In the ‘80s and ‘90s, the Western Washington music scene was thriving with new experimental bands. The Grunge movement was drawing musicians out of the garage and onto stages around Puget Sound and the I-5 corridor, but what else was happening? Grunge wasn’t the only show in town, and music seekers wanted to know who would play where and when, yet they couldn’t simply glance at social media or the internet to check the venue page. How would you know when Bikini Kill would show up… Read more
From Our Corner
The holidays are upon us, and a valuable statewide program could use your help! The Institutional Library Services program of the Office of the Secretary of State needs literature and resources to support adult and youth patrons in prisons and state hospitals.
Institutional Library Services, which is a part of the Washington State Library, partners with the state’s Department of Corrections, the Department of Social and Health Services, and the Department of Children, Youth, and… Read more
The Washington State Library's Ask-a-Librarian service gets an average of 170 questions each month. Some of these questions are answered quickly, but others require a bit more research. A recent reference question has stumped librarians, so now the public's help is needed.
The individual who submitted the question is looking for newspaper articles about a landslide in Brownsville, Washington, on the Kitsap Peninsula. The… Read more
Sometimes, the most fascinating historical gems come to light while researching something entirely different. Such is the case with Northern State Hospital’s baseball team.Image
Located in Skagit County near Sedro-Woolley, Northern State Hospital (NSH) opened its doors in 1912 and closed to patients in 1973. Today, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, yet during this time, the institution provided… Read more
The Washington State Library awards Washington Digital Heritage Grants every year to libraries statewide to fund digital projects that preserve and share Washington’s history and culture.
This spring, the 2022-2023 Washington Digital Heritage Grant awardees wrapped up their projects, which include digitizing and providing context for a variety of materials from items documenting the history of Indigenous peoples in Washington and Seattle’s Black community to glass art in… Read more
On May 15, 2023, the last remnants of the original Irving R. Newhouse Building were demolished.
The Irving R. Newhouse Building was built in 1934 as part of a Civil Works Administration program to spur job growth during the Great Depression. Since then, it has served the state of Washington in various capacities and housed several different tenants for nearly 90 years. Though it is no longer standing, it remains a vital piece of Capitol Campus history.
Designed by prominent… Read more
Before Federal Social-Welfare Programs: Walla Walla County Welfare Department Annual Report to County Commissioners, 1943
In the era before federal social-welfare programs, states and their individual counties had to do the job themselves. This effort is the focus of the Walla Walla County Welfare Department’s 1943 Annual Report to County Commissioners.Image
The report starts by listing the employee names of the… Read more
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Washington Rural Heritage is looking back on a fascinating document from the Vashon Island Heritage Collection: a lovingly detailed scrapbook compiled by Florence “Flicker” Burd for her daughter Florence “Tad” Burd.
Documenting their life from 1923 to 1927, the scrapbook documents the mother and daughter’s journey from Michigan to Seattle by rail when Tad… Read more
Washington State Archives’ Legislative Audio Project team digitizes, converts, edits, and indexes audio from House Floor sessions, Senate Committee meetings, and other recordings associated with the state’s legislative history. This recorded media document events spanning over half a century and are available online at … Read more
Do you have old or obsolete electronic devices stored somewhere in your home that you haven’t used in a long time? What about a box of mysterious, tangled cords that may or may not connect to things you’ve long since discarded?
Libraries connect readers to information, ideas, learning, knowledge, and development. Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, helps ensure people have unfettered access to information at hundreds of public, school, academic, and institutional libraries across Washington. This commitment… Read more
Do you ever wonder how many U.S. representatives and senators Washington (as a state and territory) has had in its 170-year history? How many of them were Republicans? How many were Democrats, or Progressives?
If you’re doing a little in-depth research, how many years did Julia Butler Hansen serve in the House of Representatives? Why did James W. Bryant’s term end?
Or, if you’re simply curious, what in the name of Orange Jacobs is a “Silver Republican”?
We’ll get to… Read more
Each year, Washington State Library awards grants to libraries across the state for digital projects that document and share Washington’s rich and unique history. The 2021-2022 Washington Digital Heritage Grant awardees recently wrapped up their projects. This year’s grants encompassed a wide range of topics and mediums, from Nez Perce stories and legends to the Grand Coulee Dam. Grant recipients scanned… Read more
On Saturday, Oct. 15, nearly a hundred people who are blind and visually impaired and their families and friends gathered in Seattle to celebrate White Cane Day with a one-mile walk.
The White Cane Day Walk 2022, which began at the south base of the Seattle Space Needle and ended at the … Read more
Northwest Digital Heritage is proud to present its DPLA Local site, a new search portal that enables users to more easily access materials digitized by over 150 institutions in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
The Washington Center for the Book and The Seattle Public Library have selected 39 finalists in eight categories for the 2022 Washington State Book Awards.
Now in its 56th year, the Washington State Book Awards (WSBA) — formerly called the Governor’s Writers Awards — recognize outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2021.
A winner in each category will be announced Sept. 13, 2022.2022 WSBA FINALISTS: BOOKS FOR ADULTS CATEGORIES
Biography/Memoir… Read more
“The Last Cuentista” and “Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk” chosen for the National Center for the Book’s Great Reads from Great Places program
Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, recently wrapped up several large digitization projects and achieved some significant milestones that expanded its Washington Digital Newspapers (WDN) online collection to over 500,000 newspaper pages.
… Read more
From 1920 to 1922, an all-woman cohort of councilmembers and mayor governed the town of Langley on Whidbey Island, Washington. Langley has the distinction of being the second town in the United States to elect an all-woman administration.
Helen Coe served as mayor during this period. In July 1921,… Read more