WA Secretary of State Blogs

History lovers take note: Washington State Library Electronic State Publications

April 1st, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

2016-03-17_9-37-32The latest state document discovery from Jeff Martin

The Fourteenth Session: A brief history of the men who represented the million and a half people of the state of Washington in the legislature of 1915

Prepared by
Alfred T. Renfro
Beaux Arts Village, Washington
Publication date: 1915

A brief history of the men who represented the million and a half people of the State of Washington in the Legislature of 1915.
It is not the purpose or object of this book to discuss the Legislature as a whole or the merits of the bills. Neither is it a manual. The acts of the Legislature are recorded in the Journal, the results in the Session Laws, and the pocket manual covers the field.

This work will endeavor to treat [sic] of the personnel of the Legislature. Devoting its pages to the personal side of the men who made the laws. In some cases where the author knew, there will be found an “intimate peep” [sic] into the lives and characters of the members.

Another gem from within the document… “Governor Lister will be remembered in political history as the ‘Veto Governor.’  Of all vetoes recorded since statehood there appears to be over 40 percent credited to his administration.”

Washington State Library Electronic State Publications – The Fourteenth Session

Let us know in the comments if you find anything else that is particularly compelling.

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Echo Zahl that “Wild Young Female” – reporter to the Seattle Star

March 9th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer

May 18, 1917 Echo Zahl starts work for the Star
FullPortrait_EJZ
“Wild Young Female Person is going to tell Star readers how Seattle looks to Co-Ed fresh from
University campus…”

As the World War I began in Europe and the US began preparing for the eventual entry to the war in 1917, the Seattle Star was bringing a little levity to the front page news. In May they introduced, Echo June Zahl, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon Journalism School and a fresh young feminist face to their readers.

With a feminist eye and a nutty sense of humor she wins over a new audience and quickly gains SoldierTyperegional notoriety. One poor woman is thrown out of a lake retreat full of spiritualists for unknowingly appearing as Echo’s doppelganger, a known personality of the media.

She shows how the latest bathing fashions are just not suitable for a practical, modern girl who actually wants to swim. Echo loved adventure and would venture out on horseback, travel long distances, and even surf for a good story.

While many of her assignments were interviews with actors, actresses and local business folk, she drew attention to many, more serious topics important to the working Seattle community and the everyday, regular guy with her articles on  visiting soldiers at Fort Lawton, & Camp Lewis, building support for local Red Cross activities supporting the war effort and the struggles of the city carmen during the big labor strike. When you start your research of the WWI era, consider following some of Echo’s pursuits of daily life in Seattle and the citizens of Washington affected by the news of their boys going off to war and the people who stayed home to keep their families and way of life as normal as possible. NiftyBathingSuits

Introducing Echo: The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 18 May 1917. Chronicling America:
Historic American Newspapers
. Lib. of Congress.

Braving the Bucking Board: The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 16 June 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Echo Zahl Visits Fort Lawton” :The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 04 June 1917. Chronicling
America: Historic American Newspapers
. Lib. of Congress.

Spurns Nifty Bathing Suits as not suitable for swimming: The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 15 June 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Echo Zahl See’s Carman’s Home: Tells How Family with 7 Children Struggles to Live on Inadequate Wage Paid By Traction Company.”: The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 18 July 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

And before it was popular – she even made her own emoji!: The Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 12 June 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Find more from this great early 20th Century journalist on ChroniclingAmerica.com in Washington’s own Seattle Star.

 

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WSL Updates for March 3, 2016

March 2nd, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library No Comments »

Volume 12, March 3, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) STATEWIDE DATABASE LICENSING RFP RELEASED

2) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE DIGITIZATION GRANTS NOW ACCEPTING PROPOSALS

3) FREE BOOKS FOR WASHINGTON LIBRARIES

4) ARMS OPEN WIDE: LIBRARY OUTREACH TO CUSTOMERS WITH PRINT DISABILITIES

5) STAR_Net Webinar Series Announced

6) NN/LM PNR TRAINING OFFERINGS

7) CONFERENCES, ANYONE?

8) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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An eight hour workday for women

March 2nd, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Kheel Center-Flickr Account CC 2.0

Kheel Center-Flickr Account CC 2.0

On March 2, 1911 the Washington state congress passed House Bill 12/Senate Bill 74 which limits women’s work day to an eight hour day.  While the cause had been championed for years, in 1910 Washington women gained the vote bringing new power (and votes) to the cause.  Several influential employers in the state came to Olympia to speak of the dire results this bill would have on their businesses, suggesting that manufacturers would move their businesses elsewhere.  Despite these objections the bill passed making Washington one of the first state’s in the nation to grant women an eight hour workday. Clippings from Washington newspapers, from the Chronicling America site, tell just a part of the story.  If you want to read more about it historylink.org tells a more complete story.  If you’d like to read it straight from the horse’s mouth, the bill’s passing was reported around the state of Washington.  Links to the primary documents are found below.

Headlines:
8 Hour Work Day for the WomenThe Seattle Star, February 15, 1911
Preparing for the eight-hour workday for womenThe San Juan Islander, March 31st, 1911
Merchant is PeevedThe Labor Journal, May 19, 1911

 

 

 

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OCLC features Washington Rural Heritage maps and timelines

February 12th, 2016 Evan Posted in Digital Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

The Washington Rural Heritage project was recently featured in a piece by OCLC—the company behind CONTENTdm.  The piece highlights our use of interactive maps, geo-referenced digital objects, and timelines, using free tools from Northwestern University’s Knight Labs. Read more here: http://www.oclc.org/en-US/news/announcements/2016/CONTENTdm-news-item-January-2016.html

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New Deal-era Art Digitization at the Ellensburg Public Library

February 11th, 2016 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Washington Rural Heritage staff hit the road recently to help the Ellensburg Public Library digitize unique works by New Deal-era artist Ernest R. Norling.

Known most widely for his important 1939 book on drawing, “Perspective Made Easy,” Norling also made a significant contribution to documenting Washington’s industry and history in the wake of the Great Depression. His murals depicting early pioneers, agricultural workers, Northwest logging crews, or CCC men at work, grace a great many public and private schools, buildings, and businesses throughout Washington. [Read an oral history interview with Norling by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art here].

2016-01_ellensburgPL1_blogTo digitize oversize works like Norling’s, Washington State Library staff set up a mobile studio of sorts in the Ellensburg Public Library’s archives and local history collections space (the Library stores and preserves works owned by the City of Ellensburg and the Ellensburg Art Commission). We used a field camera along with a large format lens and digital “scan back,” tethered to a laptop, as shown in the photo at left. The result is a high-resolution, reproduction-quality image of Norling’s painting. It will be digitally preserved by the Washington State Library, and a lower-resolution “access” copy will be made viewable to the general public. The digital photography equipment used for this project has also been used extensively to digitize three-dimensional art work, as well as objects and artifacts held by cultural organizations throughout the state.

Norling’s work, along with a large portion of the City of Ellensburg’s art collection, will appear online this spring, as part of the larger Ellensburg Heritage Collection. Staff at the Ellensburg Public Library are performing the bulk of art digitization and description on their own, with a 2015-2016 Washington Rural Heritage grant.

Washington Rural Heritage is a statewide digitization program, serving Washington’s public and tribal libraries as well as their institutional partners (museums, historical societies, etc.). Library Services and Technology Act funding for the program comes from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. A new Washington Rural Heritage competitive grant opportunity will be available for libraries by early March. Those with questions or project proposal ideas are encouraged to contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, at 360-704-5228, or evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

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WSL Updates for January 21, 2016

January 21st, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, January 21, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) NEW DIGITAL COLLECTION — A CENTURY OF STEWARDSHIP: THE NESSET FAMILY FARM

2) CREATING A MOBILE MAKERSPACE PROGRAM

3) GAINING STEAM WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3®

4) HACK THE CLASSROOM DIGITAL EVENT

5) NN/LM PNR CONTINUING EDUCATION

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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The Arbuckle Scandal in the Seattle Star

January 20th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen – Former Deputy State Librarian

The scandal surrounding Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and the death of Virginia Rappe played into many of the anxieties of the general public in the early 1920’s.  Changing morals, the role of alcohol in American life, the growth of the movie industry and its effect on modern youth were all hot buttons that were pushed in the various inquiries and trials engendered by Miss Rappe’s death.  A movie actor beloved by all became one of the most excoriated men in America.  While many were genuinely scandalized by the glimpses of high life in the movie colony, they were also titillated by reading the sordid details, and enjoyed doing so in a proper morally indignant manner.  The Seattle Star joined in the circus with great enthusiasm. fatty 2

You can follow the story yourself at the Chronicling America web site at the Library of Congress.  Use the drop-down to choose 1921 or 1922 and then choose the issue using the calendar display.  I’ve tried to find citations to illustrate the growth of the story and have identified the issue dates and page numbers below.

Sept. 10, 1921

  1. p.14 “Movie Actress Dies Suddenly in Hotel!” The basic story is reported, and despite the exclamation point in the title, the tone is very civil, almost dry.  Arbuckle’s remarks are quoted straightforwardly, “At no time was I alone with Miss Rappe.  There were half a dozen people in the room all the time.”

Sept. 12, 1921

p. 1 By the 12th, the story has moved to the front page, as Arbuckle is charged with murder. A witness is named and we begin to see the common trappings of journalistic scandal as the witness, Mrs. Bambina Maude Delmont, collapses in court after swearing to the complaint.

Sept. 13, 1921

p.1 By the 13th, the case rates the main headline complete with a photo montage of Miss Rappe and Arbuckle captioned “Died after Wild Party”. The story reports the results of the inquest where the prosecutor refused to indict Arbuckle due to inconsistencies in witness testimony.

p. 14 Moral disapproval of movie people in general begins to come into the story as the article continues on the back page, with the news that “new evidence will be coming from Los Angeles where the public morals commission is said to be investigating alleged orgies in the motion picture community.”

Sept. 14, 1921

p.1 The 14th is a day of mixed messages. One the one hand the paper reports that Arbuckle is likely to be tried on the lesser charge of manslaughter though no firm decision has been reached.  On the other hand the paper can express its shock and dismay at the attention the case is getting and indulge in the rampant sentimentality of the time, “Women Pray, Drop Flowers by Coffin of Girl who dies in Orgy.”  It’s the traditional joining of titillation with finger wagging, and continues on p. 16 where it is reported, “The fact that two doctors were scheduled to give testimony of a nature which may be unprintable had not deterred probably a score of women and girls from taking seats among the spectators.”

Sept. 15, 1921

p. 16 “Women will aid prosecution” – In a puzzling move, the “San Francisco women’s vigilance committee has appointed a committee of 13 prominent club women to assist the district attorney in prosecuting Arbuckle.” The district attorney’s response is not reported.

Sept. 16, 1921

p.1 By the 16th the headline screams “Fatty Facing Murder Trial” and traces the steps in the legal process. Another article consists of an interview with his stepmother who remembers him as a lazy, irresponsible child who has never wanted any further contact with his family after leaving home. In yet another article, the comedian’s wife is described as speeding to his side to support him in proving his innocence.

p. 18 Articles begin to appear on the efforts to “clean up” Hollywood by refusing to employee actors who behave badly.

p.6 Also on the 16th, a popular feature writef, Fred Boalt weighs in with an opinion piece, mourning the fact that whatever happens to Arbuckle, he will never laugh at one of his pictures again – “It is much better that we – and the theatres – should consider Fatty Arbuckle actually and permanently dead.”

Sept. 17, 1921

p. 1 “Fatty’s Film Burned by Mob!” The Sept. 17th headline calls forth visions of mobs rampaging through Times Square perhaps. Actually a mob of “hundreds of persons” did attack a movie theatre and burn one of Arbuckle’s films – in Thermopolis, Wyoming.  No other mobs are reported.  There is also a photo montage of the “Women Witnesses in Arbuckle Case”, all looking mysterious and fashionable. fatty

The coverage continues on a daily basis with everyone putting forth a theory on Arbuckle’s actions:

Sept. 17, 1921

p. 14 “Liquor is to blame for it all.” Says comedian Charles Murphy.

Sept. 19, 1921

p. 1 “Arbuckle was poisoned by Freudian theory.” Theorizes Winona Wilcox (author of “Confessions of a War Bride”.)

Sept. 20, 1921

p. 5 “He’s just an overgrown boy,” from Minta Durfee, Arbuckle’s estranged wife who has rushed to his side in support.

The Arbuckle stories are bumped out of headlines for several days by the equally famous (in Seattle) Mahoney murder trial.  But they carry on reporting on the preliminary hearing.

Sept. 23, 1921

p.1 The committee of club women bent on assisting the district attorney have front-row seats reserved for them.

Sept. 27, 1921

p.1 Headlines are back on the 27th “Showgirl Hurls Charges at Arbuckle” as “pretty show girl,” Zey Pyvron accuses Fatty of torturing Miss Rappe with a piece of ice, saying “That will make her come to.”

Nov. 28, 1921

Arbuckle’s actual murder trial begins in Nov. 1921, and Arbuckle’s testimony is reported extensively.

Dec. 2, 1921

p. 1 “Arbuckle soon to hear fate!” The crowds continue to attend and the final arguments and one of the defense witnesses is poisoned by a middle-aged man thought to be a crank.

Dec. 5, 1921

p.1 The trial ends with a hung jury and charges of attempted jury intimidation will be investigated.

Roscoe Arbuckle will go through two more trials as a result of Miss Rappe’s death.  The second trial runs from Jan. 11 to Feb. 3, 1922 and again ends in a hung jury.  Coverage is fairly perfunctory.

Jan. 27, 1922

p.7 The defense has rested their case without calling Arbuckle to the stand, evidently feeling they had a strong case.

Feb. 3, 1922

p.1 But again the trial ends with a hung jury, with 10 jurors arguing for conviction.

The third trial runs from Mar. 13 through April 12, 1922 and it’s difficult to find much coverage at all.  There are mostly small articles on p. 7 or 8.

Mar. 22, 1922

p. 8 A brief article notes that Arbuckle’s attorney have adopted a much more aggressive stance in the courtroom.

Apr. 13, 1922

p. 7 The third trial ends in a definitive acquittal – “Edward Brown, foreman of the jury, issued a statement asserting that a great injustice had been done Arbuckle, and wishing him success.” Unfortunately the vindication comes much too late to salvage his film career.

Given that Seattle is an urban environment, I was curious to see if a rural community would demonstrate the same level of interest in the case.  I searched mightily thru the Pullman Herald for any comparable coverage – nothing.  Other than movie ads printed prior to the scandal, the only mention of Arbuckle was the reprinting of a small editorial from the Moscow Star-Mirror on Dec. 29, 1922 after Arbuckle’s acquittal in his third trial.  It basically took the stance that he might have been acquitted, but no one wanted him around anymore, and that his screen persona was too far removed from his personal life to be attractive to audiences. (Pullman herald., December 29, 1922, Page 6)

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 at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers 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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A Century of Stewardship — the Nesset Family Farm Collection

December 31st, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

aliceNessetThe Washington Rural Heritage Program is pleased to announce a new digital collection from the Deming Library (Whatcom County Library System). The Nesset Family Farm Collection tells the story of a Norwegian immigrant homesteaders who settled on the South Fork Nooksack River in 1902, and for decades worked tirelessly to coax a living from the land, raise five children, and run a small dairy. In the meantime, they documented the many pleasures of settler life in the South Fork, including hiking and skiing on Mount Baker, and fishing on the Nooksack River.

The collection, along with an interactive timeline, can be viewed at: http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/mtbaker

The Nesset homestead is no longer a working farm, but the land and many of its historical buildings have been preserved by successive generations of Nessets as well as the Nesset Farm Trust. Today, the farm is considered one of the best remaining examples of an intact agricultural homestead in Western Washington. Many of the original buildings, including the farmhouse and barn, are being renovated as of this writing (2015) and will be open to the public when Whatcom County’s newly established South Fork Park is completed.

Tom_Nesset_in_cedar_dugout_canoe_South_Fork_Nooksack_River_circa_1920The Nesset Family Farm Collection is just one part of the Deming Library’s Mount Baker Foothills Collection—a locally-managed digital initiative which promises to bring together a wealth of unique historical materials and make them freely available online.

Digitization in 2014-2015 was accomplished with a grant award from the Washington State Library, funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Washington public and tribal libraries will be eligible for our next round of digitization grants to be announced in early 2016. Questions about the grant opportunity should be directed to Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, evan.robb@sos.wa.gov, (360) 704-5228.

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Fashion Forward in Early Washington

December 28th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »


If you are like many of us here at the State Library, you are waiting in breathless anticipation for the debut of Season 6 of Downton Abbey.   While the wait is almost over (January 3rd) it got me thinking about why we love it so much.  I’m not sure about the rest of you but for me the costumes are a large part of the enjoyment.  As the show has taken place over several decades we’ve seen those fashions change from season to season.  Have you ever wondered about how closely Washington fashions paralleled those of England?  Well wonder no more.  We thought it would be fun to have a timeline of fashion featuring images from Washington newspapers hosted on the Chronicling America Website.

Chronicling America newspapers are a great way to learn about early America history from a primary source.  For example, fellow Downton Abbey fans are familiar with the character of Cora, the American heiress Lord Grantham married to bolster the family fortunes.  Did you know that this was such a “thing” that these privileged young brides were given a name, “Dollar Princesses?”  “These Gilded Age heiresses married more than a third of the titles represented in the House of Lords, and announcements of these transatlantic marriages were pervasive in the newspapers of the day

Meanwhile to help you countdown the final days leading up to Season 6 we hope you’ll have fun clicking your way through three decades of fashion in Washington.

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