Monday, April 19, 2010

Online Resources at the Washington State Historical Society

I began working on a post about the new Columbia magazine website, but along the way found a treasure trove of other history resources at the Washington State Historical Society. So I will begin with the magazine and branch out from there.

I see that Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, the journal of the Washington State Historical Society, has a new and improved website. Those of you who are familiar with Columbia know that it is a superb journal of popular history, with articles and book reviews that present recent scholarship to a popular audience. The website does not contain everything that has appeared in the journal but many of the articles are available in full text. (This article is excellent.)

There are many other online resources available from the WSHS, including lesson plans, featured collections, women's history resources, and information about visiting the WSHS locations in Tacoma and Olympia. The featured collections is an especially rich resource, and includes digital collections of maps, American Indian Photographs, Columbia River Photographs, a Gustav Sohon Collection, and a Sheet Music Collection. The collections are very much oriented to the west side of the state (a search for "Spokane"  results in zero hits!) and are presented in ContentDM. But within these restrictions there tremendous things to be found at the WSHS site.


Anne said...

I grew up in Longview and was fishing the sloughs with my Dad and a can of worms by the time I was five. There wasn't much to catch and it was of questionable fitness if caught. My Dad worked for Weyerhaeuser. Mr. Jester across the street worked for Long-Bell. Mr. Norman, two houses down, worked for Fiber. The sloughs smelled to high heaven, but all the kids of the neighborhood loved "slough day."

Tamara said...

Hi Larry--

Thanks for trying out our new portal. As with any new product, we have gone through a series of bug fixes and you may have caught us on a day when we were making adjustments. Using the search box on the upper right of the page, I entered Spokane and got the following results:

388 in Collections Catalog
1 in Washington Stories
1 in Women's History Consortium
17 in Featured Collections
59 in COLUMBIA Publications

This is a Google search of our whole site, including ContentDM and other resources. If you search our Collections catalog directly:

and use Spokane as your keyword, you will come up with 924 items. This is because the general search is designed to spotlight items that contain multimedia and the collections search is designed for researchers who will likely want all info regardless of format.

We try to have a variety of resources representing all areas of Washington history. Getting complete records of our items online has been a challenge, but we continue to improve our offerings and are pleased to see that people are using the site.

Thanks for your feedback and I hope you give the portal another try!

Tamara Georgick
Washington State Historical Society

cmorange2 said...

Hey Larry,

Thanks for the kind words about COLUMBIA. The lastest issue (Fall 2010) has articles on the following topics:

Preservation and the Natural Environment
Contemporary Makah Whaling
U-10 Pond at Hanford
The Mullan Road
Baxter Army Hospital (WWII-Spokane)

AND, the Winter 2010-11 issue is going to be available in its entirety, complete with illustrations, as a downloadable PDF. Spread the word. We need feedback on whether there is an audience for a digital version of the printed magazsine.

Larry Cebula said...

cmorange2, email me when that winter issue is online and will make a post about it.