Company F at Dayton: Military History in an Unexpected Place.

Company F at Dayton: Military History in an Unexpected Place.

Volunteer archivist, Whitney Wyngaert, discovered a Columbia County Poll Book which contained information that had nothing at all to do with polling voters. Instead, the volume’s ragged, faded label reads “Dayton Nat GR ’94.”  The headers printed on each set of pages claim the volume to be the “Registration Poll Book for Brooklyn Ward, City of Dayton, Columbia County., Wash., for the Year 1893.” The volume was transferred to the archives in 1990 from the Columbia County Auditor, and the…

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Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Hundreds of audio books are produced in the studios of the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Audio Book Production Department. These books, narrated by volunteers, are normally only available to WTBBL patrons and patrons of other National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped network libraries. But a collection of Legacy Washington titles produced in audio format by WTBBL is now available on the Washington Anytime Library platform for public libraries. These titles are published by, and…

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WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will kick off its free braille transcription course. Students will learn to transcribe print text into braille for blind and low-vision readers. Class will be held 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Saturday mornings, and will end on April 4, 2020. Braille is critically important to the lives of those who are visually impaired or blind as it provides the ability to read and write. Literacy ensures intellectual freedom and…

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New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

At the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL), the Braille Department focuses on transcribing standard print books into braille for patron use. Braille transcription is a technical and time-consuming process that requires skill and great attention to detail. In order to expedite this process, WTBBL purchased a new scanner with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software included. The scanning process allows a trained operator to scan an entire 300-page book in less than an hour, accelerating a process that would…

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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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Third round of grants awarded by Local Records Grant Program

Third round of grants awarded by Local Records Grant Program

Washington counties and cities will soon benefit from grant funding awarded by the Local Records Grant Program administered by the Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The grants will help local governments preserve and protect their documents and history. The City of Edmonds will soon be able to organize its file room, Jefferson County will have access to new technology tools, and the Ridgefield School District can start digitally scanning its records. In…

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State Archives announces special history day awards

State Archives announces special history day awards

The Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, partners with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) each year to put on National History Day in Washington State. OSPI’s website describes National History Day as a “nationwide social studies program that challenges over 500,000 middle and high school students across the United States and territories to develop their historical research skills.” A new theme is chosen each year, and projects come in several…

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WTBBL kicks off summer programs

WTBBL kicks off summer programs

Last month, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s Youth Services Librarian Erin Groth took a trip to Bellevue for a very special presentation at Cherry Crest Elementary. Around 100 second graders and their teachers enjoyed learning about braille, tactile illustrations, and the library. Not only did everyone get to explore some of our materials — and marvel at the four (!) volumes of braille which make up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — but they also got to learn…

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The evolution of a neighborhood store

The evolution of a neighborhood store

Black Lake Grocery has been a staple on the lake for more than 80 years, possibly over 90. If you have not visited the store, it is located on the west side of Black Lake, just off Black Lake Boulevard, in Olympia. The store will soon shut down to repair damages caused by an automobile accident that occurred earlier this year. The wreck was caused by a 17-year-old driver whose 2004 BMW left the road at a high rate of…

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Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

The 2019 legislative session has ended, and thanks to the hard work of many people, libraries across Washington will benefit immensely. The Office of the Secretary of State, which oversees the Washington State Library, played a huge part in making that success a reality. There is so much good news to report! First, thanks to library advocates everywhere. Lawmakers included eleven rural libraries around the state in the capital budget. Each of these libraries will receive funds to improve their…

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