Saturday, July 25, 2009

Volunteer Recognition Luncheon

Friday morning started early, as I was heading for Yakima Washington to the Secretary of State Sam Reed's Volunteer Recognition Luncheon for the Historical Records Project and the Legacy Project at the Yakima Valley Museum. Jeannie Coe and her husband asked me if I wanted to car pool with them and I said yes. The museum is in a park with a swimming pool, so it was good we got there before the pool opened, the parking lot was full before we finished as was the pool. We all got a tour of the museum and I got a great picture of an apple box advertisement that says Ralph's Apples. My uncle Ralph raised apples in Cashmere Washington and I never knew he had his own brand of apples. After the tour we went to the ball room for the Welcome by John Hughes, the Chief Historian of the Legacy Project. John was a newspaperman and so his job of interviewing people that are important to Washington is a natural for him. They were supposed to interview elected officials but have expanded to other people important to history like the first woman in space Bonnie Dunbar who grew up on a farm in Eastern Washington and still a resident of Washington. (Bonnie's interview will be there soon they said.) Next Sam Reed started presenting the Certificate of Appreciation to the volunteers, both Jeannie Coe and I got one (I have five or six of these already), and we accepted the one for Eastern Washington Genealogical Society also. At the end they had two special awards, one for exceptional service at the State Library, but I did not copy down that gentleman's name. The second one was to Margaret Rail or Maggie as she is know to a lot of people from Spokane. She is an editor on and also has personally read about 400 cemeteries in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and even a few in Western Montana. She had some health problems last year and is giving all her Washington files to the Digital Archives. Then we had a good free lunch topped off by strawberry shortcake (great fresh strawberries). After lunch they demonstrated the new Digital Archives Web Indexing Tool it brings up an image of the item to be indexed (they demonstrated a King County Marriage Certificate) and right next to it the template listing the fields to be filled in. The software allows you to zoom in to any part of the image so you can see the writing better, when done save it and go on to the next image. Presently we receive a spreadsheet in the mail index it and send the file back, so this will be a lot quicker and many people can be working on the same project at the same time. They are NOT going to stop the spreadsheet program, but just add the new program to hopefully get new volunteers. Sam then made a talk about the progress of the new state library and due to the downturn of the economy it has been delayed for about a year. He also announced he was at a national conference of Secretaries of State and 15 states have signed on to make the Digital Archives at Cheney Washington their digital archives also. (Maggie may get a place for her Idaho cemetery records.) The end was the door prizes, they had brought about a dozen pictures from the Legacy Project and the Washington State Fruit Commission donated about 25 big fruit baskets, so nearly every one there got a door prize. I got a picture of a steam tug on Puget Sound, but was hoping for a fruit basket. Jeannie and her husband missed one by one number.

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