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Can You Say "Quasquicentennial?"  
Washington became a state on November 11, 1889.  Join the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington Secretary of State in commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Washington Statehood in 2014! 

For more information, visit Washington 125
or contact
 Shanna Stevenson here by email or at 360-586-0171. 
Are You An Archives Detective?

This photograph comes from the Susan Parish Collection at the Washington State Archives.  Such an interesting face...but who is he?  It's a mystery, one of many.  Can you help us figure it out?  If so, send us an email!

News from the Washington State Historical Society

The Washington State Historical Society and the Washington State Archives work together to preserve and promote our shared history.  Take a look at some exciting opportunities with the WSHS in the coming months!  Click the links for more details.

Small Museum Workshops:

For more information on these or other happenings at the WSHS, visit their website here
or contact
Shanna Stevenson. 

Imaging Update:
Initiatives 591 & 594
Imaging's Maggie Cogswell shares the process for scanning in hundreds of thousands of signatures of supporters of these opposing viewpoints regarding gun control, and also the security measures in place to protect the validity of the information here!  Read about this important and sometimes overlooked piece of the process in the Olympia Archives Building!
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December 2013 
Spokane Historical: A Smartphone App Built on Archival Materials
Contributed by Larry Cebula, Assistant Digital Archivist and EWU Public History Professor
How often have you visited a new city, or even a familiar one, and wondered about its history? Maybe you see a striking historic building, or a monument, or a park, and wondered how it came to be. Visitors to Spokane with such questions can simply reach for their smartphones, and open a free app with over 250 historic sites with text, images, and even podcasts and videos, all created from research in area archives.

Spokane Historical is a student-driven project from the Public History Program at Eastern Washington University.  Students use the Eastern Regional Branch Archives and the Digital Archives to begin their research, which they supplement with trips to local libraries and museums, digitized newspapers at the Washington State Library, and other databases.  They learn to build on their research to tell new kinds of stories. 

It's the archives that make this project possible.

Attention Genealogists!
Contributed by Molly Rooney, Acquisitions Archivist

The Washington State Archives is housing a collection of records that you may not be aware of: Applications and Licenses from the Department of Licensing's Business and Professions Administrations!  These records contain information on various professionals in Washington and cover the years 1872-2006 (with the bulk between the 1900-1950s). 

Professions include Medical Examiners, Notary Publics, Physicians, Dentists, Barbers, Embalmers, Veterinarians, Funeral Directors, Optometrists, Nurses, Chiropodists, Drugless Healers, Physical Therapists, Cosmetologists, Estheticians, Manicurists, Midwifes, Engineers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Boxers, Geologists, and Land Surveyors.  The records include varying amounts of information such as name, county or city of practice, college attended and date of graduation, residence, date of certification, license number, age, race, gender, birthplace, signatures, and photographs.  Many of the records are arranged alphabetically, though not all have indexes.  We even have a few of the registers on line at the Digital Archives. 

If you are interested in viewing these records, contact our Research Staff to determine whether we have records covering the dates your family member practiced in Washington State.

Celebrities in the Archives:
Muhammad Ali in Washington State
Contributed by Terry Badger, Deputy State Archivist
Following on the above mentioned collection at the Washington State Archives comes a celebrity sighting in the stacks! 

One of the hottest controversies of the summer of 1970 was whether or not to allow a boxing match to take place at  Seattle in the fall between Cassius Clay, the former heavy-weight champion of the world, and Joe Frazier.  The controversy is detailed in the records of the Professional Athletic Commission found in the Archives.  Click Here to discover the surprising pieces of history spelled out in this fantastic primary source document!

Murder, Ghosts, Love and Marriage in the Archives
Contributed by Patrick Williams, Grants and Contracts Coordinator

Recent digitization projects funded by grants from WSHRAB reveal fascinating stories corroborating local tales of ghosts in Pierce County and boundless love in Kitsap County in the late 1800s. The Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board (WSHRAB) serves the public as the central advisory board for historical records projects and plans and provides leadership and guidance to help ensure the identification, preservation, and use of the state's historical records. It acts as a state-level review body for proposals as defined by NHPRC grant program guidelines.  Read more about what the records reveal here.

"Breaking Bad" Revealed Through Archival Docs

What if your house was once a Meth Lab?  Would you know?  If so, is there anything you could do to make sure it had been cleaned up?  Once again, follow Tracy Rebstock, Archivist with the Southwest Regional Branch, as she takes us along on an exciting research quest!   Click here to uncover the truth in Kelso, Washington! 
One MILLION Records!!
Did you know...

The Archives has partnered with for many years to make government records more accessible?  Since 2007 volunteers have spent thousands of hours in the research rooms of the Archives.  Records have been imaged from every branch of the Archives, and from every county in the State of Washington.

Today there are three cameras located in Olympia imaging the records of the counties and cities of Southwest Washington.  Two of the current volunteers, George and Kathleen Clarke, have been in Olympia for a little over a year and have recently surpassed the 1 million record mark!

Once in Salt Lake City performs quality control on the images they are returned on hard drives to us at the Archives to use.  To date, has imaged over 10 million records!

Once the images are processed they are transferred to the Digital Archives for indexing or storage for use in the future. also makes the images available on its website free of charge at

Art Appreciation in the Washington State Archives Collections

Art is visual language, telling humanity's story in every corner of the world.  In our own modern times, safely stored within our vaults, are photographic collections.  Angela Yoder, self proclaimed Art and Digital Nerd with the Washington State Archives, brings you Red Delicious Apples by Asahel Curtis.  Check it out here!  It's a fun and different way of thinking about archival holdings!
News from the OSOS Blog
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.

We hope you've enjoyed this edition of  
"Out of the Archives!"

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