WA Secretary of State Blogs

A Century of Stewardship — the Nesset Family Farm Collection

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 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.

Winter Travel in early Washington

Monday, December 21st, 2015 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


Keeping_the_automobile_warm

This is the time of year where our thoughts turn to family and celebration.  As we ask our neighbor to feed the cat, stop the mail for a week, pack our cars for a trip over the mountains, or head towards the airport it’s easy to forget the challenges of travel in the early days of our state’s history.

With winter travel in mind we’ve compiled photographs from the collection; pictures of snowy travel by sleigh, train and automobile.  So if you get caught up in traffic snarls or flight delays on your travels remember how comparatively easy you have it.

Washington Rural Heritage  is a collection of historic photographs from around the state.  The Washington Rural Heritage Program helps small libraries and museums digitize their historic photo and archival collections. It is also a digital archive for Washingtonians, with more than 300 family photo collections included in the website/database.  Each picture in the collection tells a unique story.  Think about taking time over the holidays to explore and lose yourself in these images of early Washington.

Pictures in this slide show are from: Ellensburg Heritage, Roslyn Heritage, Skamania County Heritage, Orcas Island Heritage and Whitman County Heritage.

 

Washington Rural Heritage Volunteer Recognized for Excellence

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections | No Comments »


whitmanWandaAldermanPattiCammack

Wanda Alderman (right), standing with Whitman County Library’s Patti Cammack.

Wanda Alderman, Friend and volunteer for Whitman County Library recently received an Outstanding Volunteer Award from The Washington State Genealogical Society recognizing her efforts to preserve important historic images and records for a number of agencies and projects including Washington Rural Heritage, the State Library’s  local history digitization program.

Volunteering for the library for nearly 7 years, Wanda has been the public face of the local project, tracking down hidden collections, interviewing contributors, documenting critical cataloging information, and providing community programs. Thanks in large part to Wanda’s efforts, Whitman County’s Rural Heritage collection contains nearly 4000 images and averages 4000 site visits per month.

Additionally, Wanda has volunteered for Find a Grave for 14 years, served as Bethel Cemetery secretary/treasurer for 10 years, transcribes records for Washington State Digital Archives, donates time and resources to the St. John Historical Society, and keeps scrapbooks for her alma mater Steptoe school.

Wanda is shown here, with Whitman County Library’s Rural Heritage project manager, Patti Cammack at a public program and open house this July promoting the digital collection. These two are truly leaders in the community digitization field, having digitized materials from more than a dozen partner institutions in Eastern Washington and more than 100 previously inaccessible family collections.  Thank you Wanda and Patti for championing our common heritage!

New Digital Collection: Medical Lake Heritage

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 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.

Even boring machines can be interesting.

Monday, August 17th, 2015 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.

Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, 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.

WSL Updates for July 9, 2015

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 11, July 9, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) EXPLORING TECHNOLOGY: ET KITS GRANT CYCLE OPENS JULY 13

2) PACIFIC NORTHWEST DIGITAL COLLECTIONS SUMMIT FINAL REPORT AVAILABLE

3) COMMUNICATING IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE WORKSHOP

4) OUTSIDE THE LINES COMING IN SEPTEMBER

5) GREAT STORIES CLUB GRANTS AVAILABLE

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington State Library Co-hosts Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 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

Medical Lake Heritage project featured in Cheney Free Press

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 Posted in Digital Collections | No Comments »


A June 18, 2015 article in the Cheney Free Press highlights the exciting new digitization project from the Medical Lake Library, Spokane County Library District. View the article here.

WSL Updates for April 16, 2015

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 11, April 16, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) YOU’VE GOT THE LEGOS® – DID THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

2) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE GRANT CYCLE OPEN

3) FINANCIAL EDUCATION FOR 21ST CENTURY LIBRARIES

4) BURNOUT OR BOUNCE BACK INCOL WORKSHOP

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »