2015 WA Rural Heritage grants go to 6 libraries

2015 WA Rural Heritage grants go to 6 libraries


–Summertime skiing at Mount Baker, 1938. From the Archives’ Mount Baker Foothills Collections at the Rural Heritage Program.


Six libraries across Washington soon will be able to begin digitizing their historic collections for the public to see and enjoy after receiving grants through the Washington Rural Heritage program.

The six grant recipients are:

  • Asotin County Library in partnership with Asotin County Museum ($5,000).
  • Ellensburg Public Library ($2,141).
  • Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County ($4,259).
  • La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with 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 Clallam County Genealogical Society ($5,000).
  • Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections ($3,600).

The 2015 Washington Rural Heritage grants total $25,000. Go here to see more details about each of the six grant awards.

Over the next year, Washington State Library staff will work with these libraries to digitize unique, historically significant materials in their collections. Local library staffs will be trained on digitizing historical materials, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository, which includes material from the holdings of 108 institutions and 313 privately held collections throughout the state.

Washington Rural Heritage is a collaborative digitization program headquartered at the Washington State Library. The project brings together unique local history materials from libraries, museums and the private collections of Washington citizens.

“Many small, rural libraries and museums across Washington possess irreplaceable and unique collections or items, such as old photographs,” said Evan Robb, the State Library’s Digital Repository Librarian. “But they usually don’t have the staffing, expertise or resources to digitally preserve these materials or make them widely available to the public. Through its grants and training, Washington Rural Heritage helps these libraries and museums digitize these valuable items so they are preserved and available to people to see and enjoy whenever they like.”

Secretary of State Kim Wyman congratulated the new grant recipients and praised the project:

“The Washington Rural Heritage program is nothing short of amazing. Everyone benefits when we make it easy to access our precious history. Our rural heritage is most worthy of this preservation and digitizing it. Helps make it available to everyone with the click of a mouse. My hat’s off to the program and the new grant winners!”

For more information about Washington Rural Heritage, contact Robb at [email protected] or (360) 704-5228.

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