Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rural Eastern Washington Life in the Early 20th Century

We are quite fond of The Scout Report, a weekly list of interesting websites produced by the University of Wisconsin. The list recently included a link to the Frank A. Matsura Image Collection at the Washington State University Digital Collections. It's well worth a look, and it's always affirming to see more digital resources available.

The Scout Report's summary review says: After coming to the United States from Japan in 1905, Frank S. Matsura stopped in Seattle and then moved across the Cascades to the city of Okanogan, WA. As a photographer, he was involved in his own practice and in documenting the changes in the environment as the city expanded and the Conconully Dam was built nearby. Matsura was a very active member of the community, and he created a playground for local children and he was fond of dressing up in strange hats and costumes. This delightful digital archive of his work was created by the Washington State University Libraries Digital Collections, and it contains almost 1600 of his photographs. Users can look through the "Predefined Searches" section for a few highlights organized into areas like "automobiles", "children", and "Native Americans". Overall, the site offers a rather unique glimpse into early 20th century life in rural eastern Washington.

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