WA Secretary of State Blogs

Paddle to Nisqually

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Tribal | No Comments »


faithHave you been following  the Paddle to Nisqually ? The Tribal Canoe Journeys  happen every summer on the waters of the Pacific Northwest? Each year a different tribe hosts the celebration which follows the final landing of all the canoes, many of which have traveled great distances.  This is a special year for the Nisqually Tribe as the journey ends with them.

Indigenous peoples have made this canoe journey up and down the coastal waterways for thousands of years, but by 1989 the tradition of long distance canoe travel had all but disappeared.  That year, as part of Washington’s centennial celebration, tribal leaders from around Puget Sound revived the practice, calling it “Paddle to Seattle”.  Some tribes carved their first canoe in nearly a century in order to participate in the journey (Oldham).  The journey became an annual event after the Heiltsuk Nation issued a challenge to the Puget Sound tribes and  Canoe Families to come up to Bella Bella in 1993.  This year close to 100 canoes and their pullers, from the Coast Salish peoples of Alaska, Canada and the Pacific Northwest are scheduled to arrive in the Olympia Area on July 30th.  Since 1994 the Nisqually Tribe has participated in the Canoe Journeys and have used the journeys to strengthen its culture, its community, and its families.  Allen Frazier, a Northern California Native and long time Nisqually community member, has photo-documented the event since it began.   In 2013 the Nisqually Tribal Library received a Washington Rural Heritage grant from the Washington State Library to digitize and make available a portion of these photographs.  The result is a rich and ever evolving set of pictures which documents the Nisqually Tribe’s participation in canoe journeys from 1995 forward.   The collection, known as “The Canoe Journeys – A Nisqually Perspective”  includes photos and maps of the routes taken each year.

Approximately 120 canoes representing over 50 tribes are due to land at the Port of Olympia on July 30th. The Nisqually Tribe has been preparing for the celebration for months.  The Landing Day events will be held at NorthPoint at the tip of the Port of Olympia’s peninsula.  The tribe is expecting as many as 18,000 people to attend (Port of Olympia).  The celebrations and protocols will continue until August 6th.    Even if you can’t attend the landing, thanks to the work of the Nisqually tribe you can virtually attend the event through the pictures they provide online.

References

Oldham, Kit. “Northwest Indian canoes return to site of Point Elliott Treaty on July 26, 2007.” Historylink.org. N.p., 26 Aug. Web. 26 July 2007.

Port of Olympia and City of Olympia team with Nisqually Indian Tribe for Canoe Journey Landing in July.” Port of Olympia. N.p., 10 May 2016. Web. 26 July 2016.

 

Historic Fire Lookouts in Washington

Monday, July 11th, 2016 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


Historic Fire Lookout Stations - StorymapAs we enter, what will no doubt be, another intense fire season in Washington State, it is comforting to know that technology and modern methods are in place to spot and stop wildfires quickly.  But it also brings to mind a reflection on how fires were managed in the early 20th century.  One answer was a chain of fire lookout stations, many built by the CCC in the 1930’s.  “Back in the 1930s the still-growing lookout system seemed like a stable part of the fire protection program of the forests of Washington. “ (Spring and Fish, pg. 11).  “They were placed, wherever possible, so at least two stations could overlap surveillance of the same territory and thus accurately pinpoint the location of a fire.” (pg. 14).  In 1953 the U.S. claimed 5,060 “permanent” fire lookouts (pg. 22) with 685 in Washington.

As keepers of our state’s history the Washington State Library has a variety of resources that help us remember this piece of our past.  One such resource is the wonderful Washington Rural Heritage collection.  This is an ever growing collection of images pulled from personal collections and small historic museums.  Part of the collection includes pictures of fire lookout towers from around the state as well as panoramic images taken from lookout towers.  Pulling images from the Rural Heritage collection and our digital photo collection we decided to create an interactive storymap to keep the history alive.

In addition to the historic images we have several books in our collections about fire lookouts.  So if you are interested in the history, the legends or the modern practicality of how to visit or even cook at a lookout station remember that much of our collection can be requested through ILL.

Doty, Thomas. Trek to Table Mountain: Seasons of Stories. Ashland, OR: Upriver Downriver Productions, 2003. Print.

Kresek, Ray. Fire Lookouts of the Northwest. Fairfield, Wash: Ye Galleon Press, 1998. Print.

Langston, Libby. Lookout Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes by Forest Fire Lookouts Throughout the United States. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Museum of North Idaho, 2005. Print.

McFadden, Tish, and Tom Foley. How to Rent a Fire Lookout in the Pacific Northwest: A Guide to Renting Fire Lookouts, Guard Stations, Ranger Cabins, Warming Shelters and Bunkhouses in the National Forests of Oregon and Washington. Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press, 2005. Internet resource.

Rideout, Ham. Fire Watch: A Summer to Be Remembered at the Steliko Point and Badger Mountain Lookouts : Memoirs of a Jr. Forest Guard and so Much More! Steilacoom Wash.: N.p., 2006. Print.

Luckily for Washington many lookout stations still exist. Today there are eighty-seven lookouts which remain standing. (Abegg) So, if you’re up for a hike or perhaps the chance to spend a night in a piece of history why not venture out and visit one yourself.

References
Abegg, Steff. “Fire Lookout Structures.” www.sTePhaBeGg.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 July 2016.

Spring, Ira, and Byron Fish. Lookouts: Firewatchers of the Cascades and Olympics. Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1981. Print.

Listen Up! Stories from the Northwest Corner

Monday, June 6th, 2016 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


ListenUpLogoThe National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016.  In honor of that centennial celebration, the Port Angeles Public Library—located right on the footsteps of Olympic National Park—recently interviewed a number of its patrons about their experiences visiting, living in, and working at national parks throughout the U.S.  These audio recordings are now accessible online at: http://sos.wa.gov/q/listenup.

We especially enjoyed ranger Dean Butterworth’s story of guiding troubled teens on a snowshoeing trip in Mount Rainier National Park: http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/cdm/ref/collection/nols/id/4155.

This is the first of an ongoing series of oral histories projects planned by the Port Angeles Public Library. Their new program, Listen Up! Stories from the Northwest Corner will collect and archive a wide variety of stories from Clallam County residents. Inspired by StoryCorps, the interviews will be made available for listening through the North Olympic Heritage website—part of the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program.

The North Olympic Library System is hosting a free listening party at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Tuesday, June 21, 7pm, at the Olympic National park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Rd, Port Angeles. Stop by to hear locals recall their favorite National Park stories and memories!  And if you can’t make it, the recordings will also be available at the Visitor Center all summer long.

Springtime is grant time at WSL!

Monday, April 18th, 2016 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding | No Comments »


From the desk of Maura Walsh, WSL’s Grant Manager

grants

Washington State Library has the task of helping distribute funds. We’re accepting applications for four different grants right now. We’d love to help your library share in this funding. Look at the programs below. Each title is a link to more information and applications. Please contact WSLgrants@sos.wa.gov if you have more questions.

Digital Literacy

Help your community find and use quality information. We support projects to help your library users get special skills. These can include projects for underserved populations, projects to introduce new technology and projects that can develop new skills. Public, academic, tribal, and school libraries can apply. Please apply by May 26, 2016.

Metadata Enhancement & Remediation Grant—Pilot Project 2016

This is a grant designed to help institutions prepare their collections for launching or placement on other platforms by meeting Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) requirements. Our goal is to help make your materials more accessible and to help use best practices for your digital collections. This is to support public, academic, and tribal libraries in remediating, re-cataloging, and/or enhancing digital collection records currently available to the public through digital library and digital repository systems. The applications are due by June 10, 2016.

Microsoft Imagine Academy

Today everyone needs technology just to apply for a job or stay competitive. We’re trying to help bridge the technology skills gap. If your college or library is an Imagine Academy Program Member, we have special funds available now. We can provide up to $3,000 for supporting materials. You can also use the funds for publicity. Or they can help with salaries. The opening for these funds is April 7, 2016.

Professional development (PD)

Would you like to send your library staff to a special conference? Would you like to bring a trainer to your library? WSL designed our PD grants to help. Every qualified library, system, or district can apply for up to 75% of what is spent. This can include transportation, lodging and registration. Apply for this grant year-round.

Refreshing School Libraries to Engage Students

Recent data showed the average copyright of many school collections is over 20 years old. WSL wants to help school libraries update nonfiction collections. WSL will provide grants of $1,000 to school libraries for buying nonfiction books. If awarded a grant, teacher librarians will be able to select the books they wish through their normal channels. They may choose to purchase processed, shelf-ready books if they want, but the grant limit is still $1,000. WSL will reimburse schools for their purchases. Applications for this grant are due by May 10, 2016.

Washington Rural Heritage

What’s interesting or unique about your area’s history? What do you want to be able to share easily today and tomorrow? This program helps public and tribal libraries create historical digital collections. You actually digitize your treasures locally with our expert help. These can be objects and documents. Then they become part of the Washington Rural Heritage collection. Your library can collaborate with other groups in your community.  Applications are due by May 25, 2016

 

OCLC features Washington Rural Heritage maps and timelines

Friday, February 12th, 2016 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

New Deal-era Art Digitization at the Ellensburg Public Library

Thursday, February 11th, 2016 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.

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.