How many of us remember sitting through dry history classes in school? And yet history done right is a fascinating and important subject. Here at the Washington State Library we take history seriously. One of our strategic goals is to “Preserve and share Washington’s stories.” We have several paths to achieving this goal. There are our historic digital newspapers, the digitized “Classics in Washington History” collection, our collection of Historic maps, and the Washington Rural Heritage Collection. But making the resources available is only one part of the process. We also want them to be found and used. Our historic digital resources are an opportunity to wake up and engage those history classes.
Three years ago Judy Pitchford had an inspiration, and along with other partners began what is now our 3rd Annual Zine contest. Do you know what a zine is? “Zines (pronounced “zeen”, like “bean”) are self-published – often via a photocopier – magazines with limited print runs. They can be on any topic or many, are usually written by one person or a few individuals, and typically provide an individualistic or alternative point of view.” (adapted from “Stolen Sharpie Revolution” by Alex Wrekk). The zine contest requires the use of historical materials from the collections of the Washington State Library, the Washington State Archives or the Timberland Regional Libraries. Unpacking the entries as they arrive is a delight as we get to see people engage with primary resources and make their slice of history relevant to their life.
Today we are happy to announce the winners of the 2017’s Historical Zone Contest. The winner in the Youth category is Mia Widrow, Grade 5. Mia titled her zine Hanford : The complex legacy left behind. The adult winner is Lisa Oberg, who entered, Answering Columbia’s Call : Seattle’s War Relief Bazaar of 1917. Click on the links to the zines themselves and you’ll see not only a great example of a zine but a cross-discipline art/history project that makes history come alive.
Both Mia and Lisa received a $75 prize and their zines will be added to the Washington State Library Manuscript collection.
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