Filson Historical Society
About the Collection The First American West presents a digital resource created from selections drawn from the collections of the Filson Historical Society and the University of Chicago. Each of these institutions has realized the critical role that primary source material plays in the research and teaching of history. The First American West draws on the interconnected holdings of the two institutions to create an integrated collection that preserves critical primary sources and presents a fuller and more diverse picture of the exploration and settlement of the trans-Appalachian west. The Filson Historical Society's origins and the University of Chicago's holdings on the trans-Appalachian west both have their roots in the activities of Reuben T. Durrett (1824-1913).