Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Virtually every public library in the world wants more funds for buying books. For the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, that gap between wish and reality is lessened by Amazon Wish Lists. Through these lists, the ILS staff invites donors to purchase specific new books and materials sought by each library. For the library at Washington Corrections Center for Women, one superstar donor shines brightly: Robin…

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Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Even if you do enjoy the occasional snow, we can probably all agree that it creates headaches for driving, scheduling, dealing with kids who stay home from school, keeping the driveway shoveled, and so forth. Perhaps this look at a few historical weather storms will help remind us that the current weather isn’t that bad. Walla Walla flood, 1931 Floodwaters overcame the streets of Walla Walla during a storm in 1931. According to a State Archives researcher, this house is located…

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Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Willie Keil was an ambitious 19-year-old when his family decided to travel the Oregon Trail in 1855. Willie had dreamed of driving a wagon out west, so he learned and was anointed the lead driver of the group’s wagon train. In the weeks leading up to the venture, Willie contracted malaria and died just four days before his family’s departure from Bethel, Missouri. His father, Dr. William Keil, knew it meant the world to Willie to ride the lead wagon,…

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How Washington’s Institutional Libraries provide help and hope

How Washington’s Institutional Libraries provide help and hope

All libraries transform. But as you walk through a prison for the first time, you may realize the unique value a library can provide within such an intense environment. An inmate seeking to transform needs hope and resilience to overcome the challenges of building a better life. But where are hope and resilience in prison? Some find them in the environment’s solitude. Others find these qualities in religion. Others may seek them through education. For any of these paths, the…

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Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

2019 brings the 70th anniversary of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association, which was founded as the Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club of Seattle. Mary Mahoney was one of the first African-American nurses in the United States. In recognition of Black History Month, Washington State Archives researcher Dr. Jewell Lorenz Dunn researched the historical records held at the Archives to show some history behind the trailblazers who founded the club. Mary Mahoney, was born in 1845 in Boston, Massachusetts, to…

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Browse and search historical publications with the new Washington Digital Newspapers website

Browse and search historical publications with the new Washington Digital Newspapers website

The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, has launched a new website for the Washington Digital Newspapers program at Washingtondigitalnewspapers.org. The site features new titles in the State Library’s digital newspaper collection, with full-text article search of more than 400,000 pages from the State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. Visitors can interact with the site with the help of text correction features to improve search results on dark or damaged pages, by attaching subject…

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February special election ballots have been sent to 1.6 million voters

February special election ballots have been sent to 1.6 million voters

Although not all of Washington’s voters reside in a district that’s having a local election in this cycle, 32 of Washington’s 39 counties are conducting elections for local districts, such as school bond issues. Check our MyVote site to find out if you’re among the nearly 40 percent of registered Washingtonians who will receive a ballot for this election, the first of four scheduled for 2019. All ballots were mailed by Jan. 25, and the deadline to return them via…

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Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library — a program of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State — hosted a fantastic celebration of braille literacy: the annual Regional Braille Challenge. Students came from across Western Washington to compete in five categories, ranging from spelling to reading tactile charts & graphs. The Braille Challenge is organized by the Braille Institute, and Washington’s winning students became eligible for a…

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Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

The last car to travel the Alaskan Way Viaduct cruised into a cold, dry Seattle night around 10 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019. The two-level stretch of State Route 99 along coastal downtown has been an element of the city’s skyline since the early 1950s, but safety concerns have hastened its departure. The viaduct was damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and has been deemed susceptible to future damage should another earthquake rock the structure. A tunnel under downtown…

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