Monday, February 4, 2013

February 2nd Meeting Featured Our WA Archives

Lee Pierce and Tracey Rebstock spent Saturday afternoon on February 2nd with EWGS and they taught us about our Washington State Archives.  They explained that we have a "paper archives" and a "digital archives."  To use them effectively, we need to understand the difference.

The "paper archives" is where Lee works. This is the Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives. This is the first floor of the archives building out on the edge of the EWU campus. Paper records......... books, papers, letters, documents, etc...... from the eleven counties of Eastern Washington are housed here. Lee told us that they just got "new stuff" from Lincoln and Ferry counties, and from the Spokane Parks Department.  In this "paper" archives, you do not look for a person by surname; you look in the papers concerning what he was, what he did, where he was. Like did he pay taxes in Ferry County?? Did he help build Manito Park in 1922?

Lee explained that due to budget cuts, the "paper" archives is only open by appointment and on Wed-Thurs-Fri. Clicking to their website you'll get more information and the contact information. Click to:

Tracey Rebstock spoke to us about the digital archives. Our Washington State Digital Archives is the envy of archives across the U.S. and even internationally, Tracey explained. These digital archives are housed on the second floor of that same building out on the edge of the EWU campus. If you were to visit (and don't think you can) you'd just see banks and stacks of computers humming away behind glass walls.  The Washington State Digital Archives covers the entire state; it houses records electronically for the entire state. And on this website, you not only can but are encouraged to search by surname. If you've never used this site, click to:    Staffing issues and budget cuts don't so much affect the digital archives; it's available to you 24/7.

Like many of you, I use this site all the time when I'm doing Washington State research. And when I do I'm so proud that my state has such a wonderful resource but I lament that my states of research do not have anything like what Washington has. Lucky us.

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