Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Archivists realize that no matter how well they think they know their collection, it still holds surprises. The Washington Territorial Court Case Files collection at the Washington State Archives Eastern Regional Branch recently delivered such a surprise. Eastern Washington University graduate student and Archives Intern Devrick Barnett has been working on the Territorial case files for a few months now. Also known as the Frontier Justice collection, these consist of the surviving case files from the Washington Territorial Courts (1853-1889)….

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Perched Between the Stumps and the Tides: Early Newspapers in Washington Territory

Perched Between the Stumps and the Tides: Early Newspapers in Washington Territory

Thanks to past and ongoing digitization efforts at the Washington State Library, Washington Digital Newspapers hosts digital copies of some of the earliest newspapers published in Washington. Through their columns, early territorial editors provided a glimpse of some of the hardships faced by settlers in general, and by publishers in particular in the 1850s. This blog, one of a three part series, covers the arrival of newspaper publishers in Olympia and Steilacoom and the housing they found in these early…

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Chronicling America and Navigating Newspapers

Chronicling America and Navigating Newspapers

Through multiple National Digital Newspaper Program grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in conjunction with the Library of Congress, the Washington State Library has contributed over 300,000 pages of digitized Washington newspapers to Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) since 2008. The contributions from the Washington State Library are part of the over 16 million searchable newspaper pages from 48 states and two territories made freely available on Chronicling America. Ben Lee is working to extend the usability of these digitized…

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Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

May 18, 1980, a day many Pacific Northwesterners vividly remember, was the infamous day Mount St. Helens erupted and left much of the state in complete darkness. This day was coined “Black Sunday,” and during the following week, nearly 200,000,000 cubic yards of soot and ash were dumped across Washington and covered nearly half the state.[1] The City of Yakima was in the direct path of the ash plume. To make matters worse, the volcano would continue to emit ash…

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A Pandemic Hero

A Pandemic Hero

The “Spanish flu” pandemic that exploded in 1918, near the end of World War I, killed at least 50 million people worldwide—some say twice that. President Trump’s grandfather was among the 675,000 Americans who succumbed to the lethal influenza. Legacy Washington’s new book, Ahead of the Curve: Washington Women Lead the Way 1919-2020, features a heroic Seattle physician on the front lines of the pandemic. Dr. Mabel Seagrave lived by the motto of Wellesley College, her alma mater: “Not to…

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Get to know WTBBL’s audiobook production in their new webinar

Get to know WTBBL’s audiobook production in their new webinar

On April 29th, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s (WTBBL) Director, Danielle Miller; Audio Book Production Supervisor, John Pai; and Assistant Manager, Alycia Ensminger, hosted a webinar, Getting to Know WTBBL’s Audiobook Production, for the Washington State Library. This webinar discussed how an audiobook is produced: starting with selection of materials, the narrators and narration process, production and editing of recordings, and the final stages of production as staff prepare the audiobook for circulation. The speakers gave an overview of how…

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Paving the Vote-By-Mail Path

Paving the Vote-By-Mail Path

As we celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States, it has become apparent that Washington state has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to voting rights and processes, and others have benefitted from seeing us set the pace and disprove false perceptions. Over the last few decades, utilization and preference for Vote-By-Mail (VBM) elections has substantially increased to the point where in 2018 general elections across the country, over 31 million voters, or 25.8%…

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Exploring the 1918 Influenza Pandemic with the State Library’s Digital Collections

Exploring the 1918 Influenza Pandemic with the State Library’s Digital Collections

In 1918, while Washingtonians were anxiously awaiting for their boys to come home near the end of WWI, reports were coming over from Europe about soldiers dying from a mysterious Spanish Influenza. Reports of “la grippe,” the “flu,” and “pneumonia,” the epidemic was caused by a strain of Pfeiffer’s Bacillus, named after the epidemiologist who discovered it in 1892. By mid-September, before the war was over, it had reached the shores of Washington and at least 23 other states. Warnings…

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WTBBL participates in GiveBIG

WTBBL participates in GiveBIG

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 5th and 6th, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will be participating in GiveBIG Washington 2020, a 48-hour long online giving campaign that is designed to support Washington state nonprofit organizations. This year, WTBBL’s goal is to raise $10,000 to purchase a 3D printer for their Youth Services Program, launch a Teen Advisory Board, and provide additional program support. WTBBL’s Youth Services program provides books and materials in all formats for children of…

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Community Members Generously Support Our Institutional Library Services

Community Members Generously Support Our Institutional Library Services

Troy and Cheryl LaBrum have a passion for giving.  A devout family, they donate often to local churches and missions, but their generosity doesn’t stop there; for years, they have also been donating extensively to the various prison and hospital libraries that make up the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library.  Hearing of ILS from a loved one who experienced the benefits firsthand, Troy and Cheryl decided to seek out a way to contribute to the…

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