WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for September 8, 2016

September 8th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education No Comments »

Volume 12, September 8, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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Newly Received Federal Publications — April – August 2016

September 2nd, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Photo of the federal documents staff at the Washington State Library

Federal documents staff at the Washington State Library

The following are publications received during April – August 2016. The purpose of this list is two-fold: one, to create an awareness of the breadth and depth of the Washington State Library’s federal documents collection and two, to alert readers to specific titles available to them either online or through a local federal depository library.


Mineral Commodity Summaries 2016.” USGS Mineral Resources Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2016. at At WSL: I 19.166:(1998-). Ask about format. Online at: http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2016/mcs2016.pdf. This publication is part of a continuing series and is targeted to all persons in the commodity trades profession.


Dobkins, Rebecca J., author. Cultural Plant Harvests on Federal Lands: Perspectives from Members of the Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association. United States Department of Agriculture, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! Call No. A 13.78:PNW-RP-608. Also available online at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo68755/pnw_rp608.pdf and http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_rp608.pdf.

Photo of cover of Cultural Plant Harvests on Federal Lands.

Pavel, D M, Ella Inglebret, and Stephanie G. Wood. Honoring Tribal Legacies: An Epic Journey of Healing. , 2014. Print. Available at WSL: I 29.2:t 73/2/V.1-2. Also available online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo69495/ and http://honoringtriballegacies.com/

United States. National Park Service, issuing body. White House Historical Assocation. The White House Garden Tour. Washington: National Park Service, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! Call no. I 29.2:W 58/12

United States. National Park Service. Office of Communications. United States. National Park Service. Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. Harpers Ferry Center (U.S.) United States. National Park Service. Office of Public Affairs. United States. National Park Service. Division of Publications. The National Parks, Index. Washington: The Office of Public Affairs, and the Division of Publications, National Park Service, 1985. Print. This is the 2012-1026 Index.  At WSL: I 29.103:2012-2016. Online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/lps125182/2012-2016/NPIndex2012-2016.pdf.


The Budget and Economic Outlook. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Budget Office, 2010. Print. Available at WSL: Y 10.13:  2016-2026. Online: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/51129. This is the yearly update provided by the CBO for the media and general public understanding and forecasting applications.


Photo of the cover to FBI Story 2015United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation, author. The FBI Story 2015. FBI Office of Public Affairs, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! Call No. J 1.14/2:F 31/6/2015. Online: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/the-fbi-story-2015.pdf/view.

United States. Office of the Federal Register. Barack Obama: 2011 (in Two Books). Office of the Federal Register National Archives and Records Administration, 2014. Print. Available at WSL: AE 2.114:2011/BK.2.  Part of the Public Papers of the Presidents series.

United States. Congress. House., and United States. Congress. House. Committee on House Administration. “Telephone Directory.” (1uuu): n. pag. Print. Available at WSL:  MICRO Y 1.2/7:  (Call ahead). Online: https://directory.house.gov/#/. Published for constituencies, public, media and others in need of direct Congressional contact.


United States. Veterans Health Administration,. “Health Care Benefits Overview.” Health Care Benefits Overview. N.p., n.d. Web., 2016 Edition, Vol. 1. Online: www.va.gov/​healthbenefits/​resources/​publications/​hbco.  Focus is upon Veteran health and hygiene.


Chapman, Charles W. Letters of Second Lieutenant Charles Wesley Chapman, Jr., December 19, 1894-May 3, 1918. , 2016. Print. Available at WSL: D 301.26/6:C 36; Online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo69486/b_0141_chapman_letters.pdf and http://www.au.af.mil/au/aupress/digital/pdf/book/b_0141_chapman_letters.pdf.

Photo of cover of Letters of Second Lieutenant Charles Wesley Chapman, Jr.Dolitsky, Alexander B., editor, author. Hagedorn, Dan, author of introduction, etc. Cloe, John Haile, author of introduction, etc. Glazkov, Victor D., author. Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970, author, illustrator. Pipeline to Russia: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War Ii. N.p., 2016. Available at WSL! Call No. I 29.2:R 92.

Howard, Adam M. Galpern, Steven G. (1969- ). Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1969-1972. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 2015. Available at WSL: 1.1:969-76/V23. Part of the ongoing series Foreign Relations of the United States, Department of State.

Jones, Marcus O. New Interpretations in Naval History: Selected Papers from the Seventeenth Mcmullen Naval History Symposium Held at the United States Naval Academy 15-16 September 2011. , 2016. Print. Available at WSL: D 208.210:N22.

Mobley, Richard A., 1952- author. Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence in Southeast Asia. Department of the Navy, 2015. Print. Available at WSL! D 221.2:V 67/6. Online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo66132/KnowingtheEnemy_508.pdf.

United States. Army Material Command,. The 75th Anniversary of Redstone Arsenal, 1941-2016. N.p.: n.p., 2016. Print.. Available at WSL: D 101.2:R 24/9.


Hildreth, Wes, and Judy Fierstein. Geologic Map of the Simcoe Mountains Volcanic Field, Main Central Segment, Yakama Nation, Washington., 2015. Internet resource. Available at WSL: I 19.91/3:3315.

United States. Forest Service, cartographer. Motor vehicle use map, Colville National Forest, southeast area, Washington / Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture. [Washington, D.C.] : United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 2012- Available at WSL:  A 13.28:C 72/8/SOUTHE./ Latest received 2016.


Davis, Raymond J. Northwest Forest Plan, the First 20 Years (1994-2013): Status and Trends of Northern Spotted Owl Habitats. Portland, OR: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 2016. Print. Available at WSL: A 13.88:PNW-GTR-929. Also online: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr929.pdf.

Falxa, Gary A, and Martin G. Raphael. Northwest Forest Plan, the First 20 Years (1994-2013): Status and Trend of Marbled Murrelet Populations and Nesting Habitat. , 2016. Print. Available at WSL: A 13.88:PNW-GTR-933. Also online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo70599/pnw_gtr933.pdf and http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr933.pdf.

Photo of cover of 2015 Science

Pacific Northwest Research Station (Portland, Or.). “Science Accomplishments of the Pacific Northwest Research Station.” (2001): n. pag. Print. Available at WSL: A 13.66/1:2015. Also online: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/2015-science-accomplishments.pdf.

Science Findings. Portland, Or: Pacific Northwest Research Station, 1998- .  Available at WSL: A 13.66/19:186. Online: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/publications/scifi.shtml. The June 2016 issue is titled “Big changes in cold places: The future of wildlife habitat in Northwest Alaska.”

U.S. Nautical Almanac Office. Nautical Almanac 2017. S.l.: U S Nautical Almanac Offi, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! Call no D 213.11:2017

Social Issues

Photo of cover of Within Our Reach publicationU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, issuing body. Civics Flash Cards for the Naturalization Test. Department of Homeland Security, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! Call no. HS 8.2:F61/2/2016. Also available online at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo68376/M-623_red_slides.pdf.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, issuing body. Tarjetas De Educación Cívica Para El Examen De Naturalizacíon. N.p., 2016. Print.  Available at WSL! HS 8.2:F 61/2/2016/SPAN. Also available online at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo68377/M-623-S_red_slides.pdf.

United States. Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, author. Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, 2016. Print. Availble at WSL: Y 3.2:C43/5/ST 8. HS 8.2:F 61/2/2016/SPAN. Also available online at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo66588/PDF%20version/cecanf_final_report.pdf.

Photo of cover of Spinoff 2016Space

Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance (U.S.), author. National reconnaissance almanac / Center for the Study of National
Reconnaissance. Second edition. Chantilly, Virginia : National Reconnaissance Office, 2016. Available at WSL: WSL Federal Documents D 1.2:AL 6/2016.

National, Aeronautics A. S. A. Spinoff Report 2016. S.l.: Natl Aeronautics & Space, 2016. Online http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2016/toc_2016.html (read online or download as a pdf )

A yearly ongoing publication. Spinoff features dozens of commercial products derived from NASA technology that are improving everything from medical care and software tools to agricultural production and vehicle efficiency. The companies featured in this year’s publication span a broad range of industries and geographic locations, showing the diverse benefits our Nation enjoys from its investment in aeronautics and space missions. (GPO New Business Publication June 2016)

Tanaka, Kenneth L., cartographer. Geologic Map of Mars. US Department of the Interior; US Geological Survey, 2014. Print.
Available at WSL! Call No- I 19.91/3:3292


United States. National Park Service,, and Harpers Ferry Center (U.S.),.Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Washington. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Print. At WSL: I 29.155:R 67. Visitor Information Brochure.

United States. National Park Service,, and Harpers Ferry Center (U.S.),. Nez Perce National Historical Park, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Montana. N.p.: n.p., 2015. Print. Available at WSL: I 29.155:N 49  Visitor Information Brochure.

Online Only Publications

Bringing the Future Within Reach: Celebrating 75 Years of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, 1941-2016. Available online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo67387/20160004991.pdf. 

United States,. “An Act to Adopt the Bison as the National Mammal of the United States.” An Act to Adopt the Bison as the National Mammal of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. Online: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-114publ152/pdf/PLAW-114publ152.pdf and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-114publ152/html/PLAW-114publ152.htm.

United States., Smith, W. A., & Rayner, I. (1912). Titanic” disaster: Report of the Committee on commerce, United States Senate, pursuant to S. res. 283, directing the Committee on commerce to investigate the causes leading to the wreck of the White star liner “Titanic,”. Washington: Govt. Print. Off. Available online: http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo66899.

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WSL Updates for September 1, 2016

September 1st, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding, Letters About Literature, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, September 1, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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North Cascades National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

August 29th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

Cascades pass, view of the mountains, blue sky with cloudsThe last of the three great National Parks we are featuring this month is Washington’s North Cascades Park.  It is also the last of our parks to be designated as such, with park status only coming in 1968 with the passing of the North Cascades National Park Act.  The park along with two “National Recreation Areas”, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan, and all are managed as the North Cascades National Park Complex.

However long before it became a National Park this area was well known for its beauty and ruggedness.  One of the chief missions of the Washington State Library is to “Collect, preserve, and make accessible to Washingtonians materials on the government, history, culture, and natural resources of the state.”  In other words, for anything to do with Washington State history, we are a great place to start.

While we do not have a primary source record from the Native American viewpoint we have information about the native cultures of the area.

Mierendorf, Robert R, and Kenneth C. Reid. People of the North Cascades. Seattle, Wash: National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1986. I 29.2:C 26/6 c.2

Smith, Allan H. Ethnography of the North Cascades. Pullman: Center for Northwest Anthropology, Washington State University, 1988. WA 378.5 Un3eth n 1987

Early settlers to the region also kept accounts of their travels and discoveries. Three books immediately jump to the head of the line.

Küster, Heinrich, and Harry M. Majors. Discovery of Mount Shuksan and the Upper Nooksack River, June 1859. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1984.  NW 979.5 Northwest 1984

Küster, Heinrich, and Harry M. Majors. First Crossing of the Picket Range 1859. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1984.  NW 979.5 Northwest 1984

Ross, Alexander, Thomas J. Dryer, and Adella M. Parker. The First Crossing of the North Cascades. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1980. NW 979.95 Northwest 1980

But what if you wanted to learn about contemporary park management or the environmental aspects of the park?  We not only collect Washington State Documents but as a Federal Repository we collect and provide access to federal documents about the park.

Lesher, Robin. Botanical Reconnaissance of Silver Lake Research Area, North Cascades National Park, Washington. Portland, Or: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, 1984.

North Cascades: A Guide to the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Washington. Washington, D.C: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1986.

General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment: North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. , Washington, D.C: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1987

Ecological Effects of Stocked Trout in Naturally Fishless High-Elevation Lakes, North Cacades National Park Service Complex, Wa, USA. Seattle, Wash.: National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1999.

Mountain Lakes Fishery Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. Sedro-Woolley, WA: North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 2008. Volume 1, Volume 2

What about just the pure pleasure of visiting the park?  Well we’ve got you covered there too.

Spring, Ira, and Harvey Manning. 100 Hikes in Washington’s North Cascades National Park Region. Seattle, WA: Mountaineers, 2000. NW 917.9773 ONE HUN 2000  

Dietrich, William, Craig Romano, Gary Snyder, Christian Martin, and Richard Louv. The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby. , 2014 NW 508.797 DIETRIC 2014 

Bake, William A. Stehekin: A Wilderness Journey into the North Cascades. Washington, D.C.: Division of Publications, National Park Service, 1977  RARE 917.9759 BAKE 1977

And finally for those of you who stuck with me to the end of this post, I saved the best for last with the prize for most original chapter title being “Run hippie run! Rednecks gonna get ya!”

Harrison, Buckwheat” B. Hippie Tales of the Northwest Woods. Minneapolis: Mill City Press, 2014.  NW 305.568 HARRISO 2014  

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Classics in Washington History – Army letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871 – 1888

August 26th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

From the desk of Jeff Martin Frances M.A. Roe

Army letters from an Officer’s Wife, written by: Frances M.A. Roe

Appleton And Company, New York and London

Publication date: October 1909

Note: In 1871, Lieutenant Colonel Fayette Washington Roe (1850-1916) was sent to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. His wife, Frances M.A. Roe, describes their experiences while stationed at the fort in this collection of letters.

“It is late, so this can be only a note to tell you that we arrived here safely, and will take the stage for Fort Lyon to-morrow morning at six o’clock. I am thankful enough that our stay is short at this terrible place, where one feels there is danger of being murdered any minute. Not one woman have I seen here, but there are men any number of dreadful-looking men each one armed with big pistols, and leather belts full of cartridges. But the houses we saw as we came from the station were worse even than the men. They looked, in the moonlight, like huge cakes of clay, where spooks and creepy things might be found. The hotel is much like the houses, and appears to have been made of dirt, and a few drygoods boxes. Even the low roof is of dirt. The whole place is horrible, and dismal beyond description, and just why anyone lives here I cannot understand.”

Excerpt by Frances M.A. Roe

Washington State Library Electronic State Publications – Army Letters From An Officers Wife, 1909

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2nd Annual Zine Contest

August 26th, 2016 Judy Pitchford Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

2nd Annual Zine ContestDo you like history? Do you enjoy creative projects? Well, do we have something for you!

Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Historical Zine Contest with co-sponsors Washington State Archives and Timberland Regional Library. Participants are asked to create a Zine about some aspect of Washington History.

Washington residents from 4th grade and up (yes, adults, too!) are asked to participate.

Don’t know how to make a zine? Visit our Zine webpage and watch a video that shows how.

All three sponsors have a multitude of resources that can provide fantastic material to use in the creations of participants.

  • Washington State Library has many online resources that include books, maps, newspapers and photos. You can also find featured images from these digital collections on their Pinterest and Flickr pages. And don’t forget that you can visit the library to see some resources in person!
  • Washington State Archives has an extensive print collection, as well as many images at the Digital Archives.
  • And you can visit the Timberland Libraries to explore their NW Reference Collection, Zine Collection and Zine Resource Collection.

Entries will be accepted from September 1, 2016 – December 15, 2016. So start creating!

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Mount Rainier National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

August 23rd, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Skiing at Mount Rainier National Park

For many people when they think of Washington State the first thing that comes to mind is Mount Rainier. The tallest peak in the state, at 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier dominates the landscape on both the east and west side of the state and all Washingtonians feel that it is “their mountain.”

On March 2, 1899, Mount Rainier was established as the fifth national park, named so by William McKinley.  The park is a veritable year round wonderland for those who love the outdoors. Possibilities range from fishing, bike riding, hiking, camping, and climbing in the summer, to skiing, tubing and snowshoeing in the winter. For those who like to just sit and admire the scenery, Longmire and Paradise each has a beautiful old inn. Also within the park boundaries are 228,480 acres of wilderness.

But before Mount Rainier became a national park there was of course a long history to the area including Native American legend.  One of the missions of the State Library, that we take very seriously, is to preserve the history of our state. We have many books in our catalog but for this blog post the focus is on our Digital Collections.  In order to make our materials easily accessible, we’ve been working for many years to digitize public domain books and journals in our collection.

When it comes to Mount Rainier, one of the best historic resources is Edmond Meany’s “Mount Rainier: a record of exploration”. This book is a collection of essays about the mountain including its discovery by George Vancouver, the story of the first accent by Hazard Stevens, the natural history of the mountain and an essay on the creation of the park.

Another source for history is our digital newspapers collection.  In the early days of our state Mount Rainier was often called “Mt. Tacoma” or “Mt. Tahoma”, the Native American name. This fact is acknowledged in Meany’s book and born out in the controversy over the name of the new national park.
In the March 7th Seattle Post Intelligencer an article titled “An insult to Tacoma” heatedly defends the name Rainier. “Some foolish people, including the Ledger, past and present, have tried to change the name of Rainier to Tacoma, but they have failed… If Mount Rainier is worthy of the distinction of a national park, the park should bear the name of the mountain.”Mount Rainier ad

Over the years Mount Rainier remained newsworthy, with articles such as the May 12, 1916 Washington Standard’s “Mt. Rainier’s Flowers – Unequaled in Beauty, Number and Luxuriance, says Uncle Sam” .  In 1910 The Walla Walla Evening Statesman proposed regulating automobiles in the park, however by December 7, 1920 an article in the Seattle Star instead proposed new roads to increase access and travel to the park.

As a Federal Depository the State Library also holds electronic federal documents for the state.  A search of our catalog unearthed “WONDERLAND: An Administrative History of Mount Rainier National Park” by Theodore Catton. This book records the history of the park from the days before it’s designation as a national park  through the end of the 20th century.

Having a national park in Washington also generated a lot of tourist interest and tourist dollars.  The early newspapers show evidence of efforts to take advantage of this.  You find advertisements for tours and postcards, even gasoline to get you there.  Today Mount Rainier continues to be a centerpiece of our state with an average of 1-2 million people visiting each year.  Have you visited lately?

Image sources:

“Gorgeous Mt. Rainier.” Pullman Herald 10 June 1921. Web. 14 July 2016.

Skiing at Mount Rainier National Park

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Bet you didn’t know!… Special Collections in Washington State Libraries – Abby Williams Hill Collection

August 19th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

AWH Portrait041

Abby Williams Hill who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century (1861-1943) was a remarkable woman for her time.  She was a painter and a social activist, a brave woman who did not let much stand in her way.  She was the founder of the Washington State Congress of Mothers which eventually became known as the PTA.  She was a supporter of early childhood education.  Visits to the Tuskeegee Institute and the Flathead reservation made her a champion of equal education for all. However despite these accomplishments, she is best known for her landscape paintings of the American West.

In the early 1900s Hill was commissioned by the Great Northern and later the Northern Pacific railway to produce paintings to promote tourism in the area.  Leaving her husband behind in Tacoma but taking her four young children, one son and three daughters, Hill camped and painted 22 paintings in 18 weeks. Instead of a salary the railroad gave her tickets for a 1000 mile long journey for herself and her children.  This allowed her to keep rights to her work and later she negotiated to have the paintings returned.  The experience of producing these paintings created in Hill a lifelong love for the outdoors.  Later in life, concerned by the threat of commercialism, Hill traveled for 7 years in the 1920s and produced a series of National Parks paintings to document what she viewed as disappearing landscapes.

Mt. BookerThe painting which illustrates this post exemplifies Hill’s character.  When she painted the mountain, it was unnamed, and the US Geological Survey let her name it.  She named it Mount Booker, after Booker T. Washington, the famous African American educator that she came to know at Tuskegee. As you can imagine, it was controversial in the early 1900s for a white woman to be naming a mountain after a black man however Abby stood her ground.

“Here was a glorious monument not made by the hand of man but carved by the Almighty.  What could be more fitting than to name it for one of the most truly great men of our times… When we look at Mt. Booker let us be thankful for Booker Washington’s life, for what he did to solve seemingly impossible problems… His influence like the stream from the mountain will go on through the ages to bless and help mankind.” (Newsclipping)

If you find yourself fascinated by Hill, a more thorough biography can be found here.

When Hill died in 1943 her children looked for a place to house the collection of her artwork and papers.  As she had spent much of her life in Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound’s Archives & Special Collections (UPS) was chosen as the site.  UPS’s Abbey Williams Hill Collection grew piecemeal over several decades.  The current collection consists of paintings but in addition there are letters and journals. Digitization of these materials is ongoing .  The majority of Hill’s personal papers are still only available in their original paper format.  She was a prolific writer and the bulk of this collection is from the early 1900s through 1910.  There is a collection of photos, both family photos and photos taken by Hill on her travels. Also included is ephemera such as old National Park passes and pamphlets. The collection is housed on the second floor of UPS’s Collins Memorial Library is available for research by appointment only. If you want additional information about the collection send an email to: abbywilliamshill@pugetsound.edu.



Fields, Ronald. “The wanderer, a portrait of Abby Williams Hill.” The University of Puget Sound. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 July 2016

Newsclipping, “Mountain in State of Washington Named in Honor of Booker Washington by Mrs. Abby Williams Hill, Painter”, The New York Age, March 8, 1930, Box 17, Folder 15, Abby Williams Hill Collection, Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington.


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The Tale of the Washington State Bird, Volume 2: Emma Otis the Bird Chairman, and the Garden Ladies

August 19th, 2016 mschaff Posted in Articles, For the Public, Public Services No Comments »

GoldFinch Read Volume 1 here

From 1943 until 1951, the matter of designating an official Washington state bird languished.  Legislators seemed reluctant to bring the matter to a vote and interested outside groups appear to have lost hope in forcing their lawmakers to act.  Finally in 1951, another wave of interest in making the willow goldfinch official broke ashore, courtesy of a group of determined women from the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs.

Enter Emma Otis, whose obituary caught the attention of our staff last October.  After Emma’s death, her granddaughter, Nancy Pugh, kindly shared with us some of Emma’s handwritten notes about her efforts to make the willow goldfinch Washington’s official state bird. Following some general observations about the goldfinch, its behavior and birdy character (“Responsibility seems to rest lightly upon the shoulders of the goldfinch”), Emma provided some context for these remarks:

This is the original script I used at a meeting of Capital District of Garden Clubs, when I was Bird Chairman for the District (Pierce & Thurston Counties). Concluded by saying that I hoped someday that this bird would be officially adopted as the State bird. The President asked if I would like to make a motion to that effect, which I did. Went something like this, “I move that the Capital District of Garden Clubs of WA go on record as favoring the adoption of the Willow Goldfinch as the official bird of the State of Washington and that it be presented to the State Federation of Garden Clubs for approval and an attempt be made to present it at the forthcoming meeting of the Legislature.”

The historical record is rather quiet on just when and how this was accomplished.  It is probable that Emma’s speech took place prior to the beginning of the 1951 Legislative Session, which convened January 8, 1951.  We consulted our collection of Olympia Garden Club manuscript materials, and unfortunately evidence to support Emma’s story was missing from the Olympia club’s 1950/1951 meeting minutes – probably because she spoke at a district meeting and not an Olympia club meeting.  The minutes do indicate there was some sort of state bird billboard campaign (no specifics provided) and it’s quite likely that the Federation of Garden Clubs encouraged its members to write letters petitioning their legislators.  Schoolchildren may again have been involved; a March 1963 Seattle Times article indicates that their vote in 1951 determined the fate of the state bird.  Again, evidence is not forthcoming regarding this claim.

The only other clear documentation of the leadership provided by the Federation of Garden Clubs on the GardenGate1951-excerptmatter of the state bird was a blurb that appeared in the March 1951 Olympia Garden Club newsletter, The Garden Gate.  Blanche Andreus and Gwen Hofer are specifically mentioned for their hard work in getting the “Bird Bill” passed.  As one might now expect, additional research into the background of these ladies and the work they did on behalf of the willow goldfinch was also unfruitful.

However they accomplished it, the women of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs put enough pressure on the Legislature that lawmakers were finally ready to act once they convened in 1951.  Senate Bill 318 was introduced by Senator Carlton Sears of Thurston County on February 15, 1951.  The stage was now set to get the willow goldfinch on the books as the official state bird.

Stay tuned for Volume 3 to see just how the Legislature responded to their call to action.

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Olympic National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

August 16th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

a red canoe on the shores of Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park. Mountains in the distance.Washington is home to three National Parks (aren’t we lucky?)  Each park has its own unique features and opportunities for exploration and discovery.  As the state library we have a mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible to Washingtonians materials on the government, history, culture, and natural resources of the state.  As the national parks are one of our state unique treasures we have a variety of items in our collection that focus on Olympic, Rainier and the North Cascades National Parks.

Olympic National Park is on the Olympic Peninsula on the far western part of our state.  The park contains such a variety of landscapes, mountains, a temperate rain forest and wild coastlines. Activities include hiking, backpacking, beachcombing, fishing even a hot spring, your choices are endless. Olympic National Park is also home to several beautiful old lodges, Kalaloch and Lake Crescent lodges were built in the early 1900s and have all the beauty and character you would expect from this era.

If you choose to make a trip to the park what materials do we have at the state library to enhance your visit? A small handful are highlighted below, but if you check our catalog you will find a wide array of materials, from books, to maps, to state and federal documents.

Natural Wonders

Blau, S F, and Keith L. Hoofnagle. Exploring the Olympic Seashore. , 1980. Print.

Hanify, Mary L, and Craig Blencowe. Guide to the Hoh Rain Forest: An Interpretive Handbook. Port Angeles: PenPrint, 1975. Print.

Kirk, Ruth, Jerry F. Franklin, and Louis Kirk. The Olympic Rain Forest: An Ecological Web. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992. Print.

McNulty, Tim. Olympic National Park: A Natural History Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1996. Print.

Stewart, Charles. Wildflowers of the Olympics: 100 Wildflowers of Olympic National Park. San Francisco: Nature Education Enterprises, 1972. Print.

Tabor, R W. Guide to the Geology of Olympic National Park. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1975. Print.

History & Literature

Beres, Nancy, Mitzi Chandler, and Russell Dalton. Island of Rivers: An Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Olympic National Park. Seattle, WA: Pacific Northwest National Parks & Forests Association, 1988. Print.

Brant, Irving. The Olympic Forests for a National Park. New York: Emergency Conservation Committee, 1938. Print.

Wray, Jacilee. River Near the Sea: An Ethnohistory of the Queets River Valley. Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 2014. Print.


Camp Lightly Please: Backcountry Guide to Olympic National Park. Washington, D.C.?: U.S. Dept. of the Interior?, 1979. Print.

Molvar, Erik. Hiking Olympic National Park. Helena, Mont: Falcon, 1996. Print

Parratt, Smitty. Gods & Goblins: A Field Guide to Place Names of Olympic National Park. Port Angeles, WA: CP Publications, 1984. Print.

Steelquist, Robert, Pat O’Hara, Cindy McIntyre, and Keith D. Lazelle. Olympic National Park & the Olympic Peninsula: A Traveler’s Companion. Del Mar, Calif: Published by Woodlands Press in conjunction with Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, 1985. Print.

Perhaps you are a smartphone hiker?  Our Federal collection contains a lot of electronic information that could help you on your travels.  How about Forest Service Topo Maps for the Olympic National Forest?  Maybe you like to go off road the Motor Vehicle Use Maps show the roads, trails and areas that you can use.  Are you a birder?  The Great Washington State Birding Trail – Olympic Loop would be a wonderful companion on your trip.

And last but very much not least the Port Angeles Public Library located right at the foot of the Olympic National Park created a collection of oral histories from their patrons about their experiences visiting, living in and working at national parks throughout the U.S.  These recordings were funded with a grant from the WSL and hosted on the Washington Rural Heritage site. Have a listen and then go on out and create your own personal story at one of our state and country’s incredible jewels.

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