State Parks and Rec gives thanks for massive CCC photo-scanning project

State Parks and Rec gives thanks for massive CCC photo-scanning project

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Projects Archivists Maggie Cogswell and Mary Hammer led the way in completing a massive, 11-year project digitizing and cataloging photos of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. This collection of 2,396 photographs shows work conducted on Washington state parks by the CCC from 1933 to 1938, and includes images of Moran, Lewis and Clark, Deception Pass, Millersylvania, Riverside, Rainbow Falls, Carkeek, Denny Park, Mt. Spokane, Saltwater, Beacon Rock,…

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Legacy Washington profiles Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman for new exhibit

Legacy Washington profiles Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman for new exhibit

The political legacy of 1968 bloomed in Seattle the following year when Wes Uhlman, 34, was elected mayor. Uhlman, profiled as part of an exhibit that will open Sept. 13 at the state Capitol, proved to be a politician of the changing times. Within a few short months, Uhlman named Latino civil rights activist Cesar Chavez as “First Citizen” of Seattle and flew flags at half-staff for student protesters killed at Kent State by the National Guard. That was just…

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Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Summer is a tricky time to put on an event at the Olympia Archives Building. Who wants to take time during a sun-drenched Saturday in August to huddle up in the dark confines of a windowless research room? History buffs and genealogists — that’s who! Our “Scrapbooking and Oral Histories with the Pros” event brought together an enthusiastic crowd of family researchers who clung to the words of the amazing presenters from the Washington State Archives and Legacy Washington, which…

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Longtime leader Karen Fraser profiled in new Legacy Washington exhibit

Longtime leader Karen Fraser profiled in new Legacy Washington exhibit

A profile of Karen Fraser of Olympia, who served in the Washington State Legislature for 28 years, is the latest chapter in Legacy Washington’s overview of 1968 “The Year that Rocked Washington.” The profile — part of an exhibit that will open Sept. 13 at the State Capitol — is now online. Change was in the air. Everywhere. It was the year when Vietnam, civil rights, women’s liberation, and conservation coalesced — and a year when tragedy led the 6 o’clock…

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Spotlight on State Library Special Collections: The Holy Roman Emperor, the Conquistador, and the Emperor of the Aztecs

Spotlight on State Library Special Collections: The Holy Roman Emperor, the Conquistador, and the Emperor of the Aztecs

Recently a question hit the State Library Twitter feed that requires a little more explanation than Twitter’s 280-character limit allows. That very fine question was: “What is the oldest book in the library’s collection?” Well, the State Library has a lot of older books and maps in our Special Collections, but the Territorial Collection has the distinction of holding the oldest book.[i] It also happens to be amongst the earliest European accounts about the Americas: it is the first Latin edition of the…

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Exploring Washington’s libraries via Passport

Exploring Washington’s libraries via Passport

Last summer, the solar eclipse of 2017 was a HUGE event — and libraries stood at the epicenter. Eclipse glasses were sold out in stores, online, and pretty much everywhere. As a result, the small stash of glasses we saved at the Washington State Library to hand out on eclipse day became a truly hot commodity. Some people even camped out in their cars to be first in line for glasses! Our eclipse event was a smashing success. Upon seeing…

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A tribute to “Cemetery Lady” and State Archives friend Maggie Rail

A tribute to “Cemetery Lady” and State Archives friend Maggie Rail

“Some people collect spoons. Maggie Rail counts dead people,” the Seattle Times observed in a 2012 profile of a familiar, and now dearly-missed, friend of the Washington State Archives. She spent an inconceivable amount of time, even by the standards of professional archivists, doing what fellow enthusiasts call “reading” Washington and Idaho cemeteries to collect ephemeral information off headstones. Years of this work made self-proclaimed “Cemetery Lady” Maggie Rail, who died April 26 in Spokane, the largest single provider of cemetery…

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Washington’s top-two primary: What it is and how it works

Washington’s top-two primary: What it is and how it works

Voting has begun for Washington’s 2018 Primary Election, for which ballots can be submitted in county drop boxes or via postage-paid U.S. Mail until Election Day, August 7. This year, Primary’s ballots include groups of candidates vying to collect enough votes to make the General Election, for which ballots are due Nov. 6. Across America, states use a variety of systems to winnow down fields of candidates to finalists, as the National Conference of State Legislatures describes here. In 2004,…

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New exhibit profiles counterculture chronicler Tom Robbins

New exhibit profiles counterculture chronicler Tom Robbins

In what TIME magazine deemed “the year that changed the world,” Tom Robbins embodied the Altered States of America. Now his profile is part of a new exhibition by Legacy Washington about that pivotal year, 1968. Robbins, 36, was an Air Force veteran, grad school dropout and journalist who quit The Seattle Times by calling in “well.” By 1968 he was mustache-deep in counterculture. He hosted a radio show called Notes from The Underground on non-commercial KRAB. He reviewed Jimi…

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Donate with honor, not to a sham charity             

Donate with honor, not to a sham charity             

Would you donate to a charity called Help the Vets? The appeal says your donation will help wounded and disabled military veterans. What about in response to a robocall that asks you to donate your car to Veterans of America? Sounds like a charity, right? Unfortunately, donations to Help the Vets weren’t spent helping disabled and wounded veterans. Very little was spent helping veterans in any way. And, allegedly, Veterans of America wasn’t a charity at all – it was…

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