Sno-Isle Libraries photo project puts region’s history online

Edmonds Ferry line,1927 (Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Historical Society)

Edmonds Ferry line,1927 (Photo courtesy of South Snohomish County Historical Society)

One photo at a time, Sno-Isle Libraries is putting the region’s history online with its Digitize Our Community History Project. With 530 images in its catalog and more added daily, the project is celebrating the end of its first year and inviting new partners.

The archive includes photos from the collections of the Snohomish, Edmonds, South Whidbey and Darrington historical societies, as well as the files of the Everett Herald. They can be found online at sno-isle.org/catalog/photos.

The captioned photos are linked to detailed information that will be valuable to researchers, said project leader Colleen Brazil of Sno-Isle Libraries.

“There’s even a feature that allows people to send the pictures as email postcards,” said Brazil, who oversees the Sno-Isle catalog.

Most of the organizations that began the project in 2013 are continuing their involvement this year.
“We’re accepting applications from other groups that want to participate, and hope to pick three or four of them soon,” Brazil said.

The project got off the ground thanks to two grants. The Washington State Library Rural Heritage Program provided $5,435 to begin a digitization project with the South Whidbey Historical Society and the Langley Library. That was spent on professional digitization of film, a temporary worker to scan and describe the images, and two hard drives.

A $20,000 Sno-Isle Libraries Strategic Initiatives Grant provided the hardware, software and computer servers needed to start an ongoing digital archive.

To build the archive, historical society volunteers scanned pictures from their archives. Von Flake, a student intern from the University of Washington’s iSchool, worked on the Everett Herald photos.

“If any group has interest in participating in the project, they should contact the manager of their local library who will coordinate with us for the application process,” said Brazil.

Potential applicants are invited to attend a celebration and information session at 1 p.m. April 18 at the Sno-Isle Service Center in Marysville. Brazil asked that they contact her in advance at cbrazil@sno-isle.org, phone 360-651-7046, before April 16.

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