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Multi-State Partnership Gives Old Documents New Audiences

Northwest Digital Heritage/Yakima Valley Libraries
U.S. Public Domain

A new online platform offers users free access to 80,000 historical and cultural records from 60 institutions in Oregon and Washington. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on Northwest Digital Heritage.

The Oregon Heritage Commission, the State Library of Oregon, and Washington State Library teamed up on the project. It allows libraries, museums, and cultural heritage groups to digitize and share their collections for a wider audience than they’d receive individually.

“So it’s very easy and accessible by the everyday public or researcher or historian, that wants to look for information," explained Katie Henry is coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. "Being a service hub for the Digital Public Libraries of America, it’s a national platform.

"So Oregon’s great history can be accessed by people across the entire nation.” 

Credit Northwest Digital Heritage/Northwest Room. Spokane Public Library

Northwest Digital Heritage launched May 25th.  Henry expected the online offerings to expand as they continue work with regional museums, historical groups, and libraries.

“Small, often rural organizations that have limited people and capacity and money to preserve their heritage collections," said Henry. "And digitization often comes up as a way to preserve archives and collections in general.

"We just want to make sure there’s a pathway for those organizations to get their collections digitized in way that actually preserves them, which is more complex than just scanning a photo.”

Participants include: 

Asotin County Library

Asotin County Museum

Asotin County Public Utility District

Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Battle Days Museum

Blue Sky Gallery

Canyon Birders

City of Clarkston, Washington

City of Colfax, Washington

City of Ellensburg, Washington

City of Portland Archives

City of Sumas, Washington

Colfax Fire Department

Colfax High School

Denny Ashby Library


Eastern California Museum

Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum

Elijah Hasan

Ellensburg Public Library

Friends of Minidoka

Garfield County Museum

Guy Albion Historical Society & Museum

Holy Family Parish (Clarkston, Washington)

Hooper Store, The McGregor Company

Hoover Institution

Inyo County Free Library

Japanese American National Museum

Kaiser Permanente, Heritage Resources

Library of Congress

Manzanar National Historic Site

McCoy Valley Museum, Oakesdale Historical Society

Multnomah County Archives

Multnomah County Library

Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

National Archives and Records Administration

Nooksack Valley Nostalgia

Oregon Heritage Commission

Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Oregon State University, Oregon Multicultural Archives

Palouse Empire Fair

Pend Oreille County Library District

Pine City Historical Society

Portland State University

Rosalia Visitors Resource and Interpretive Center

Roy Chatters Newspaper and Printing Museum

Seattle Buddhist Temple Archives

Seattle Japanese Language School

Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee

Seattle Public Library

Spokane Public Library

Staley Museum

State Library of Oregon

Sumas Historical Society Museum

Sumas Senior Center, Sumas, Washington

Sumas, Washington City Hall

Tekoa Museum

Town of Farmington

United States. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Washington

UW Nikkei Alumni Association (UWNAA)

Vineland Cemetery (Clarkston, Washington)

Washington State Library

Whatcom County Library System

Whitman County Library

Whitman Hospital and Medical Center

Wing Luke Asian Museum

Yakima Valley Libraries

Yakima Valley Museum

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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