WA Secretary of State Blogs

New digital collection: Skamania County Heritage

Hot springs staff outside for a picture Shipherd's Springs Bathhouse Shipherd's Hot Springs Harold Bain, manager of Shipherd's Hot Springs

From the desk of Evan Robb

A new digital collection from the Washington Rural Heritage initiative highlights the history of Skamania County, located in the heart of Washington’s rugged Columbia River Gorge. For their 2009-2010 grant project, the Stevenson and North Bonneville Community Libraries (Fort Vancouver Regional Library District) worked with local residents and partners to digitize unique material telling the story of life in these communities. The result is a digital collection consisting of two sub-collections and over 250 items.

History in Pictures promotional flyerStevenson Community Library’s
promotional flyer – History in Pictures Day

In June, 2010 after extensive planning and outreach to local residents, the Stevenson Community Library held its first “History in Pictures” day–a community-based digitization event aimed at gathering historically significant material held in local private collections. The event occurred on a Saturday, in the main room of the Stevenson Community Library. There, staff and members of the Library’s Friends group interviewed contributors, secured necessary permissions (to publish material online), and recorded detailed information about the originals–describing their content as well as their physical format and dimensions. Staff from the Washington State Library were on hand to assist with imaging the materials, which were then returned to their owners along with a digital copy. The event was a resounding success. A few of our favorite “finds” include:

Another important achievement of this grant project was the creation of the North Bonneville Collection which documents the relocation of the town of North Bonneville during the construction of the Bonneville Dam’s second powerhouse in the 1970s. The collection documents everything from: early negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; to images of “Old Town North Bonneville” as it was being razed; to construction of new town facilities and final dedication of the “New” North Bonneville in 1978. The material was contributed by the City of North Bonneville, which generously opened its archives to help create this unique and valuable educational resource.

Congratulations and a big thank you to the entire crew at the Stevenson and North Bonneville Community Libraries. They spent many hours forming local partnerships, managing the project, cataloging materials, and learning all the hands-on technical minutiae involved in digitization. The results speak for themselves!

Old Town North Bonneville demolition Louie Wolf Exchange of old North Bonneville city hall and fire station keys and deeds for new ones

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