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Tag: Washington State Archives

Archives finds tooth in zoological catalog

Archives finds tooth in zoological catalog

The University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has been collecting zoological specimens for more than 130 years to help document critters from Washington state and around the world. For months, Burke staffers have been preparing for a move into a new building. The Washington State Archives digitized three volumes of Zoological Catalogs dating back to collections from the 1890s to help preserve these unique books. The catalogs include species from land, air, and sea, with scientific…

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Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Even if you do enjoy the occasional snow, we can probably all agree that it creates headaches for driving, scheduling, dealing with kids who stay home from school, keeping the driveway shoveled, and so forth. Perhaps this look at a few historical weather storms will help remind us that the current weather isn’t that bad. Walla Walla flood, 1931 Floodwaters overcame the streets of Walla Walla during a storm in 1931. According to a State Archives researcher, this house is located…

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Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

The last car to travel the Alaskan Way Viaduct cruised into a cold, dry Seattle night around 10 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019. The two-level stretch of State Route 99 along coastal downtown has been an element of the city’s skyline since the early 1950s, but safety concerns have hastened its departure. The viaduct was damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and has been deemed susceptible to future damage should another earthquake rock the structure. A tunnel under downtown…

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Ask an Archivist Day at EWU

Ask an Archivist Day at EWU

Debbie Bahn, the Electronic Records Archivist at the Digital Archives, and Eastern Washington University graduate intern Whitney Wyngaert manned the table at EWU’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Cheney on Wednesday, October 3. Bahn, Wyngaert, and EWU archivist Steve Bingo engaged with more than 30 students in two hours, describing the resources and educational opportunities available at the Washington State Archives as well as archival careers. Deputy State Archivist Terry Badger provided an antique “magic lantern” slide projector to use…

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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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Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Summer is a tricky time to put on an event at the Olympia Archives Building. Who wants to take time during a sun-drenched Saturday in August to huddle up in the dark confines of a windowless research room? History buffs and genealogists — that’s who! Our “Scrapbooking and Oral Histories with the Pros” event brought together an enthusiastic crowd of family researchers who clung to the words of the amazing presenters from the Washington State Archives and Legacy Washington, which…

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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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Exploring court records in the Washington State Archives

Exploring court records in the Washington State Archives

Not Judge Judy’s court? Then which court is it? Since there are many uses for court records, a large number of Archives users come in to access them for genealogical study, book research, school lesson planning, legal exploration, and still more purposes. Finding court records can be a daunting task. Knowing the jurisdiction in which a case was heard is the most important information. The next information a person needs is the cause, case, or file number in hand. Cases…

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History Day: Vancouver students win state, compete in nationals

History Day: Vancouver students win state, compete in nationals

Washington State Archives Southwest Regional Archivist Tracy Rebstock proudly announces that the state’s top Junior Division 2018 History Day project comes from Pleasant Valley Middle School in Vancouver. Washington’s History Day is an annual contest conducted by National History Day, a nonprofit organization that engages students and teachers from across the United States to do original research on a topic of their choice and present it as a project. Original research on historical topics is right up the State Archives’…

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Spokane and the Great War

Spokane and the Great War

A century ago, more than 10,000 Spokane residents served in the military as soldiers, sailors, and marines in World War I. More than 180 of them didn’t come back. Now, through the diligent work of State Archives graduate assistant Joshua Van Veldhuizen with the long-neglected public records in the Spokane War Committee cards, the experiences of Spokaneites before, during, and in the wake of the First World War have been chronicled at Spokane Goes To War.  To convert the old…

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