This week, staff writer Lisa Waananen writes about genealogy, the study of tracing family history. Public information is one of the keys to finding ancestors.
Eastern Washington's paper records, some from over 100 years ago, sit on shelves at the Eastern Regional Branch, on the first floor the Washington State Archives building in Cheney. These records are accessible in person, by appointment.
But, upstairs, the same information plus new records are stored in the nations first-ever state and local digital archives. Public records from all over Washington can be viewed with a click of the mouse.
Read more about this and genealogy in general, in this week's Inlander. The photos below, by Young Kwak, are a some of the different areas of the state archive building.
The exterior of the Washington State Archives building in Cheney.
Assistant Archivist Lee Pierce stands in an aisle containing Spokane County records at the Eastern Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.
Spokane County marriage index books are stack on shelves in the climate-controlled area.
Hand-written Spokane County marriage certificates.
Spokane County marriage records books.
Pierce holds a Stevens County marriage statistics book from 1891-1911.
A Spokane County birth return.
A City of Spokane City Council meeting notes book from 1895-1896.
Pierce looks through City of Spokane prison records book from 1900-1901.
Name of women fined for prostitution are recorded in the City of Spokane prison records book from 1900-1901.
Volunteer December Nestoss scans Spokane County Assessor records at the Eastern Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.
The Digital Archives server room on the second floor of the building.
The Digital Archives server room.
Network Specialist Justin Bouseal checks on a warning at a data array.
The Digital Archives has an extensive power backup system.
The computer museum at the Digital Archives is a display area for computers and other hardware that can read older files.
Network Specialist Justin Bouseal opens the fireproof vault holding backup tapes at the Digital Archives.
Tapes containing public records data are stored in the vault as backups.