(Photo courtesy Washington State Library)
For the past several years, a program coordinated by our State Library has helped libraries, museums and other cultural institutions in rural communities organize and digitize historical photos, texts, scrapbooks, maps and other items documenting early culture and community life in Washington.
This program, called Washington Rural Heritage, provides these photos and documents for the public to view, for free. The program has helped fund the addition of a project that helps tell the history of Sedro-Woolley, located in Skagit County.
Over the past two years, the Sedro-Woolley Museum and Sedro-Woolley Public Library have teamed up on a project that now includes more than 600 items. Over the past year, nearly 380 items have been added from the museum’s collection. One of the photos from this collection (above) shows the 1919 Sedro-Woolley football team. The collection includes lots of material documenting the Skagit Steel and Iron Works.
WRH’s staff trains local librarians and museum staffers on how to digitize historical items and helps them with any issues involving scanning.
The Sedro-Woolley Public Library recently was awarded a new grant for the 2013-14 cycle. The library will use its digitization expertise they’ve acquired through the WRH program to partner with the nearby Clear Lake Community Association on a new digital collection, slated for publication next summer.
Washington Rural Heritage includes material from the holdings of more than 90 institutions and 250 privately held collections throughout the state.
The project is funded through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.