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 tags to articles, and saving their search history for larger research projects.
“This new resource provides students and other researchers with access to a rich trove of publications across decades of Washington history,” State Librarian Cindy Aden said. “Through viewing these historic digitized newspapers, it’s possible to understand important Washington experiences as they were viewed by the people who lived them.”
The Washington Digital Newspapers program brings together the library’s earliest pioneer-era online collection with titles digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The State Library’s newspaper collection in Olympia contains more than 6,500 newspaper titles, including more than 50,000 reels of microfilm and newspapers in German, Vietnamese, Danish, and Greek. As a rich source of primary materials for teachers, students, genealogists, and professional researchers it’s one of the best “go-to” places to find Washington newspapers.
“The new site will make it easier for people to browse our historic newspaper collection on a stable platform that will make researching fun and informative,” said Shawn Schollmeyer, National Digital Newspaper Project director at Washington State Library. “This project has been a great way to learn about events and people in our state past and present, as well as meeting the people in our cities who are proud and passionate about their communities.”
Partnerships with museums, libraries, archives, and publishers from across the state allow the State Library to preserve newspapers and the cultural heritage of these communities. The collection’s newest titles, added just this year, are Anacortes American editions from 1890 to 1922 and the Catholic Northwest Progress from 1900 to 1945. A new partnership with the Cashmere Museum and NCW Media will bring archived issues from 1906 to 1940 of the Cashmere Valley Record to view later in the year. The program is scheduled to add approximately 100,000 new newspaper pages to the digital collection each year.