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Myths in Records Management

As business becomes increasingly digital (and amasses ever-increasing volumes of records), the tasks before our records managers seem daunting.  Fear not, however!  Our team of experts can help make the seemingly overwhelming task of caring for and disposing of records created during the daily activities of doing business much more...manageable!

Speaking of Records Management, click here for Training Opportunities for State & Local Government, and
Would you like to send a message to the future?  Click here to find out more about the Capsule Keepers, and how you can be a part of Washington History in the year 2389!
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Stories from the Archives...

The Office of the Secretary of State routinely updates a blog entitled "From Our Corner,"  in order to provide from-the-source information about important state news and public services.  Often, stories of note from the Archives are included on this page.

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Banner photo: Thanksgiving at the Fire Hall, 1909, Olympia Fire Department Collection, Southwest Regional Branch, Washington State Archives
November 2014
Washington Celebrates 125 Years of Statehood!

November 11, 2014

It was a day full of history, music, smiles, and promises for the future from the new generation of the "Keepers of the Capsule." Washington became the 42nd State in the Union 125 years ago.  Residents of the new state in 1889 had already seen remarkable changes in technology; many traveled across the land on foot and horseback, and were now witness to the masses arriving by train.  Life would soon involve air travel and telephones in every home.  On November 11, 1889, however, the focus was on statehood.

The celebration on November 11, 2014, included speeches from Governor and Mrs. Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman.  Emceed by Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro, the day paid tribute to those intrepid pioneers of 1889 and celebrated the limitless possibilities looking forward to 2389 and the opening of the time capsule. 

Archives staff was on-hand to record events of the day and share the Washington State Constitution.  Click here to view our Flickr page.

For fun, can you guess which of the following events also happened in 1889?

a. Coca-Cola Company incorporates
b. Eiffel Tower was built
c. First Kodak Camera for sale
d. Nintendo Company was founded
e. All of the Above

If you guessed All of the Above, you are correct!  For more information and fun facts about 1889, check this page out

Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman present the Washington State Constitution.  Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives.
By now, if you've been paying attention to anything having to do with Washington's Quasquicentennial (125), you will have undoubtedly seen the "iconic" image of the Inaugural Celebration of Washington's first State Governor, Elisha P. Ferry in 1889.  But today the Secretary of State's blog-post shared this image, which is part of a collection of photographs from the North Olympic Heritage Collection on the Washington Rural Heritage website.  This begs the question--have you ever heard of Washington Rural Heritage?  If not, it's time that you check out their website and learn more about what it is that they do!  Click here to learn about this amazing and lesser-known piece of the Washington State Library.
Puget Sound Branch Archives
Image of the Month

Contributed by Mike Saunders, Puget Sound Branch Regional Archivist

Art's Sandwich Shop on Leary Avenue in the Ballard District of Seattle, 1937.  Art's bill of fare reflects the drastic deflation that took place during the Great Depression.  The prices reflect a population of destitute customers.  The "Down" that appears near the top of the photograph refers to the demolition of the building in 1941.  The "Chinese Pork Noodles" featured on the sign immediately above Art's head suggests an Asian influence that the present day observer might not expect to see in Scandinavian Ballard in the 1930s.  It also seems to be the most expensive meal that Art offers.

Treasures of the Archives:
Pioneer Square Totem Pole 

Written by Lee Nilsson, former EWU student

In the summer of 1899 a group of businessmen boarded the steamship City of Seattle for what was to be a sight-seeing and "good-will tour" sponsored by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

What they did next will astound you, and is a great story from the hidden treasures in the Archives!  Read more here.

Get to Know Archives and Records Management Staff! 
"I love helping people hunt down the information that they need," says Archives Assistant Lee Pierce.  "My wife says I should have been a detective."

Pierce is beginning his 10th year with the Washington State Archives, where he works at the Eastern Region Branch in Cheney.  As the sole full-time employee at the facility, he is something of a jack-of-all-archival trades.  On any given day you might find him answering reference requests, processing new collections, or overseeing the numerous student interns from Eastern Washington University.  He often works with EWU professors on class assignments that involve using ERB records.  Last quarter he guided students through city directories, assessor's notebooks, and vital records as they wrote histories of local properties.  Genealogists, legal researchers, and even high school students working on History Day projects combine to keep Lee busy.

Lee is the first person to tell you how much he loves his job. While he considers himself "primarily a reference archivist," he also enjoys processing new record collections ("taking chaos and creating order" is how he describes it), leading tours ("I love to teach people about what we do!"), leading digitization projects, and even going out to the field to pick up new record collections. "What I like best about this job is the variety," he says. 

If you are in Cheney, come in and visit Lee Pierce, and rest of the team at the Eastern Region Branch and Digital Archives!

Contributed by Larry Cebula, Assistant Digital Archivist/EWU Public History Professor, Archives - Digitial - Eastern Region
Before we Close the Book on Statehood Celebrations for Another 25 Years...

Photos from Carole Rambo Holt, State Library Photo Collection, and the State Patrol Collection

50 years ago, Washington celebrated its "Diamond Jubilee," with easily one of the biggest cakes ever.  Carole Rambo Holt was there to witness the day.

Take a look at some of those photos here and read about what Carole remembers from that day in 1964.  What will the 150th celebration look like? Only 25 more years to go!

If you have memories you'd like to share of statehood celebrations, contact us!
We hope you've enjoyed this edition of
"Out of the Archives!"

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve Excell, Washington State Archivist | |
Telephone: (360) 586-1492
1129 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98504-0238
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