WA Secretary of State Blogs

New Digital Collection: Medical Lake Heritage

September 3rd, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections No Comments »

Large format photography, Medical Lake Library, 2015. Scanning a men's wool bathing suit.A new digital collection from our Washington Rural Heritage program tells the story of Medical Lake—the inland Northwest’s first destination resort and spa community.  This collection of historical documents, photos, and cultural objects was digitized in 2014-2015 by the Medical Lake Library (Spokane County Library District) in partnership with the Medical Lake Historical Society.

Located 15 miles southwest of Spokane, Washington, Medical Lake was once lauded for its curative properties. The lake’s mineral waters were said to provide a cure for everything from “rheumatism” to “kidney complaints” to “skin diseases.” In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a bustling enterprise developed around the lake. Visitors came from far and wide, and an electric train connected the town to Spokane for a period. Medical Lake boasted several hotels, lakeside resorts, and a sanitarium that pumped lake water directly into its baths. In addition, the lake’s minerals were extracted and sold throughout the United States in the form of salts, tablets, soap, an ointment, and even a porous plaster. The water itself was bottled for export.

While the lake’s heyday was relatively brief, it helped firmly establish the town of Medical Lake, and its legacy and local historical interest endures.

Learn more about the history of Medical Lake at HistoryLink: Medical Lake: The Inland Empire’s First Spa.

Highlights from the collectionblog_boom include:

  • The Story of Medical Lake, a 1972 souvenir edition of the Cheney Free Press celebrating 100 years of Medical Lake history. This special edition constitutes an excellent local history of the area, providing profiles of early citizens, businesses, organizations, and community events.
  • Early newspapers from Medical Lake, including the Medical Lake Ledger and Medical Lake Enterprise.
  • Objects and artifacts from the Medical Lake Historical Society, including products incorporating mineral salts and extracts.

Congratulations to the Spokane County Library District for making this unique collection widely accessible for researchers, students, and the general public!

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services. To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

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Tribal Libraries in Washington receive grants from IMLS

September 2nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Tribal No Comments »

From the desk of Carolyn Petersen.Stillaguamish Tribal Library

The recent announcement of the IMLS Basic grants to Washington State tribes reveals the importance placed on learning by the Native America tribes of Washington State.

The following tribes applied and received the basic grant:

  • Kalispel Indian community of the Kalispel Reservation–Usk
  • Yakama Tribal Council—Toppenish
  • Lower Elwha Tribal community—Port Angeles
  • Lummi Indian Business Council—Bellingham
  • Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation–Suquamish
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe—Sequim
  • Skokomish Indian Tribe of the Skokomish reservation—Skokomish Nation
  • Nooksack Indian Tribe—Deming
  • Hoh Indian Tribe—Forks
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe—Olympia
  • Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe—Tokeland
  • Port Gamble Band of S’Klallam tribe—Kingston
  • Samish Indian Nation—Anacortes
  • Squaxin Island Tribe—Shelton
  • Makah Indian Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation—Neah Bay
  • Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington –Arlington

In addition to receiving basic grants two of Washington’s Tribal Libraries received special Enhancement Grants.

Yakama Tribal Council – Toppenish, WA

With this award, the Yakama Nation will revive the existing outdated library collection with relevant new books, and audio and video resources. The library staff will focus on professional development in cataloging, reading literacy, and collection development in order to facilitate, support, and assist patrons in meeting their information retrieval needs. The library will also collaborate with the Yakama Nation Tribal School to select readings to enhance student project-based learning research needs. The Yakama Nation envisions building upon their collaborative success by updating the library collection and promoting reading. These developments will enhance library programming, promote reading, and generate enthusiasm for reading at Head Start facilities and at library story hours.

Nisqually Indian Tribe – Olympia, WA

The Nisqually Tribe will utilize a StoryCorps recording studio within the tribal library to record the stories of tribal members. Trained staff will use the recording technology to facilitate sessions where tribal members exchange and share their stories with each other. These recordings will then become part of the knowledge the tribe can share from the tribal library’s collection and will be preserved for future generations.

Tribal libraries are spread all across the state and have a variety of missions.  Some serve as afterschool support for the youth of their tribe.  Others concentrate on early childhood literacy.  Yet others serves as their community’s public library.  Some tribal libraries support college programs both distance and on site while yet others  provide genealogy resources for individuals to prove tribal membership.   There are museum research collections. Some libraries provide resources to preserve their native language.  Each of these libraries is unique and reflects the values of its tribal community.

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Libraries and STEM learning

August 31st, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

Keva CityFrom the desk of Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian

Do you consider those years in elementary, middle, or secondary school as the primary time you invested in learning? Perhaps you went on to college or graduate school. But, over the course of a person’s life only about 3% is spent in formal education.

Education is not the equivalent of learning although one hopes the two intersect. However, some who study learning believe that the most effective learning happens not in formal education environments but in informal settings.

Once called the “people’s university” the public library has filled an important role in society, that of facilitating informal learning. The goal of lifelong learning ranks high on many library mission statements. We know that once a person completes formal education he or she will continue to learn and it makes sense that they turn to public library and use its resources. Libraries remain a trusted place to learn.

Much of the STEM movement has focused on children and on encouraging girls to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math. But, STEM is important to adults, too. Adults need to find and hold jobs, to enter STEM careers or simply to enrich one’s knowledge.

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

The Washington State Library has invested federal funds to purchase STEM kits – Legos to be exact – that circulate among rural libraries so that kids can experience the wonders of science. 3-D printer is a popular STEM educational tool in libraries. We recently purchased a well-loved Egg Bot (a friendly art robot that can draw on egg-shaped objects) and demonstrated it at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. (See this short You Tube video of the Egg Bot).

Another State Library STEM program is the Microsoft IT Academy, an online technology training program provided free to the residents of Washington through public, two-year academic and tribal libraries. The IT Academy is a partnership between the State Library/Secretary of State and Microsoft and is funded by the State Legislature. Over 15,000 state residents have accounts on the site and are taking advantage of the hundreds of online courses over the past two years.

Project manager Elizabeth Iaukea notes, “Every time a learner takes an IT Academy course they are engaging in STEM. Public libraries have been supporting STEM education for at least two decades.”

11699044_898830330182470_7504914450782232784_o“Libraries and museums are improving learning in science, technology, engineering and math, a national priority for US competitiveness.” (Institute of Museum and Library Services)

Rand Simmons and Elizabeth Iaukea recently attended the Public Libraries and STEM conference in Denver, CO.

According to State Librarian Rand Simmons, “Public libraries are amazing. They constantly adapt to meet societal needs. STEM addresses a national concern that the U.S. not fall behind in science, technology, engineering and math. Public libraries partnering with STEM industries and non-profits and government agencies that focus on STEM are part of the solution. Despite predictions of their demise public libraries remain viable and vibrant.”

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Visit the San Juan Islands – Winter and Spring 1907!

August 26th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen – Deputy State Librarian

Traipsing through issues of the San Juan Islander for January-April 1907 is serious business.  For the islanders are a litigious lot and there seems to be a fair amount of news regarding lawyers, courts, suits and arrests in what we think of today as an idyllic vacation spot.  I’ve picked out a few events that struck me as interesting, but there is far more to be explored.

Feel free to browse through the issues for 1898-1914 on your own at the Chronicling America site,

(http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085190/) at the Library of Congress.  Choose the link to ‘Browse’, then use the drop down to choose a year, and the calendar display to choose an issue.

boy-shoe
Jan. 5, 1907

  1. 1 The first electric street light in Friday Harbor lights up the intersection of Spring and Main streets. Voluntary contributions from citizens will be necessary to purchase additional lights.  The paper takes the stance that incorporation is advisable in order to fund such civic improvements.

Jan. 12, 1907

  1. 1 The danger working in lumber mills is underlined by the report of the accident suffered by Dutton McNallie, a 19-year old, who lost his left arm to the planer at the Friday Harbor Mill.
  2. 3 Under the heading “No Women Politicians”, the paper quotes Pope Pius X where he exhorts women to do everything they can to care for the poor and uplift civilization, including education. “They should study everything, with, of course, the exception of theology.”  He continues that women should be lawyers, doctors and teacher, but should not enter politics.  “Women in Parliament!  The idea is preposterous.  Men there make blunders sufficient.”

Jan. 26, 1907

  1. 1 Former San Juan Co. resident, W. C. Boone, is in jail in Salem, OR, charged with bigamy. Also it seems his name is actually D. M. Richards.  He married a Miss McFadden in Salem on Sept. 15, 1906, failing to mention that he already had a wife in the Bellingham area (and several children) from whom he had never obtained a divorce.  It is also charged that when he married the wife in Bellingham, he already had a wife in Ohio.

The Whatcom County Bar Association has instituted proceeding for the disbarment of E. J. Grover.  Specific charges include misappropriation of funds and soliciting a bribe.  Grover is known for “having been associated with Mr. Garrett in the trial of the Wold-Ziegler cow case.”

The case of the McCrary Liquor License – whether or not to issue a liquor license to W. H. McCrary becomes a burning question in San Juan County.  There will charges and countercharges, sworn affadavits, lawyers and county commissioners weighing in over several months.  See “Officials Clash on License Question.”

Feb. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “McCrary Liquor License Held Up.”

Feb. 9, 1907

  1. 1 “The ‘Pirates of Penzance’ would have to ‘go away back and sit down’ if they were to come into competition with the fruit and produce commission pirates of Seattle. Compared with them the ‘Forty Thieves’ of the Arabian Nights were mere novices in the art of robbing the public.”

What sort of tactics do fruit and produce pirates employ?  An Orcas Island orchardist shipped 70 boxes of choice apples to the commission, for which he expected payment of about $60 according to current fruit prices.  After considerable time and several letters he went to Seattle and confronted the owner of the shop which had sold the fruit.  The shop owner admitted he had received the fruit in good order and sold it at good prices, but instead of paying the grower he had used the money in his business and so didn’t have it to make payment, and “what are you going to do about it?”  (Pirates, indeed!)

Street lights  – It turns out the single street light was being donated free for a couple months by the local power company.  Now they announce that it will be shut off unless someone raises the money to pay the monthly fee.

Feb. 16, 1907

  1. 1 “Special Meeting of Commissioners” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Feb. 23, 1907

  1. 1 An argument between citizens, A. Stoliker and Fred Peasley became heated, with such florid language that Mr. Peasely went so far as to attempt to have Mr. Stoliker placed “under bonds to keep the peace.” There was a hearing before Justice Oscar Bergman of the Valley Precinct. “While the evidence showed that the language used by Stoliker wasn’t indicative of a feeling of brotherly love toward Peasley and that it would be somewhat out of place in a Christian Endeavor meeting or high class literary symposium, it did not impress the justice as being of such a character as to indicate that Stoliker was really thirsting for Peasley’s gore… and he was accordingly discharged.”

Mar. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “A repeated Misstatement Corrected” (McCrary Liquor License.)
  2. 6 The current serialized novel is “The Iron Pirate” by Max Pemberton.iron pirate

Mar. 16, 1907

  1. “A Statement from Commissioner Sandwith.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Also a new physician settle in Friday Harbor, Dr. George H. Shrodes.

Mar. 23, 1907

  1. 1 “Mr. Frits Demands a Retraction.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Apr. 6, 1907

  1. 1 Another saloonkeeper, Fred Lightheart is acquitted in a case involving gambling in his saloon. “While the fact of gambling in the saloon was clearly established, the evidence failed to show that it was done with his knowledge or consent.”  (Perhaps they limited their play to darkened corners?)

Apr. 27, 1907

  1. 1 A proposed tax on dogs ($1 for a male, $2 for a female) is said to be unconstitutional by the attorney general. The county attorney had consulted him after the county commissioners proposed the tax.

Ed Gilshenan who was thought to be drowned in the San Juan Channel, turned up safe and sound at his home on Waldron Island.  He did indeed capsize, but managed to reach Brush Island.  Once there it took several days to flag down a steamer that picked him up and allowed him to find his way home.

I’ll leave the islands now but hope you will visit and make the acquaintance of the early citizens.  And in case you’re wondering, Mr. McCrary does indeed get his license, though I would be hard put to identify exactly where and when it happened.

The San Juan Islander was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Islander and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers (www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers.aspx) at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

 

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Even boring machines can be interesting.

August 17th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

With Big Bertha in the news on a regular basis we got to thinking about boring machines in general. Or rather, interesting boring machines.  One in particular comes to mind, from the historic coal mining community of Roslyn, Washington:

NWICo_boring_machine_mounted_on_a_rail_car_for_transporting_through_the_mines

From Roslyn local historian, Sue Litchfield:

Steep-pitched mines predominated the Roslyn-Cle Elum Coal Field, making it more expensive to extract coal than the relatively flat coal seams in the east and Midwest. In an effort to cut costs Tom Murphy the mine’s general manager designed and built the N.W.I. Company’s coal boring machine. The boring machine was able to drill crosscuts and air tunnels in a third of the time required by conventional means. “Murphy earned recognition from engineers throughout America and other countries for his genius in coping with the problems of steep-pitch mining in the Roslyn Cle Elum Field,” wrote Cle Elum’s Miner Echo. “A boring machine, first put on paper about 1940 and finally constructed in the Roslyn shops about 2 years ago, was one of his pet projects. Employed at the No. 3 Mine, the machine has eliminated the expensive upkeep of ordinary main airways by boring them 42 inches in diameter through the coal.

These photos of the Northwest Improvement Company’s coal boring machine, as well as other mining machinery and equipment photos were digitized by the Roslyn Public Library with grant assistance from the Washington State Library. They are part of the Washington Rural Heritage Collection and come from the family photo collection of a descendant of Frank Badda, who worked for decades in the Roslyn mines, working his way up to the position of Superintendent until the last mine was closed in 1963.

Oh and back to Big Bertha, she does have one thing that the Roslyn boring machine lacked… a Twitter page.

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The Lives and Times of Bookmobile Librarians – A piece of our library history.

July 28th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

bookmobile “Never were maidens more ardently pursued than we were by the elements in the pioneer days of rural bookmobiles in the great Pacific Northwest.”

Thus begins the December 1947 issue of the Library News Bulletin (LNB). The LNB was a publication of the Washington State Library from 1932 – 1975, and one that we have recently decided to digitize.  It contains the early history of the libraries of Washington State.  They have been silently lurking on a shelf near my desk and have only today made themselves known to me.  What a treasure trove they are for those of you interested in Library history.  In the spirit of Steve Willis I pulled the aforementioned issue off the shelf and discovered an entire “Bulletin” dedicated to Bookmobiles. In 1947 bookmobiles were apparently the hot ticket in Washington.  These staunch librarians ventured out all over the state, bringing books to their most remote patrons.  Here are a series of quotes from the issue, including stories that they reported from their rounds.

“’I have an emergency request,’ Declared a ten year old bookmobile patron.  “My penguin is sick.  Have you a book telling what to do for a sick penguin?” – Snohomish County Library.

When the cranberry growers on the Burrows Road were too busy to come to the bookmobile in the midst of harvest this fall, driver Charles Jackson and librarian Mary Botten walked out on the bogs and helped with the harvesting.” – Grays Harbor County Library

“’My wife wants this book renewed.’ “I’m sorry sir but I have another reservation for that book.  I shall have to keep it for the next reader.’ “Good enough for her, serves her right.  I told her she should be reading her books instead of moving the furniture around the house to some new place where nobody can find anything.’” – Snohomish County Library

“At one stop, a woman and her two children always arrive in the family ‘jeep.’  She was absent one day, and the bookmobile had traveled several miles when the driver heard a queer sound and looked back to discover that we were being chased by a jeep!” – Whatcom County Library.

“Along a lonely country road a lady, scarcely middle-aged, flagged the bookmobile. ‘Could I have library books?  I can’t get to any of the scheduled stops and I am so ill that there is nothing left for me to do but read.’  Dropsy, from which she is suffering has already developed to such an extent that boarding the bookmobile is physical impossibility.  Our schedule was already crowded.  An added stop threw off the whole day’s program.  So what?  There were always the few minutes assigned to lunch. We found a way.” – Snohomish County Library

“The traveling library again reaches the flats and there stands ‘Grandpap,” one-eyed and 90 years old, with his book-filled suitcase ready for exchange, A woman, nearly out of breath, hurries into the library gasping, ‘I was in Vancouver and I almost didn’t get back in time to meet you here and I just don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have anything to read.” – Clark County Library

“One of our patrons had trouble remembering when he should go to the bookmobile and always arrived just as we were pulling away from the stop.  One day he arrived exactly on time and someone asked him how it happened.  ‘Oh,’ he replied, ‘my wife sets the alarm for me now, so I’ll know when to leave the house.’” – Whatcom county Library

“At one of our stops the patrons rate only second in our affections.  A little golden cocker spaniel is always there to greet us.  He barks his welcome and wags his tail impatiently until the door is opened, and in he jumps to receive our words of greeting.  After a quick inspection to be sure everything is ship-shape and the librarian and driver on deck, he skips out, quite satisfied that he has exercised true community spirit by recognizing and appreciating the new bookmobile and its staff.” – Snohomish County Library. 

Now a days we reach our patrons on bicycles, at festivals, by email, through electronic chat, and on and on.  These bookmobile stories are just an early example of what we did and what we still do as librarians. We go where our patrons are.  Have a good story to share of going that “extra mile” for your patrons?  Tell us in the comments.

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Horrible Murder!! – The Case of the Aged Bride

July 24th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Technology and Resources, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen
I will admit to a weakness for a murder mystery – but one from the early 1920’s with shady characters, a missing trunk, divers in Lake Union, forgery, fraud and general unsavoriness?  Well, that’s irresistible.  And all done up in purple prose by the Seattle Star?  Even better!

Feel free to follow the story yourself by looking at the Seattle Star in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/issues/1921/).  I’ve listed the dates and pages below.

Mahoney

May 25, 1921, p. 1

Meet James and Kate Mahoney.  James is 37, an ex-convict, paroled from Walla Walla in December of the previous year after assault and robbery charges in Spokane, and a former train conductor before that.  He is being held on forgery charges at the time the story breaks.  He marries Kate Mooers on Feb. 19, 1921.  Kate is 72 and quite well off, owning several buildings in Seattle.   Kate Mooers is the former Kate Keeler “whose dance hall and allied activities at Butte in the late 80s were celebrated thruout the Northwest.”  (Hard to see what could go wrong.)

A few months after the wedding the “aged and wealthy bride” is missing.  Her husband insists she is traveling… in Cuba.  The Captain of Detectives is planning on dragging Lake Union for a mysterious trunk. And James Mahoney “the ex-convict bridegroom” is held in the city jail on charges of forging various documents that allow him access to his wife’s resources.

Mahoney insists that they went to St. Paul, MN for their honeymoon, where they quarreled (coincidentally after Mrs. Mahoney signed papers allowing her husband power-of-attorney and access to her safety deposit box.)  The bride then departed to travel to Havana via New York.  The forgery charge arose after he used the papers to gain access to the safety deposit box.

In the weeks and months to come there are rumors, mysterious witnesses, blind alleys of inquiry, charges and countercharges, dueling lawyers and a cast of peculiar characters.  I’ve tried to list some of the more significant points on the timeline below.

May 26, 1921, p.1

A trunk lid and hair found in Lake Union by a houseboat resident near the Lake Union auxiliary power plant!  (Not the right trunk.)

A floating body seen in the bay at Edmonds! (Later determined to be a logger – May 27, 1921)

Mahoney sends a telegram to his wife care of the  N.Y. hotel where they had reportedly arranged to meet after her travels!  (No one has seen her there.)

May 27, 1921, p. 1

The female friend of one of the witnesses against Mahoney goes missing.  Rumors spread that Mahoney’s first wife also disappeared on a trip east.  Officials continue to drag Lake Union. 

May 28, 1921 p. 1

When grappling hooks fail to produce a body, divers (looking like something out of Jules Verne) are brought in to search Lake Union.  They fail to find a body.  Due to testimony of witnesses seeing someone like Mahoney rowing about Lake Union in the dead of night in a small white boat with some sort of large object in the stern, Capt. Tennant of the police remains convinced the body will be found in the Lake.

Mrs. Mahoney’s niece insists a letter, purportedly from her aunt, is a forgery.

May 30, 1921, p. 1

Stories and counterstories continue.  Mahoney’s first wife is located alive! (Score for Mahoney.) But says she left him because he was smuggling opium and tried to kill her! (Score for the police.)

May 31, 1921, p. 1

Mystery witness claims to have heard Mahoney jest about his wife’s death.  Divers still searching.  Police assert the Mahoneys did not board the train for St. Paul as claimed.

June 2, 1921, p. 1

A submarine or U-boat sled is brought in to be used in search.  Forgery hearing set for June 14.

As the days and weeks go by, the story occupies less and less space in the paper.  The County Commissioners offer a reward for information about Mrs. Mahoney’s whereabouts (June 2).  The search for the trunk goes on, but one can imagine that Capt. Tennant of the police is beginning to get some odd looks around headquarters.

July 30, 1921

Headlines again when a trunk (empty) is found in Lake Union.

And finally – Aug. 9, 1921, p. 1

The trunk is found with a badly decomposed body! Mahoney is back in jail.  The body is identified as Kate Mahoney by the wedding ring and false teeth.

Aug. 10, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney announces he will make a fight of it at his trial, and five people attempt to claim the reward for finding the trunk. Police search for a hammer which they believe was the murder weapon, along with poison, and sightseers from all walks of life visit the morgue to observe the remains.

There are then several days of reporting on various facets of the case leading up to trial.

Aug. 13, 1921, p. 1

This piece concentrates on the expected testimony of the expressmen that conveyed the trunk from the Mahoney apartment to Lake Union at Mahoney’s request.

Aug. 16, 1921, p. 1

There are reports of Mahoney’s increasingly odd behavior in jail and how his possible insanity would affect the trial.

Aug. 17, 1921, p.1

Mahoney is brought before a board of physicians to evaluate his mental ability to understand trial procedures and the charges against him.

Aug. 18, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney is declared sane, and doctors remark that he overplayed his role.  His mother and sister in an effort to help ”admitted that insanity was rampant in their family tree.”

(Probably not as helpful as they might have wished.)

Various legal maneuvers take up several weeks and are boring enough not to make the front page.  Plus the escape and pursuit of a convict from McNeil Island provides enough thrill for the reporters.

Sept. 19, 1921, p. 1

The case is back on the front page just before trial, with fellow prisoners charging that Mahoney plans to shoot up the courtroom.  Sightings of Mrs. Mahoney – alive – are also reported.  (But never verified.)

Sept. 20, 1921, p. 1

At the beginning of the trial process, one reporter interviews Mahoney and remarks, “Jim Mahoney ‘went insane’ in his cell again at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon…”  A history of the case is printed to assist folks in following the trial, and a lengthy jury selection begins.

Sept. 22, 1921 and following

Actual arguments and testimony begin and continue over several days with both prosecutor and defense attorney scoring points, shaking witnesses, and building their cases.  Mahoney gives an interview every few days.

Oct. 3, 1921, p. 1

Verdict of guilty is returned on Oct. 3.  Mahoney’s lawyer announces plans to appeal. 

Dec. 1, 1922, p. 1

More than a year later, James Mahoney is executed on Dec. 1, 1922, at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  His demeanor is described (stoic), as is his smile (sour).  One side article describes the reaction of his mother to the notification of his death.  Another describes how his 13-year-old niece, Margaret, led him “back to the faith in which he had been raised.”

The Seattle Star was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Star and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers (www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers.aspx) at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Poetry and Community at the Washington Corrections Center

July 20th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services No Comments »

From the desk of Jessica Aws, Library Associate at the Washington Corrections Center.

Poetry Workshop 4-7-15(6)During April, the Washington Corrections Center Branch of the Washington State Library was a gathering place of poets. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the WCC library hosted a series of events aimed at encouraging artistic expression and building community bridges.

The events of the month kicked off with a poetry workshop that was facilitated by Suzanne Simons, a professor of Writing, Journalism, and Social Sciences at The Evergreen State College. Ms. Simons began the workshop by asking each of the 22 men who participated to introduce themselves and share what poetry means to them. Their words were powerful:

“Poetry is like breath. When I’m drowning in emotion…when I feel like I’ve dived down into a deep lake of it…when I start writing it feels like the first breath you take after being underwater for a long time.”

“Before, I had trouble expressing myself. I didn’t talk much. But then I started putting pen to pad and it gave me power. It gave me a voice.”

“I didn’t read much before I went to the hole awhile back, but when I was there I read a lot. I became a lover of words and a seeker of knowledge. When I write poetry, I try to capture the moment and bottle it up on paper.”

Over the course of two hours, as the men completed generative writing exercises and shared their work, the energy in the library was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Every time one of the participants shared their poetry or gave a particularly insightful response, their words were greeting by a chorus of snapping fingers and murmurs of encouragement.

This atmosphere continued over the next several weeks, through two spoken word workshops taught by Christina St. Charles, a former theater student from The Evergreen State College. She has since begun a successful theater group at WCC. I don’t think the library has ever seen so much laughter, as the men good naturedly participated in voice exercises and tongue twisters. At the same time, I also don’t think that the library has ever seen so much raw emotion. At one point, one of the offenders read a poem that he had written while spending 27 months in solitary confinement. When he was finished, there were very few dry eyes in the group. “Most of us here can relate to those words,” one man said, “we’ve all been there. We’ve felt those emotions, and it takes a lot of courage to put that on paper, and even more to stand up in front of us all and say those words out loud.”

While every workshop was a resounding success, the real highlight of National Poetry Month at WCC was the Poet’s Open Mic event held on May 2nd, 2015. It was truly a community event, in which over 30 offenders, plus students and faculty from Suzanne Simon’s Poetry in Community class and DOC staff from several departments came together to share poetry in a positive and uplifting event that was “scandalous good” according to one audience member. 

Throughout these events, what struck both staff and offenders alike was the ability for these men to be vulnerable. To be raw. To share things with each other that they never would have outside of these programs. “These events not only allowed us to open up for ourselves, but also made it possible for those of us who have lived such a segregated lifestyle to open up to others. Thank you for this source of freedom that many of us have not been able to experience in years!” 

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Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

July 14th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

nesset0059Congratulations to the latest group of public libraries and heritage organizations recently awarded digitization grant through the Washington Rural Heritage program!

Over the next year Washington State Library staff will be working with these organizations to digitize unique, historically significant materials held in their collections. Awardees will be trained in all aspects of digitization, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository.

The statewide digital collection currently provides access to photographs, documents, audio and video recordings, and digitized cultural objects from more than 100 Washington institutions. In addition, the project includes more than 300 family photo collections, making these previously inaccessible materials available freely to the public.

Below are this year’s grant recipients. To read about the details of each project, go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/q/2015WRHAwards.

  • $5,000 – Asotin County Library in partnership with the Asotin County Museum.
  • $2,141 – Ellensburg Public Library.
  • $4,259 – Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County.
  • $5,000 – La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) and Western Washington University Libraries, Special Collections.
  • $5,000 – Port Angeles Public Library, North Olympic Library System, in partnership with the Clallam County Genealogical Society.
  • $3,600 – Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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Washington State Library Co-hosts Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit

July 7th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

In March 2015, the Oregon and Washington State Libraries co-hosted a summit of approximately 50 library, archives, and museum professionals to explore avenues for increased collaborative digitization throughout the region. The one-day meeting, held at the Oregon State Library in Salem, Oregon, featured presentations by collaborative projects at local, state, regional, and national levels and allowed participants to discuss topics ranging from leadership and funding of collaborative projects to metadata standards and shared infrastructure for digital projects.

WSL staff representing our Washington Rural Heritage and State Library Digital Collections were on hand to share their projects and experiences.

Learn more about the meeting and read the entire final report here: http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/NWDigSummit.aspx
 

Below: Explore the digital collections of cultural heritage organizations throughout the region.

Washington library, archives, and museum professionals interested in providing feedback on the report, or participating in future discussions regarding collaborative digitization should contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, Washington State Library: evan.robb@sos.wa.gov

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