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What is the Orbis Cascade Alliance?

The Orbis Cascade Alliance is a new library consortium serving 26 member colleges, universities, and community colleges throughout Oregon and Washington. It was formed through the merger of Cascade, a consortium of Washington academic libraries, and Orbis, an Oregon-based consortium. For more information, see the Orbis Cascade Alliance Public Homepage.

What is in the LocalData database?

The LocalData database contains citations to online sources of data relating to sub-state areas in Oregon. Sub-state levels can be any of several geographic levels, such as cities, counties, school districts, ecoregions, etc. Once a user has performed a search he may link directly to desired data source.

How often is the database updated?

New entries and changes to existing records are loaded weekly.

How do I suggest a source to include in the database?

We welcome suggestions for resources to include in the LocalData database. To suggest a site, go to the Suggest a Source form created for this purpose.

What criteria are used to evaluate web sites for inclusion in the database?

To be included, web sites must present data covering multiple Oregon or Washington places at a particular geographic level (e.g., cities). They are further evaluated on these grounds: interest level, authoritativeness, accuracy, objectivity, permanence/stability, currency, and ease of use.

What is Summit?

Summit is the union catalog of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, which combines information about the holdings of 36 Northwest academic libraries into a single unified database.

Can I borrow books that I find in my Summit search?

Currently enrolled students, faculty and staff of Orbis Cascade Alliance institutions may make online requests for books found in a Summit search. Other users should use the inter-library loan services of their own academic institutions or public libraries.

Why do books unrelated to my city sometimes come up on a Summit search?

Occasionally a search using the "Cities" drop-down menu will retrieve books that were published in that city, as well as books about that city. This is due to the way "keyword" searching in Summit is structured.

Are Oregon and Washington the only states covered by the database?

The project had its beginning at the University of Oregon as a resource for the state of Oregon, and was funded by a Library Services and Technology grant from the Oregon State Library. As a result, the initial records in the database were specific to that state. Through the participation of Orbis Cascade Alliance members in Washington, sources pertaining to that state as represented as well. However, a number of the sources included (particularly federal government sources) provide data for multiple states.

What are the other resources linked from the main page?

In addition to the LocalData database itself, we provide links to other selected online sources of information relating to local areas in Washington and Oregon, including a search of the Summit catalog for publications on a specific city or county and GIS data sources.