WA Secretary of State Blogs

Protecting the treasures of Washington State, or a peek into the vault.

The Washington State Library has a collection of very special books we keep in our “vault”.  This includes the Territorial Library Collection, as well as many other beautiful and rare books.  These books are old and fragile and special considerations need to be used to view them.  If you make an appointment and travel to Olympia during the library’s open hours, we would love to help you view these rare books. However thanks to the wonders of modern digitization many of these titles are available in digital format through the internet archive.   We thought you might like to have a peek into some of these beautiful old books that the Washington State Library keeps safe for you.

An interesting fact about this book is that it is the first known use of the word “Oregon” used to describe areas to the west of Carver’s travels.

Travels through the interior parts of North-America, in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768/ by Jonathan Carver, which you will find in our catalog. 

This book includes a vocabulary of the Chippewa language (beginning on page 420)

vocabulary of Chippewa language

Beautiful maps, descriptions of the strange animals and plants encountered on his travels and engravings of the things he saw.

Travels_through_the_interior_parts_of_North_America (1)

If you’d like to see the book in its digital entirety use this direct link to the internet archive. Or the next time you’re in the area, why not make an appointment and come and view the original.

Let us know in the comments how you like these sneak peeks into the treasures of our state.


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