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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