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Library News

  • Thanks to past and ongoing digitization efforts at the Washington State Library, Washington Digital Newspapers hosts digital copies of some of the earliest newspapers published in Washington. Through their columns, early territorial editors provided a glimpse of some of the hardships faced by settlers in general, and by publishers in particular in the 1850s. This blog, one of a three part series, covers mail services in Washington territory and how they affected the news disseminated to early settlers. Newspapers in…

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  • The Washington State Library’s annual Washington Digital Heritage grant cycle has helped preserve a wealth of historical documents from organizations and private collections statewide. These grants support libraries and partner organizations in digitizing historically significant primary sources, special collections, and archives. In addition, the projects support the creation of digital exhibits, oral histories, open educational resources, and other community memory initiatives. Here are some highlights from the 2019-2020 grant cycle. Asotin County Library The Asotin County Library digitized a privately…

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  • Picture it: the year is 1985. A group of children excitedly swap trading cards in a Washington state schoolyard. “I have an extra Dunbar!” “I need a Russ!” Baseball cards? No, they’re Washington Women trading cards! In 1980, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction began work on the Washington Women project to highlight the accomplishments of noteworthy women in Washington. Deirdre O’Neill, an associate instructor at the University of Washington, interviewed several hundred candidates for the project with…

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  • Outreach librarian, Amy Ravenholt, holding Trial by Fury by J.A. Jance.

    The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) hosted its first Book Club meeting Aug. 26. Due to COVID-19, we held the meeting virtually, and if the overwhelmingly positive response from participants is any indication, we will continue with this format. The inaugural meeting included patrons from across the state and featured Trial by Fury by local author J.A. Jance. (Trial by Fury is available to patrons in both audio and braille.) Jance is one of the top-circulating authors from…

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  • Front and back covers of A Complete Guide to Non-Tourist Seattle, 1962.

    While perusing material in response to a research question about Seattle in the 1950s and 1960s, Washington State research librarian Kathryn Devine read A Complete Guide to Non-Tourist Seattle (1962). Intended as a pocket guide for visitors who wanted to see the “real” Seattle, it’s a very entertaining read.   In the chapter titled “What to Know and Where to Go,” author Wayne Carter offers some fine print for visitors who need a stiff drink: “A cocktail lounge may sell…

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  • The Washington State Library has been a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1858, when it was the Washington Territorial Library. As an FDLP member, the Washington State Library receives federal government publications in numerous formats, and offers access to these resources and reference assistance. The FDLP provides free access to U.S. government information. Beginning in 1813, the program was initially headed by the U.S. Secretary of State and disseminated Congressional journals to the public through select libraries and historical societies….

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