:, or by calling 541-296-8600 ext. 242.

If the volunteers are not in, you can phone the admissions desk at 541-296-8600 ext. 201 and ask about their schedule or leave a message for library staff. We apologize in advance if your schedule does not coincide with volunteer availability, but due to the valuable nature of our collection, museum policy requires that a library volunteer must be present at all times. Do you have an interest in volunteering? We would love to talk with you! Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Liz Hummer, at or call 541-296-8600 ext. 202.

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