Photo Challenge
John Jacob Weisenberger (Schmidt)... his name is my name, too!
Click to view the Digital Archives record.
If you're from Yakima, you had a pretty good chance of recognizing Colonel  J.J. Weisenberger of the 1st Washington Infantry.

There is a 115-year-old statue of him in Yakima, where he commanded Company E, though the figure has seen better days. The city and its local arts commission and museum are jointly attempting to raise awareness and funds, to relocate the statue indoors, and replace it with a modern, stronger replica.

August Photo Challenge
by Jamison Murphy, Archives Outreach
Click photo to enlarge.
I know what you're thinking: It's a haunted house. Nope, not this time. Maybe you'll see a haunted Photo Challenge in October (maybe, definitely), but this month you get an amazing piece of architecture, and former historical landmark.

And no hints.

Win an AncestryDNA Kit
The prize: AncestryDNA kit.
The Washington State Archives, Digital Archives has 195,967,842 records, as of 8/8/17. With the volume of records we anticipate in the coming weeks and months, we will cross the 200-million milestone in the near future.

The first person to guess the correct, exact date, when we reach the 200 millionth record, will win an AncestryDNA kit!

You must be a subscriber to our Out of the Archives newsletter to enter. 

Cracking the Archives
Digital Archives Upgrade: The Power of Histograms
 by Charlie Byers, Lead Applications Developer, Digital Archives, Cheney, WA

Histogram of the Chelan County Auditor, Miscellaneous Recordings, illustrates the rapid increase in this record series since 1974, and also a gap in the records in 2009.
By the time government records get to the Washington State Archives, they are not always complete. Months or years of a given records series may have disappeared in a flood or fire, or simply have been discarded by the agency of origin. These gaps in a record series can frustrate researchers, who logically assume if we have the records for 1960 and 1962, then we also have records for 1961--which is not always the case.

Thanks to the Digital Archives' Lead Applications Developers, Michael Dwyer and Charlie Byers, users can now instantly see the gaps in our records by generating a visual aid known as a histogram. Histograms are bar graphs illustrating how often certain values appear in a given dataset.

To use this feature
Go to the Digital Archives website and click on "Collections," then choose a collection, and select a record series. Scroll to the bottom of the title info page to where you see "Records by Year" and click the "View" button.

Halloween in the Archives

Join us at the State Archives in Olympia for a haunted tour of the underground stacks. But, prepare yourself... you'll be amazed, and terrified, by what you find down there. Registration will be limited. See the next newsletter for more details.

Archives staffers hold panel at NAGARA conference

NAGARA 2017 Annual Conference flyer.
The Washington State Archives turned out in force for the annual National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators (NAGARA) conference in July. Nine staff members came to the event in Boise, where six of them gave presentations about how we do things in Washington state, for the benefit of government archivists from all over the nation. 

On Friday, July 14, the Innovating Information Flow at the Washington State Digital Archives panel, moderated by Assistant Digital Archivist Larry Cebula (who is also the program director for Eastern Washington University's Public History program), was hosted by Chief Applications Architect June Timmons, Lead Applications Developer Charlie Byers, and IT Specialist Todd Henderson. The session filled up quickly, with the likes of archivists from around the country, and representatives from the National Archives and Records and Administration (NARA).

Henderson led the charge with a presentation on SCRIBE, the ground-breaking technology used to make volunteering from home possible. Byers then presented his project on facial recognition use in historic photo collections. Timmons followed up with a presentation on BatchThat, a utility for making automatic corrections to large batches of scanned images. 

Our work didn't end there. Debbie Bahn - who earlier this summer also received recognition from the Society of American Archivists for her contribution to the award-winning book, Building Trustworthy Digital Repositories: Theory and Documentation, by Philip C. Bantin - headed the program committee for the conference, along with Digital Archives archivist Allie Honican.

Bahn also presented Trustworthy Digital Repositories, Certification (ISO 16363) to explain what it means to be a trusted digital repository and how institutions could work toward that certification. Last, but not least, Leslie Turner gave a fast-paced presentation Records Management Rehabilitation and Recovery, breaking down the process of records management in eight manageable steps.

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Out of the Archives banner photo: Mrs. Etta Cox, daughter Inez, son William pose by their summer tipi, Wellpinit, Spokane Indian Reservation, c. 1954.