Walla Walla Council scalp dance

The scalp dance performed in this photograph was held at the conclusion of the Walla Walla Council in 1855. First governor of Washington Territory, Isaac Stevens, called the famous council and gathering. The dance was held as a victory ceremony. The woman chosen to enter the ring displaying the foe’s scalp is one who has lost a family member in battle.

A new partnership in Oregon and Washington is helping local cultural institutions make their digital archives more visible and accessible nationwide.

Northwest Digital Heritage, a Washington State Library, State Library of Oregon and Oregon Heritage Commission collaboration, is now a Digital Public Library of America service hub.

“Cultural heritage organizations have been digitizing archival and special collections for more than two decades, but many of these collections are dispersed across the internet in multiple locations,” said Washington State Librarian Sara Jones.

“The Northwest Digital Heritage initiative combines state and local resources to give historians, researchers, teachers, journalists, and the general public across the country easier and more convenient access to our historical treasures.”

Northwest Digital Heritage’s inaugural dataset includes archives from over 70 contributing institutions, with more expected to join later this year and in 2022.

Many of these materials were digitized through Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program, washingtonruralheritage.org, a community digitization model that will be expanded to Oregon through this partnership.

This gives local galleries, libraries, museums, research institutions, historical societies and others in both states the opportunity to upload their digitized collections onto DPLA’s extensive library of online archives.

DPLA is a large-scale public digital library of copyrighted, public-domain and openly licensed digital content featuring cultural heritage items from around the United States. Visitors can search and browse among millions of items at dp.la/browse-by-partner.

Oregon and Washington content can be viewed at ubne.ws/digitallibrary.

Primary Source Sets, dp.la/primary-source-sets, which include lesson plans created by educators for educators, are also available.

As a DPLA “service hub,” NWDH provides cultural institutions the following services:

  • Metadata “Harvesting.” Records are copied from their home systems, standardized and then transferred to DPLA.
  • Digital Collection Hosting offers smaller institutions an online platform to host their digitized items including historical documents, photographs, oral-history recordings and more.
  • Training and Support. Service hub staff, composed of teams at both state libraries and the Oregon Heritage Commission, train cultural heritage organizations to digitize collections, edit and preserve digital files, and catalog material to archival standards.


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,