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In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963 to 1994. To those who worked in the Washington State Archives in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Sid was not only a leader, but also a friend and mentor. Sid’s work as State Archivist was significant and extensive. The following are only some of his many great accomplishments and contributions. Moved the Records Committees from Destruction to Records Retention…

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History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

The 18th United States Census, conducted in 1960, was the first U.S. Census in which the questionnaires were mailed to households, as opposed to paid, in-person enumerators who visited each house. Previous census enumerations used mail-in questionnaires in a limited way, but the 1960 Census relied very heavily on self-reporting. The census determined the U.S. population was 179,323,175. Over the next six years, however, there were many challenges to the census from communities which felt they were under-counted, and short-changed…

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History Friday: The King of Puget Sound Bootleggers

History Friday: The King of Puget Sound Bootleggers

On a crisp March morning in 1920, Seattle Police Lieutenant Roy Olmstead and his colleague, Sergeant T.J. Clark, treaded the dock at Edmonds’ Meadowdale Marine in the caliginous hours leading dawn. A crew of nine bootleggers hauled a rum-running boat’s capacity of Canadian whiskey to six nearby trucks, prepared to furnish Seattle with the contraband in the wake of Prohibition’s inception. Lt. Olmstead and Sgt. Clark had a watchful eye on the operation, but they were not there to arrest…

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Giving New voice to Thomas Handforth, a Northwest artist with global perspective

Giving New voice to Thomas Handforth, a Northwest artist with global perspective

With grant support from the Washington State Library, the Tacoma Public Library (TPL) recently completed a year-long digitization project to preserve and share the work of artist Thomas Handforth (1897-1948). Best known for his children’s book Mei Li, which won the 1939 Caldecott Medal for illustration, Handforth was born in Tacoma, and studied art at the University of Washington. Some of his early etchings and anatomical drawings stem from when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918, serving in…

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Building Community with Book Clubs

Building Community with Book Clubs

WSL Community Outreach Librarian, Sara Peté, recently took part in a panel on “Building Community with Book Clubs” at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s annual tradeshow — an event that brings hundreds of book industry professionals together. Davina Morgan-Witts of BookBrowse and sweet pea Flaherty of King’s Books Tacoma shared their extensive knowledge on the wide, and sometimes wild, world of book clubs. Morgan-Witts co-authored the 56 page report “The Inner Lives of Book Clubs” and Flaherty coordinates over a…

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Everything Old is New Again

Everything Old is New Again

Whether you are sewing from scratch or upcycling, we’ve got you covered! In honor of National Sewing Month and recent worldwide interest in upcycling clothes, we’d like to share some little-known resources here at The Washington State Library. A quick keyword search of our library catalog for the word ‘sewing’ shows a surprising number of books from our State Documents collection available to check out. These may help you with your next project. And of course you can peruse historical…

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Librarian of Congress visits Washington libraries

Librarian of Congress visits Washington libraries

On Tuesday, July 30th, Washington State Library Youth Services Consultant Siri Hiltz and Community Outreach Librarian Sara Peté had the good fortune of visiting the beautiful Camas Public Library for a chance to learn from the nation’s top librarian — Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (LoC).  U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler brought Dr. Hayden to the 3rd District to help spread the word about the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program, the Veterans History Project, and the LoC’s incredible…

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Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Over the years, April 25th has grown into a date circled on the calendar by our team at the Washington State Archives. On April 25, 1963, the Olympia Archives Building opened up “in the shadow of the Capitol Dome,” ready to take records into what was seen at the time as a technologically-advanced facility.  That archives building started to show its age as the decades progressed. On April 25, 2014, the building amplified the need for a new, modern repository….

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How the Washington State Library and Archives do the Puyallup

How the Washington State Library and Archives do the Puyallup

For at least a decade, the Washington State Library has joined the festivities at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup to get the word out to fairgoers about the services the Library provides for state taxpayers. As in previous years, the Office of Secretary of State also sent representatives from the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library and the State Archives to provide information about how each serves Washingtonians. As in the last several years, the State Fair’s Education Pavilion staff encouraged…

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History-making Seattle activist Phyllis Lamphere featured in new Capitol exhibit

History-making Seattle activist Phyllis Lamphere featured in new Capitol exhibit

A profile of civic activist Phyllis Lamphere, who left a big imprint on her hometown of Seattle, is the latest chapter in Legacy Washington’s new project, “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington.” Her profile — part of a new exhibit at the State Capitol — is now online at the project’s homepage. As a leader in the League of Women Voters, Lamphere spearheaded a change in state law that gave Seattle a “strong mayor” form of government. That shift of…

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