Luckily for the family history researcher many of the treasures held by individual state archives are going online to be shared around the world. The State of Washington has quite a varied collection of items open to all to view. On the site a listing titled “Digital Collections” with a description can be read as you scroll down with about 140 different collections. They range from information of Tacoma, WA Then and Now, Transportation Photos, Rainier National Park photos, World War I & II posters, Portraits Database, Northwest Pacific Historical Documents, Jewish Archives Collection, Vintage Videos, Industries and Occupations Photos, Civil War Letters, 19th Century Actors and Theatre Portraits, Alaska and Western Canada Collection plus so many more photographic and document collections from the Washington and far northwest region. This online archive is very extensive and should be reviewed by anyone with family from the northwest and Alaskan areas.
A couple of the more interesting collections include the ‘Grand Army of the Republic Portraits‘. These are former American Civil War soldiers with a portrait done years later, some 106 images available. Clicking on one provided an enlarged view, then scroll down for any information that is known on the veteran. Most give the full name, birth date, service record, and branch of the military during the Civil War. Keep in mind, the person didn’t have to be originally from Washington, but was living there years later and belong to the GAR.
Another interest collection is titled ‘Early Advertising of the West‘ with some 451 images. These ads go from the late 1800s into the 1910s. With Washington being the last stop before Alaska, much of the advertising was geared for the Territory of Alaska.
Several other collections by individuals can be scenes across the northwest from homes, buildings, waterways, hotels, schools to scenic wonders. The Barnes photos number 302 and include the 1902 basketball champions of Tacoma.
For anyone with an ancestral tied-in to the May 1, 1916 the Everett Shingle Weavers Union strike and the resulting massacre will want to view the scanned documents, some 110 articles and related material.
The varied collections can keep you reviewing this information and photos for a long time, but well worth it. Use the search box on the main for any specific names or locations in any of the collections.
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Photo: Loggers at the White Star Lumber Company near the Chehalis River Valley on Wildcat Creek during the 1910s.