Island News and Features

Rural Heritage Digitization Project

Rural Heritage Digitization Project

Unidentified Children in the Strickland Barnyard, circa 1926.  Photo Credit: Buchholz collection

 

The Guemes Island Historical Society (GIHS) and the Guemes Island Library (GIL) are collaborating on an exciting new project. GIL president, Morna McEachern, applied for and received a grant from the Washington State Library's (WSL) Rural Digitization Project. The grant funds the purchase of a designated computer, a sophisticated scanner, and associated support for digitization of the GIHS photos and documents in our files. These items will be uploaded to the Washington State Library's Rural Digitization Project. They will be accessible to all interested parties through the Washington Rural Heritage site.

 

The grant has two goals: first to digitize a minimum of 100 items—from the GIHS collection and second to share the process with our community. We originally planned to have three community meetings to share the process and a final slide show. The pandemic has interrupted the second goal—so this article will be a substitute for the first meeting.

 

At present there are four individuals working on the project: Morna McEachern, GIL's new president and catalyst for the project, is responsible for the project's administration, reporting and technical aspects. Klaudia Englund, who has invaluable experience as a professional library archivist, helps organize collections, saves them in archival quality materials, and selects items for scanning. Sue O'Donnell, GIHS secretary, is a third-generation islander who shares her knowledge and family photo collection while keeping a record of our progress. Tom Deach, president of the GIHS, fills out the roster and supports the project—he helped with the grant proposal, has created a workspace for the project, and has contacted, borrowed, and is collecting the required data for each item from several island families’ historical collections.

Eventually, protocol for the digitization will be in place to accept and train more volunteers for this project, but with limited space available, the COVID19 protocols demand that we keep our staff to a minimum at present.

 

If you have photos or documents you would like to have included in the digitization project or would like to volunteer to help, please feel free to contact us. We can be reached by email: guemeshistory@gmail.com or call Tom Deach 360-708-2582.