Washington State Archives, Digital Archives

Opening in 2004, the Washington State Archives Building was created to house both the Eastern Washington Regional Archives and both state and local government Digital Archives. It was the first archives building to be built from the ground up that would be able to house the new technology needed to take on such a large project.


The Secretary of State of Washington desired an archives center to preserve documents that have either legal, fiscal or historical value. GlassHouse Technologies, Inc. was hired to help create the digital software needed to test the new system and find anything wrong with it during the initial stages of development. The creators also wanted this system to be easily accessible and allow its users to find what they needed quickly and efficiently. The new system kept in line with all the legal requirements for "e-records" and can access the records when needed for a wide variety of agencies.


The archives building was planned in 2000 and was approved for the 2001-2003 Capital Budget which gave the Secretary of State the power to fund such an expensive project. There were some alternate locations discussed during the initial surveying but according to the Washington State Digital Archives Feasibility Study printed in 2004, the other alternatives did not meet the legal requirements, could not ensure against loss of electrical archiving records due to natural disasters and other catastrophic events, as well as keep the project cost effective. When the building was finally completed in 2004, the first records to be housed at the Archives building were marriage records from Snohomish, Chelan, and Spokane counties as well as Historic Census and Naturalization records from the State Archives and State Library.


The Eastern Washington Regional Archives, which houses hundreds of thousands of paper records, is on the first floor and the Digital Archives is housed on the second. The building boasts a research room with computer work stations, a classroom fully equipped with the latest technology as well as a state-of-the-art data center. Currently, the archives building houses state and local government documents and is starting to help other states develop their own systems of digital archiving.


In October 2009, a plaque was installed commemorating the 5-year anniversary of the dedication of the building. The State Archives Building was dedicated and named after Secretary of State Belle Reeves. Reeves was appointed to be the interim Secretary of State after the current title holder Dr. E.N. Hutchinson died in 1940. She was the first female appointed to such a high political station in Washington State and was elected to the same position in 1944.

Images

Concept Painting

Concept Painting

Courtesy of the Washington State Archives View File Details Page

Mrs. Belle Reeves is in Line for Governor.

Mrs. Belle Reeves is in Line for Governor.

This is a newspaper article printed on February 17, 1938. Photo courtesy of The Entiat Times. View File Details Page

Belle Reeves

Belle Reeves

Glass portrait of Belle Reeves that hangs in the Washington State Archive Building. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Archives. View File Details Page

Washington State Archives Building

Washington State Archives Building

The Seal of the State of Washington is laid in the floor on the first floor. Photo courtesy of the private collection of Laura Glasgow. View File Details Page

Washington State Archives Building

Washington State Archives Building

Letting that hangs on the stairs between the 1st and 2nd floor. Photo courtesy of the private collection of Laura Glasgow. View File Details Page

Washington State Archives Building

Washington State Archives Building

Panoramic view of the front of the building. Photo courtesy of the private collection of Laura Glasgow. View File Details Page

Former State Archivist Jerry Handfield

Former State Archivist Jerry Handfield

Former State Archivist Jerry Handfield at the Digital Archives Groundbreaking ceremony Courtesy of the Washington State Archives View File Details Page

Digital Archives Groundbreaking Ceremony

Digital Archives Groundbreaking Ceremony

Courtesy of the Washington State Archives View File Details Page

Under Construction August 2003

Under Construction August 2003

Courtesy of the Washington State Archives View File Details Page

Under Construction Summer 2003

Under Construction Summer 2003

Courtesy of the Washington State Archives View File Details Page

Video

Washington State Archives Building

Interview provided by Larry Cebula. Interview of Jerry Handfield, State Archivist. Audio narration provided by Laura Glasgow.

Pictures provided from the private collection of Laura Glasgow.

"Mrs. Belle Reeves is in Line for Governor," The Entiat Times, 17 Feb. 1938. Available [Online]. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Laura Glasgow , “Washington State Archives, Digital Archives,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 28, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/156.
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