Are you a researcher, a genealogist, a college student, or an enthusiast of North Idaho history? The Idaho Collection, located in the library’s Nelson Room, houses rare texts and reference materials of historical interest to North Idaho and Coeur d’Alene. The collection contains over 2,000 books, DVDs, and materials related to the history, geography, and culture of North Idaho.

The Idaho Collection also includes contemporary documents such as issues of North Idaho College’s literary magazine Trestle Creek Review, and hardbound entries of the annual Julie Meier Writers Competition, spanning from 1989 to the present.

DVDs are available to check out to patrons with a library card. Most copies of books in the Idaho Collection are non-circulating (meaning they cannot be checked out). If you find a book you wish to check out for yourself, ask our staff if we have a copy of the book that circulates. Otherwise, you are welcome to use Idaho Collection materials inside the library.

The current Nelson Room (in full; Ralph S. and Jeanette Nelson Memorial Room) was established when the new library building at 702 E. Front Ave. opened in 2007. Funding was generously provided by Jean Nelson and family.

Additional links:

  • Kootenai County Genealogical Society
    The KCGS is dedicated to assisting individuals in compiling family histories and other genealogical pursuits, as well as fostering education on the subject of genealogy. Meetings are typically held at the Hayden Library.
  • University of Idaho’s Digital Initiatives
    Digital Initiatives consists of over 90 digitized collections related to significant places and periods in Idaho. The collection is accessible to all and includes photographs, records, and oral histories.
  • Museum of North Idaho
    The Museum of North Idaho maintains collections, exhibits, programs, and blogs related to North Idaho history. To see featured and permanent exhibits in person, visit the Museum, located on Northwest Boulevard near downtown Coeur d’Alene.
  • Company Town Legacy
    Company Town Legacy is a digital humanities project tracing historical developments in Potlatch, Idaho. The project is the collaboration of Dr. Diane Kelly-Riley, Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho, and University of Idaho students.
  • Old Mission State Park: Sacred Encounters Exhibit
    Located at Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park in Cataldo, this exhibit traces the profound results of the meeting between Jesuit missionaries and the Coeur d’Alene and Salish tribes, using artifacts from museums such as the Smithsonian and the Museum of Natural History.
  • Coeur d’Alene Tribe
    Information on the Coeur d’Alene Tribe (Schitsu’umsh) by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Includes a historical timeline of Coeur d’Alene Tribe activity, as well as information on their history, government, language, and more.
  • is a partnership between the Community Library Network, Rathdrum Historical Society, and Post Falls Historical Society to ensure access to information about the history of north Idaho. It is funded, in part, through a grant awarded by the Idaho Humanities Council.
  • Digital Library of Idaho
    The Digital Library of Idaho is a collection of digital libraries from across the state of Idaho, providing access points to the varied historical images, documents, and other media available to the public.