By the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Twenty-two years of Walla Walla Statesman newspapers are among historic newspapers recently digitized by the Washington State Library.
More than 80,000 pages of historic newspapers have been digitized on the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America website. All of the content is public domain, accessible at no charge.
A grant advisory committee chose Walla Walla’s The Washington Statesman, 1861-1864, and Walla Walla Statesman, 1864-1884, noted to be the first newspapers in Eastern Washington and serving nearly 200 subscribers.
With Walla Walla’s proximity to the Oro Fino Mine in Idaho, part of Washington Territory at the time, local residents were known to pay for their subscriptions in gold dust, said Office of the Secretary of State Communications Director Kylee Zabel in a release.
Some 400,000 pages of historic Washington papers from 1852-1963 have been contributed by the Washington State Library, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
“Historians, genealogists, students and anyone who wants to learn more about local perspectives on world events now have greater access to their area’s rich history,” said Shawn Schollmeyer, Washington Digital Newspapers coordinator, Washington State Library.
“We are grateful for our many partnerships with museums, libraries, archives and publishers statewide that share our commitment to preserving our communities’ cultural heritage.”
NEH awarded a $324,000 grant in 2018 to the Washington State Library to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program. It digitized 100,000 more pages for Chronicling America, a national newspaper site with more than 15 million keyword-searchable pages.
New titles available include the Spokane Falls Review, Filipino Forum, Scandinavian American, Coulee City Dispatch, Spokane Woman, Kennewick Courier-Reporter and White Bluffs Spokesman. Each title includes a brief history of the publication and available date ranges.
Washington State Library’s extensive physical newspaper collection in Olympia includes over 6,500 newspaper titles with more than 50,000 reels of microfilm. The state’s online collection contains over 450,000 pages freely available to the public. For more information about the Washington Digital Newspapers program and Washington State Library, visit washingtondigitalnewspapers.org and sos.wa.gov/library, or ask a librarian about inter-library loans or visitation appointments.