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Category: Digital Archives

History Degree and Archives Experience is the Winning Combination for Whitney Wyngaert

History Degree and Archives Experience is the Winning Combination for Whitney Wyngaert

Whitney Wyngaert has interned and worked at the Eastern Regional Branch and Digital Archives of the Washington State Archives for the past two years. She was a graduate student in the history program at Eastern Washington University where she successfully defended her graduate portfolio and received her Master’s degree in June. Wyngaert’s graduate project was to assist Digital Archivist Debbie Bahn process part of the Hanford Health Information Archive (HHIA) collection. According to Wyngaert, the HHIA “collected, preserved, and provided…

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Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Archives has an extensive collection of census records from across the state, dating back to 1847 — 42 years before Washington became a state. The Digital Archives’ mission is to make public records easily and freely accessible to the people. To date, well over 200 million records have been digitized. Census records are popular among researchers, especially genealogists. If you have ancestors who lived in Washington, there is a good chance you can find them…

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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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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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History mystery: Do you know this man?

History mystery: Do you know this man?

A few months ago, a Digital Archives user wrote in to the Washington State Archives to ask about the identity of the man in the photo on the right. We still can’t answer the question. Perhaps you can help. The photo was taken by Vibert Jeffers in 1939. It comes from the Susan Parish Photograph Collection and it was given the title “Unidentified Representative.” The record further describes him as a former member of the Washington State House of Representatives….

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Searching old newspapers is easier thanks to Gordon

Searching old newspapers is easier thanks to Gordon

Meet Gordon Russ. He won the Washington State Digital Archives’ 200 million contest, making the closest guess of December 5th for the day Digital Archives would make its 200 millionth entry into its database. There was no science behind this guess. He picked it simply because of the fact that it was his birthday. Gordon took home an Ancestry DNA kit, a fitting gift for the history buff.  Gordon is a volunteer at the Washington State Library. Retired in 2003,…

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Contest: Guess date when Digital Archives reaches 200 million records

Contest: Guess date when Digital Archives reaches 200 million records

If you’re into genealogy or just like contests, you’ll want to take part in this new one run by our State Archives. The State Digital Archives has nearly 196 million records, and it will reach the 200 million mark in the near future. With the record milestone approaching, the State Archives has started a contest in which the first person to guess the correct, exact date when Digital Archives reaches the 200 millionth record will win an AncestryDNA kit. Don’t…

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From the Archives: Classic photo of Rosario Beach

From the Archives: Classic photo of Rosario Beach

While a drive to Deception Pass State Park spanning Whidbey and Fidalgo islands in northwestern Washington is scenic any time of the year, it’s especially gorgeous on sunny summer days. Need proof? Check out this 1936 photo of Rosario Beach, just north of Deception Pass. You can find the digitized photo by going to the Washington State Digital Archives website and then clicking on the State Parks and Recreation Commission, Photographs of Park Development, 1933-1938 collection. Please follow and like…

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Digital Archives’ classic fair photos

Digital Archives’ classic fair photos

For many people throughout Washington, a summer highlight is attending the local fair. In fact, many folks in the Olympia area have attended Capital Lakefair, which wraps up this weekend. The main fair season is coming up. The Seafair Torchlight Night is July 29 and Seafair Weekend is Aug. 4-6. And the Washington State Fair in Puyallup is Sept. 1-24. Go here to see a listing of fairs, festivals and other events in our state this year. Fairs are fun…

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From the Archives: Classic mountain photos!

From the Archives: Classic mountain photos!

Mountains are among the physical marvels that draw visitors throughout the world to our state and make Washingtonians proud to call this place home. Our mountains serve as grand and inspiring, yet dangerous, playgrounds for climbers, scramblers, backpackers, dayhikers and others wanting to get close to nature. Several of Washington’s most notable peaks are dormant volcanoes, including one (Mount St. Helens) that has been active more than once in recent decades. You can find many classic photos of Washington’s best-known…

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