Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tika & Washington State Digital Archives
Tika was left home snoozing while I attended a meeting at our Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives. The building (on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney) houses the Washington State Digital Archives too. Electronic/digital records upstairs; paper records downstairs.
Look at these old books......... vital records, deed records, state censuses, naturalization records and much much more. Odd things like brand books are there too. These are the things that our archives is digitizing and making available to anybody and everybody on their website: www.digitalarchives.wa.gov
Don't want to brag, but Washington is way out front being the leader in the endeavor to preserve and make available records online/digitally. How does your state compare???
Washington became a state in 1889 but there are territorial records going back even earlier. If you have any relative or ancestor conducting any business with the government (and all the records I mentioned above were our ancestor's interaction with government) then there is likely a record in the Washington State Digital Archives. Do you have an ancestor "who went west and was never heard from again?" Check for him in our Washington State Digital Archives. (Seattle was a jumping off place for the Alaska Gold Rush.)
The meeting was conducted by Devan Donaldson who was conducting focus groups around the state as part of his research on how people feel towards a digital/archival image. "Is it trustworthy?" he would ask. But after the session we were given a tour of the facility, upstairs and down. Upstairs Devan got to hold the backup discs for the entire Washington State Digital Archives........... the entire thing in his hands!!!
Can you begin to fathom what this means? So very, very much information in so very, very little space. And available to anybody anytime. We do live in an amazing age.... for which I am very, very thankful.