Out of the Archives

Asian Pacific American heritage photo challenge This is a photo of a Japanese drill team during a performance at Expo ’70, the Osaka World’s Fair.
Tell us the connection between the fair and Washington state. The more information you can give, the better.
Health care workers challenge results Our little tribute to health care workers is a 1930s picture of Valley View Hospital in Colville.
The building was repurposed a number of times to facilitate a variety of health care services between the 1960s and ’80s until it was eventually demolished.
Send us your guess!See last month’s challenge
Hudson’s Bay Company sent Hawaiians to work in Washington Territory
by Dr. Jewell Lorenz-Dunn, Olympia Branch Researcher
The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) posts in Oregon Territory, Washington Territory, Alaska, and Canada provided animal furs, salmon, and lumber to go east for trade.
Fort Steilacoom was established in the Puget Sound area as a military post on the company’s property in August of 1849. Fort Vancouver was originally a Hudson’s Bay post, established early, in 1824 or 1825, and operated under several other titles. Fort Vancouver was transitioned to military barracks around 1849, and the company transferred out of the fort around 1860.
The Hudson’s Bay Company was predominately made up of French employees with Native American wives until 1829, when the Hudson’s Bay Company added a port stop in Hawaii (called the Sandwich Islands by Americans at the time). This created HBC jobs for many Hawaiians that enabled them to find their way to the Pacific Northwest.
It’s estimated there were anywhere from 50 to 400 Hawaiians employed by Hudson’s Bay Company between 1829 and 1861, but no exact numbers can be verified. Many of the Hawaiian employees… keep reading 
Archives provided research materials for Mount St. Helens book
May 18 marked 40 years since the infamous Mount St. Helens eruption that shocked the world. The disaster was the most devastating volcanic eruption in U.S. history.

New York author Cheryl J. Fish visited the Washington State Archives to do research about the events that surrounded and followed the catastrophe. Fish used her research findings to write “Crater & Tower,” a book of poetry about Mount St. Helens and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The book is now available for sale at most major online book retailers.
State Archives gives out special awards to History Day students
National History Day is a program that encourages students in grades 6-12 to learn how to be an historian. In Washington, the program is headed up by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, in partnership with the Washington State Historical Society and the State Archives, as well as other supporting organizations.
Virtual judging took place from April 16 to May 1.
Every year the Archives gives out the Washington State Archives History Awards. The special awards are for History Day projects that demonstrated exceptional use of archival research.
The 2020 recipients of the Washington State Archives History Awards are:
Kaitlin Medina and Andrew Hegewald
“Seattle’s Hooverville: Where Nothing Created Something”
Teacher: John Zingale, Vancouver iTech Preparatory

Haley Van Meurs, Liana Moldavanu, and Isabelle Garrard
“The Fight Against Segregated Seattle: How the Seattle Open Housing Campaign
Broke Barriers of Inequality”
Teachers: Alan Plummer and Corey Martin, Inglemoor High School
JUNIOR DIVISION Kaitlin Medina and Andrew Hegewald “Seattle’s Hooverville: Where Nothing Created Something” Teacher: John Zingale, Vancouver iTech Preparatory
SENIOR DIVISION Haley Van Meurs, Liana Moldavanu, and Isabelle Garrard “The Fight Against Segregated Seattle: How the Seattle Open Housing Campaign Broke Barriers of Inequality” Teachers: Alan Plummer and Corey Martin, Inglemoor High School
Ruralite MagazineOSOS remains closed to publicWho said that?
State Archives Central Regional Branch Intern Jordan Hughes gives a glimpse into the past with a look at the Kittitas edition of Ruralite Magazine. The publication was regionally distributed to rural areas all over the Western United States. It started in 1954 with “a spirit of public service and forward-looking sensibility.”
Read Hughes’ full article here.
With consideration for the safety of the public and our staff, all branches and facilities of the Office of the Secretary of State remain closed to the public until at least May 31, in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
During the closure, the State Archives still allows state and local government agency staff to research records on an emergency basis only.
Go here for more information.
“Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners.”
Who said that?
Hint: The man in the photo above has nothing to do with this quote.
Last month’s quote is from Governor Arthur Langlie.
Out of the Archives, May 2020 banner photo: Model of the Washington State Pavilion. General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2010, c. 1968.
Visit the Digital ArchivesVolunteer with Scribe

SCRIBE……and lovin’ it!

Last few dreary, rainy days I’ve been indexing Washington state records through the digital archives program, SCRIBE. As you see, I’ve done 470 names….. may seem like a lot but you’ll also notice that I’m only number 159 on the list which means that 158 folks have done way more than me.

Notice WSGS past president, Steve Baylor’s number? And Charles Hansen’s number?

IT’S NOT ABOUT NUMBERS…… it’s about paying it forward, making a contribution to the genealogy community of Washington state. I like the knowing feeling that I’m helping.

What about you??????

Washington State Archives Archives Month 2018

Good morning!

October is Archives Month and the theme is “Activism in the Archives.”

If you would like some free Archives Month posters (shown with the second event below) to hang at your institution, please e-mail us.

The Archives is hosting a number of free events throughout the state during October (and one in September). Join us for one of these great events:

Basics of Historical Research

September 29th
Learn the basic steps for gathering the information you need to investigate and interpret an historical topic.
Location: Kitsap Regional Library, Poulsbo

Registration and more info

Archives Month Special: Preserving Large Items

October 6th
Learn how to preserve outsize items such as maps, posters, and newspapers. There will also be a guest speaker from the UW Library’s special collections.
Location: Olympia Archives Building

Registration and more info

History Day for Teachers

October 6th
Learn about History Day, a project-focused, inquiry-based learning program that develops reading, research, and analysis skills.
Location: Digital Archives Building, Cheney

Registration and more info

Ellensburg Archives and Museums Crawl

October 6th
A tour of archives, museums, libraries, genealogical societies, and other repositories in Ellensburg.
Location: Shuttle boards at Brooks Library, CWU

Registration and more info

History Happy Hour

October 10th
A fun night of trivia highlighting Legacy Washington’s 1968 exhibit and Olympia in 1968 (starts at 6 p.m.; food and beverage priced by the restaurant).
Location: 3 Magnets Brewery, Olympia

More info (no registration required)

Digital Research — Tips, Tricks, and Resources

October 13th
Eastern Regional Branch Archivist Lee Pierce will be at Whitman County Genealogical Society’s fall seminar, speaking about the Digital Archives.
Location: Bishop Place Social Room, Pullman

More info (no registration required)

Archives Month Trivia Night: Activism and the ’60s

October 21st
The Northwest Branch’s second annual trivia night will put the spotlight on the Archives Month theme. Come for the history, stay for the beer! (Starts at 6:30 p.m.; food and beverage priced by the restaurant.)
Location: Archer Ale House, Bellingham

More info (no registration required)

Haunted Tour of the Archives

October 26th
The Haunted Tour takes you into the dark stacks underground at the Archives where grim tales and fright await.
Location: Olympia Archives Building

Registration is not yet open. Look out for the October newsletter (subscribe here if you haven’t already) for more info.

Preserve and Digitize Over-sized Items Workshop

Washington State  Archives

Preserve and Digitize Over-sized Items Workshop

October is Archives Month and that means we have something great in store for you! Preservation is our specialty and we want to show you how to do it at home with your over-sized items, such as posters, panoramic photos, maps, certificates, diplomas, and more. We’re going to get hands-on! This won’t just be Power Point slides. Digital Projects Archivists Mary Hammer and Maggie Cogswell will get out old, tightly rolled items, show you how to flatten and scan them, then store for archival preservation. Everything we are going to show you will be relevant and replicate at home.

Attendees will get a preservation starter kit! Bring your own over-sized item — there will be Q&A, and chances to share and show off.

Plus, we are going to have a guest speaker from the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

10:00 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.: Preserving and digitizing over-sized items with Digital Projects Archivists Mary Hammer and Maggie Cogswell. They are going to demonstrate how to preserve and digitize your private collections with the actual equipment we use.

12:30 — 1:00 p.m.: Lunch break (there are nearby eateries, or you may bring a lunch – we have a fridge)

1:00 — 2:00 p.m.: Guest speaker Conor Casey, the Labor Archivist from UW, will share about the collections at the university’s archives, and activism in Washington.

There will be light refreshments. Parking is free. An email with more info will be sent the day before the event. Please register each individual separately.
Date & Time Start:
10-06-2018 10:00 AM
Date & Time End:
10-06-2018 02:00 PM
1129 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Archives Staff Share Tips About Preserving Records

A newspaper clipping from 1800 about George Washington’s death?
A pair of cowboy boots fit for a baby?
A set of old photos fused together?
Your great grandmother’s passport?

Jeff Adamson from Richland braved the snowy pass to attend, wanting to know how to preserve his unlabeled panoramic photo, possibly a Navy detachment from World War II.

What do all these treasures have in common? They were just a few of the possessions brought to a recent presentation by the staff from the Southwest Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives on how to preserve records and memorabilia. Those lucky enough to get into the free class (with a waiting list!) were educated about disaster preparedness (what five things would you grab if you had an emergency???); what records to keep and for how long; and scanning, preservation and organizing photos and documents. We also heard author and historian Drew Crooks explain how he organizes his digital collection of  drawings by Edward Lange, an artist who drew highly detailed panoramic drawings of the state and British Columbia from 1889 – 1912.

Archivists Mary Hammer and Tracy Rebstock (middle and right) give advice to WSGS member Joanne Huber (left) on her ancestor’s fragile, faded marriage certificate from Canada.

The presentations certainly held the attention and interest of the roomful of genealogists and family historians, but the creme de la creme was the “show and tell” where attendees got expert advice about how to preserve the item they’d brought. While we first sat politely in our seats listening to the history (or unknown history) of each item, by the end, we clustered around the owner eager to hear from the archivists about how to preserve and document the prized possessions.

Tracy Rebstock, Southwest Regional Branch archivist, will be taking her (shortened) show on the road to the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society on Feb. 8 and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society on June. 9. The Southwest Regional Branch of the State Archives includes Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties.

Support Kim Wyman with Silly Socks!

Clark County Genealogical Society’s Brian Runyan shows his support by wearing his wacky socks.

Washington’s Secretary of State Kim Wyman has been diagnosed with colon cancer and could use our support.

Since her diagnosis, many have asked her how they could bring her cheer and show support. In her April 2017 newsletter “Wyman’s Wire,” Kim encouraged us to take pictures of our silly, wacky socks and post them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #wymanrocksthesocks. Or you can email your photo to kim.wyman@sos.wa.gov.  In addition, WSGS will have a membership table at some of the larger workshops and conferences around the state where you can sign a paper sock with your best wishes. We’ll make sure she gets the messages.

Kim is a good friend to our genealogical community. As Secretary of State, she oversees elections, corporation and charity filings, the Washington State Library, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, State Archives and Digital Archives.

Show Kim that our genealogical family supports her!  #wymanrocksthesocks

Ancestry Day — Quite a Day

Over 700 enthusiastic genealogists and family history buffs, new and experienced, packed into the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center recently for Ancestry Day.

People lined up to talk to Crista Cowan -- we couldn't get enough of her!

People lined up to talk to Crista Cowan at Ancestry Day — we couldn’t get enough of her!

Many of us had attended the previous day’s lectures at the Washington State History Museum (see my 9/24/16 blog post), but Saturday, Sept. 25, was the “main event,” sponsored by genealogy records giant Ancestry.com.  After an opening welcome by Secretary of State Kim Wyman and presentation of the colors by the Washington State Color Guard, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), we launched into “Ancestry 101, a Beginner’s Basics Class” with Crista Cowan, the Barefoot Genealogist. (I’m always amazed at how much new info I can learn in a “beginners” class!) Crista has been employed by Ancestry since 2004, and really knows her stuff. (Check out her YouTube Channel for a plethora of genealogy videos.) Her witty stories and valuable lessons entertained us all day.

After the beginner’s class, Crista guided us through the benefits (and cautions) about shaky leaf hints (that don’t shake anymore), family trees, suggested records and the card catalog (her personal favorite resource). My only wish during the info-packed hour was that there was a handout — nearly got writer’s cramp taking notes as fast as I could!

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Washington State Celebrates Archives Month



Saturday, October 22 – 10am to 1:00pm
at the State Archives
Saturday, October 29 – 10:00am to 1:00pm
at the Kitsap Regional Library
A practical, three-hour overview for students, teachers, local heritage volunteers and family researchers. Seating is limited.

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