The webpage intro modestly states: “Produced by Washington State Library, this index contains citations to articles in The Olympian (Olympia, Washington) and other Washington state newspapers. Dates covered are from 1993-2009. Subsequent Olympian issues will be indexed as time allows.”
In reality this amazing finding aid is the result of thousands of hours of labor by dedicated WSL staff. Not only is this a valuable research tool for local Olympia area history and genealogy, but as The Olympian covers the State Capital in some detail this index has a value of statewide significance.
The new improved index includes more sophisticated searching options, as well as an opportunity for the library user to request the article once it is located. Crystal Lentz, one of our Public Services librarians, summarizes:
“All the records from the old database were imported into the new one and a new front end/search page was created. A new feature of the database is a ‘Request this article’ link in each citation. When customers click on the link they will be asked for their name, email address, zip code, and the name of the deceased person if the request is for an obituary article. When the request is submitted, the citation and customer information are automatically sent to question queue where it will be claimed and filled by a librarian.”
Many thanks to Public Services librarian Mary Schaff for spearheading this upgrade, Crystal Lentz, and Head of Public Services Lori Thornton for setting the wheels in motion. We also extend our gratitude to Webmaster Matthew Edwards for listening to our ideas and making the new index a reality in a very short time.
The online Olympian index can be found at:
We also have an Olympian index for 1989-1993 available in print, but the data is also stored on ancient 5 and half inch square Bernoulli tapes. If anyone out there has a device that will help us extract this information so we can convert it to an online finding aid, we would love to talk with you!
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