Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keeping an Eye on the Past: The Washington State Library Photograph Collection

Washington state seal The Washington State Archives recently revamped its online Digital Archives. The archives is dedicated to preserving electronic records from both state and local agencies that have legal, fiscal, or historic value.

The archives also includes the State Library Photograph Collection, which contains 5,274 images of various subjects related to Washington's history, people, geography, and economic development, from 1851-1990. Here’s one of a Boeing 314 Clipper flying past Mt. Rainier.

Boeing 314 Clipper and Mt. RainierYou can either search the photo collection by keyword, or browse the collection titles. In searching for the photos of Asahel Curtis, I came across this one taken at Neah Bay, where a whale is being cut up by whale hunters:

Cutting up a whale at Neah Bay - Asahel Curtis Asahel Curtis began his photographic career in 1897 and chronicled much of the Pacific Northwest over the next several decades.

You can also find photos of historical figures, such as Ezra Meeker, who travelled the Oregon Trail by ox cart and was the founder of Puyallup WA.

Ezra Meeker - founder of Puyallup WA

Redmond Library Board

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