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Guide to the William E. Rawlings Papers; Rawlings (William E.) Papers


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Guide to the William E. Rawlings Papers1932-1973

Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Overview of the Collection

Title: Papers
Creator: William E. Rawlings
Dates: 1932-1973
Quantity: 1.0 cubic feet
Abstract:Correspondence, memos, job transfers, and other papers of William Rawlings related to his career in the Agricultural Extension Service, the War Relocation Authority (during WWII) and the US Bureau of Reclamation. Also contains administrative records and printed reports about the Columbia Basin Project.
Identification: MG410
Repository: University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives

The original order could not be determined. So, the present order was imposed to improve access to the collection. Arranged in series.

The papers of William E. Rawlings span the years 1933 to 1970, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1960 to 1970. The papers include correspondence, memos, pay slips, employment applications, various reports, maps, photographs and other items relating to Rawlings' career. The materials contain extensive information on the Columbia Basin Project, of which Rawlings was manager from 1960-1970. Information on his work previous to the Columbia Basin Project (1933-1959) is less extensive and contains items related to Rawlings' personnel matters (such as performance reviews and salary increases), correspondence, reports related to agricultural issues in Idaho (1940-1942) and other items related to some of the places where he was employed during these years. A brief description of his work at the Minidoka Relocation Center (1943-1945) is also contained in the biographical and personal file. Photographs in the collection are portraits of various working groups throughout Rawlings' career, many of which include the names of those photographed.

William Eber Rawlings was born in Sheridan, Indiana in 1904. He graduated from Purdue University College of Agriculture in 1926, majoring in Animal Husbandry. He began his career working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Extension Service, the first 14 years in Indiana, and then transferring to Idaho. In 1942 he joined the War Relocation Authority, working in Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Montana. While working in Hunt, Idaho as Project Director for the Minidoka Relocation Center he began working on irrigating land for war food production.

In 1946, Rawlings was transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation office in Billings, Montana, as Project Supervisor for the Missouri River Basin Project, and in 1952 became Regional Irrigation Supervisor for Region 6, an area that covered the northern Plains.

In 1960, he became the manager of the Columbia Basin Project, headquartered in Ephrata, Washington. He served there for ten years, retiring in 1970. It was during his tenure that the Columbia Basin Project continued expansion, and saw the construction of the third power plant on the Grand Coulee Dam.

Rawlings died of a heart attack in Spokane in 1973 at age 69.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.


Public Works

Rawlings, William E., 1904-1973--Archives

Columbia Basin Project (U.S.) Records and correspondence

Administrative Information

Gift of Mrs. Ruth Rawlings, August, 2002.


The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

I. The Career of William E. Rawlings 1933-1970
11Biographical and Personal 1904-1973 24
12Photographs 1946-1963 14
13Career Service 1933-1959 70
14Career Service 1960-1970 78
15Speeches, Addresses and Official Programs 1963-1970 34
16Columbia Basin Project Employee Orientation n.d. 1
17Interagency Training Program Materials 1963 1
II. The Columbia Basin Project 1960-1970
18Administrative File 1961-1969 18
19Statistical Data 1930-1970 56
110Columbia Basin Project Pamphlets & Ephemera n.d. 11
111Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part I n.d. 3
112Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part II n.d. 5
113Columbia Basin Project Reports, Part III n.d. 1
114Columbia Basin Project Maps n.d. 7
115Columbia Basin Project Newsclippings n.d. 4
III. Other Items
116Idaho Reports 1940-1942 3
117Other items n.d. 8

Profile Description

Creation: This document was generated by JavaScript from an HTML form which structured the input according to the elements of ISAD(G) Version 2 on Mon Jun 07 2004 15:57:49 GMT-0700 (Pacific Standard Time)/ta.
Language: Finding aid is in English

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