News and announcements pertaining to the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections and the Digital Initiatives Program.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

G. William Skinner Map Collection

Dr. Skinner was a leading proponent of the spatial approach to Chinese history and the use of maps as a key class of data in ethnography. This collection of over 600 maps comes from his personal collection and covers a variety of demographic and economic themes applied to the study of agrarian societies in China, Japan, and France.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Ballot for the Ladies: Washington Women get the Vote

The exhibit, a Ballot for the Ladies, was created by ISchool graduate Kylie Fullmer and displayed in the lobby outside Special Collections. It lives on in virtual form. The exhibit traces the fight for suffrage from the first attempts to final victory, and includes photos and artifacts from the time.

Washington was the fifth state in the nation to grant voting rights to women, preceded by Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. Women in those states and the other, mostly western, states that followed played a prominent role in the fight for national suffrage.

View the exhibit on the Libraries Digital Collection site:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drexel Freshmen Get Help From 'Personal Librarians'

With students spending more research time in front of the screen and less in the stacks, librarians at Drexel University are trying a fresh approach to helping new freshmen navigate their resources: "personal librarians."

The Personal Librarian Program assigns each of the university's 2,750 entering freshmen to a librarian.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Latest UW Flickr Collection: HATS

Bonnets, headdresses, crowns, veils- they're all featured in this collection of people in hats or hat-like items from around the world.

Fun Stuff!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Collecting Online Music Project

The University of Washington Libraries has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities start-up grant of $18,881 to support a planning meeting to discuss issues and possible solutions pertaining to the curation and preservation of born-digital music. The Project Director will be Ann Lally (Digital Initiatives).

For further information visit the NEH site:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Western Washington Landmarks

Dams, bridges, other architectural achievements - view some of Western Washington's greatest man-made structures in this collection of historical images.

North Head Lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment at the mouth of Columbia River, Washington

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bathing Beauties

Our latest collection of Flickr images is up just in time for the warmer weather here in Seattle. Visit

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gas Food Lodging

Can you imagine dragging a typewriter onto an airplane instead of your laptop or eReader? Take a look at travel and tourism in the past with photographs from our latest set of Flickr images.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

South Asian Oral History Project interviews now part of a long term exhibit at Ellis Island

The University of Washington Libraries' South Asian Oral History Project interviews accessible from are now being used for a long term exhibit at Ellis Island.

The History Channel is producing an audio installation for a long-term exhibit at Ellis Island National Immigration History Museum. The audio installation will play short, spoken comments from migrants about their journeys to America including the stories of South Asian Immigrants. The excerpts will be read by a voice over actor, in both the native language and in English. This audio will stream continuously out of speakers embedded in the wall.

The exhibit is scheduled to open in 2011.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The rates for student housing and expenses at the UW were once $2.75 per week for young men and $4.50 per week for young ladies.

Fact. Those were the charges, in 1889. See the actual advertisement in
the UW Libraries Digital Collections.

Why did ladies have to pay more?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crooked by Mountain Weather

We've added our monthly Flickr image set = Fantastic Nature.

Striking imagery of natural scenes in Washington State. What is unique about these photographs is that they were all taken in the first half of the 20th century (or earlier)!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wooden bathing suits, bacon wrapped feet, rabbit fur baths

What?! We're not sure about what is going on in some of these photographs. All we know is they look like people are having fun and being entertained. This latest batch of images was added to our Flickr Commons Pool last week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Flickr Widget

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at

Alaska Theatre of Sensations

Welcome to the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition!

Washington's first World's Fair was held on the campus of the University of Washington more than a century ago putting Seattle on the map as a gateway to the Pacific Rim. Nearly 4 million people attended.

You can go back in time to stroll down the Pay Streak, hop on a carnival ride, purchase a souvenir or refreshment, or take in an "educational" exhibit like the Igorrote village or the baby incubator.

View the collection in the Flickr Commons!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little girls shooting rifles

What do little girls with guns, pet chickens and calvary tents have in common? They are all photographs from H. Ambrose Kiehl's family collection taken at the turn of the century. Check out the newest digital collection at

Monday, March 1, 2010

Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

Volume 16 of the Internet Scout Report features our own Looking Glass for the Mind Exhibit. Here is what they said:

The University of Washington Digital Collection of children's books starts off with a wonderful piece that touches on the beloved memories children's books bring back for so many, but also on the reasons why a university library would collect children's books. Several of the reasons given regard what children's books can teach us: printing and book illustration history, the "study of the gradual changes in familiar tales to reflect changes in societal acceptance and sensibilities," social and ethnic history, the historical role of women, and shifting views on education.

After the homepage is the index to the exhibit with an introduction, a brief history of the first children's book publishers. To the left is the "Index" of topics that the books cover. Visitors will find a multitude, including "Fables", "Grammar, Spelling, Elocution & Rhetoric", "Math & Money", "Activity Books", and "Prejudice & Bigotry". Under the topic "Fables", visitors should check out The Baby's Own Aesop, illustrated by Walter Crane, who began an illustrating apprenticeship at the age of fourteen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

UW Libraries participates in Flickr Commons theme of inaugural collection: “Winter Sports”

University Libraries Special Collections and Digital Initiatives announce the launch of a partnership with Flickr online photosharing service with a collection from the Libraries on the theme of “Winter Sports," to celebrate the Winter Olympics. To view the collection, see

Additions from the Libraries collections to the Flickr commons pool are planned for the second Wednesday of each month.

The UW Libraries is only the second university library to contribute images -- the first one was Oregon State. Participating institutions include New York Public Library, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. National Archives, Swedish National Heritage Board, Bibliothèque de Toulouse. See other participating institutions.

Flickr Commons has two main objectives, to increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and to provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge

Under "The Commons," cultural institutions that have reasonably concluded that a photograph is free of copyright restrictions are invited to share such photograph under their new usage guideline called "no known copyright restrictions."

Flickr Commons was launched on January 16 2008, when Flickr released their pilot project in partnership with The Library of Congress.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Popular Library Exhibit is back ... as an online version

From June 2009 through October 2009, the UW Libraries featured a centennial exhibit for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition of 1909. More than 3 million people from countries across the world attended the 1909 expo which lasted for four months and left an indelible mark on the City of Seattle.

The centennial exhibit has been modified into a permanent online format located at

Thursday, January 28, 2010

King County Collects goes live

King County Collects presents a selection of the best-of-the-best from the shared collection held by 61 historical societies, libraries and museums, all members of the Association of King County Historical Organizations. This project, hosted by the University of Washington Libraries, encourages visitors to search a topic across all these collections, which richly document Seattle and King County history.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

UW Digital Collection Site Improvements

We have made a few improvements to the UW Digital Collections website to make it easier to use.
  1. You can now search within a collection from the results page. When you are searching for items in a specific collection you can append your search criteria right from the results instead of having to return to the collection.
  2. You can see what collection an item belongs to. Now you can find out what collection an item you are viewing belongs to without having to read through the metadata. The repository collection identification is at the top of each item page.
  3. You can return directly to the collection from the search page. That collection ID at the top of the item view page is also a link that will take you directly to the collection information page. No more having to use the back button to find it again.
  4. You can now browse through all the collections from a list. Go to to browse through all the items on the Digtial Collection site. Select the collections from the dropdown list.
We hope these site enhancements will make your visit easier. Let us know what you think by commenting below.