<< Back to News

Moments in Washington history delivered to desktops around the world

CHENEY.. History buffs can experience a taste of Washington's past from their desktops around the world. The Digital Archives, developed under Secretary of State Sam Reed, partnered with Microsoft to create a new screen saver program designed to deliver historic events automatically to users. Viewers can visually experience Washington's story through the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the building of the Legislative Dome, and a ship that ran aground at Cape Disappointment in the 1910s.

Comprised of rotating historical photographs and pictures of the new Digital Archives facility, the new screen saver contains regularly updated information on the Digital Archives and its website.

Utilizing Real Subscription Service (RSS), the screen saver downloads new content and new pictures each time it starts up.  Top news articles from the Digital Archives appear in conjunction with random pictures highlight collections from the State and Regional Archives.

"This new screensaver provides viewers with an interesting and interactive way to learn about the newest innovations of our Digital Archives," said Secretary of State Sam Reed. "Individuals from around the world will now be able to track the progress of this trailblazing project, and gain insights as to how they might be able to apply our technology to their own archival systems."

Designed to be usable by other states, the new Digital Archives technology can be utilized to digitally preserve historical records nationwide.

Now holding over 4.9 million online records, Washington State's Digital Archives is steadily increasing the number of digital records available to the public.  More than 1000 searches are conducted on the Digital Archives website daily, and the numbers continue to climb.

The Digital Archives hold a wide range of material from birth, marriage, death, census, military and naturalization records, as well as historical records such as the State Constitution and the first election results in Washington Territory.

The new screen saver can be accessed at the Digital Archives website at