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Treasures of the Archives: Spokane County Records Survey

Photographic Print of the Spokane County Courthouse where many of the records listed in the Spokane County Records Survey were held.

Spokane County Courthouse, 1895-1905, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

The Great Depressions eliminated jobs across the country in every field from coal mining to journalism, leaving a quarter of the workforce unemployed. In an effort to rebuild the economy, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration, a part of the New Deal, to put folks back to work. One WPA initiative was the Federal Writers Project, which employed researchers and writers to collect oral histories, write travel guides, and inventory archival repositories.

Treasures of the Archives: Murder in the Archives: The Case of Marie Jeanette DePape

Marie Jeanette DePape’s cause of death is listed as “wounds (by murder).” Her death set off a scandal that rocked Spokane in 1898. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Marie Jeanette DePape’s cause of death is listed as “wounds (by murder).” Her death set off a scandal that rocked Spokane in 1898. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, Spokane County Auditor, Death Returns, 1888-1907, Marie - Depape - J.

In 2015, Archivist Allie Honican received what seemed an ordinary reference request. A researcher in France wanted more information about his great-great aunt. All the man knew was that the woman had died in Spokane in 1898, could Honican tell him anything more?

Treasures of the Archives: Women in the Washington State Legislature

Senator Barbara Granlund, photographed here in 1979, is one of the interviewees in this collection. Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Legislature.

Senator Barbara Granlund, photographed here in 1979, is one of the interviewees in this collection. Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Legislature.

Women in the Washington State Legislature, Oral History Project, 1980-1983 is one of the valuable oral history collections here at the Digital Archives. Between 1980 and 1983, oral historian Kathryn Hinsch conducted 38 interviews with female members of the state legislature.

Treasures of the Archives: Edith Boyd Recalls the Indians of Early Spokane

Caption: Spokane pioneer and educator Edith Boyd, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Spokane pioneer and educator Edith Boyd, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Edith Boyd (1874-1972) came to Spokane in 1894. In this 1970 interview (completed when Boyd was 96 years old), she recalls many colorful stories about the presence of Native Americans on the streets of Spokane in the 1890s and 1900s, when “blanket-draped figures walked the town streets”. Her memories are evocative and very specific, including the location of Indian camps, and the work Indians performed in town. Have a listen.