Arthur C. Pillsbury Photograph Collection

Interested in seeing panoramic photos of Seattle and Alaska at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush? We recently digitized 197 photographs taken by Arthur C. Pillsbury between approximately 1896 and 1900, documenting the Gold Rush and scenes from California, Oregon and Washington. The collection includes a mixture of photograph sizes, many of them panoramic images that measure nearly three feet in length.

Pioneer Square, Seattle, 1899

The majority of the photographs in the collection show scenes from the Klondike Gold Rush. Pillsbury first traveled to Alaska in 1898, shortly after his graduation from Stanford University. (By this time, his interest in photography was already well established. To help fund his education at Stanford he operated a combination bicycle and photography shop and for his senior project at the University, he invented the first circuit panorama camera.) His father accompanied him on his travels and the two men experienced a fair share of adventure on their journey.

After setting out from Seattle and traveling hundreds of miles up the coast, they wrecked their small boat in a storm near Cape Fox, Alaska. Miraculously, neither Pillsbury’s camera nor his camera supplies (which were in airtight metal canisters) were damaged in the wreck but they did lose their maps and navigation charts. Once ashore, Pillsbury and his father created a temporary shelter from the boat’s wreckage and Pillsbury walked ten miles to a Tlingit village (which he remembered being marked on the now lost maps) for help. Continue reading “Arthur C. Pillsbury Photograph Collection”

Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run

Graphic novels are doing particularly well in the Pacific Northwest, with Short Run Comix & Arts Festival coming up I like to prepare for the small press and independent level of creators by focusing on local creators. From mainstream on down to independent, Seattle has every genre being created right here. Here are a few favorites!

Ms. Marvel

G. Willow Wilson is a local creator, known for her writing in the novel The Bird King and Alif the Unseen, she also helped marvel comics welcome the first Muslim superhero in their history – Ms. Marvel! Kamila Kanh suddenly gets super powers and now is trying to juggle being a superhero with normal teenage concerns like school and friendships. Hiding her identity and finding what kind of superhero she needs to be, Kamila’s story is an excellent refresh of the classic superhero narrative.

Going to another well known title, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a local creator who captivates readers of all ages with this fantastical tale of siblings who find a portal to another world in their basement. Dealing with loss and discovery the story doesn’t feel old with Kazu’s unique flair for writing and will leave you wanting the next book as soon as you finish the first. Continue reading “Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run”

The Space Needle: A 21st Century View

How many times have you gauged your location or some necessary distance by that 605 foot spinning top of a landmark? Long after March 1962, the centerpiece of Seattle Center has evolved just as the campus it towers over continues to morph and change with the ever-growing city surrounding it.

The future is here! Built in record time, the Space Needle went from being a doodle of an idea, on a napkin, to an iconic landmark. Once the largest structure west of the Mississippi, the Space Needle is now dwarfed by buildings that soar over the 605 foot tower. Continue reading “The Space Needle: A 21st Century View”

A Region of Makers

We are a region of makers, artists, renegades, foodies, and punks. When you throw all that together we have some of the best markets to explore all that can be imagined! From the bigger markets like Renegade Craft, Urban Craft Uprising, and The Great Junk Hunt to more localized markets like Georgetown Night Market, Chinatown ID Night Market, and Black Arts Love.

Tacoma Night Market at Alma Mater

Some of my favorite markets have been the night markets in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Summer is also the best time to check out artisans at the summer festivals like Magnolia Summerfest and Lake City Summer Festival. Feeling really adventurous head down (or up) to Portland Night Market in Portland, Oregon or Richmond Night Market in Richmond, BC! Continue reading “A Region of Makers”

The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections

Central Library Zine Collection

A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated and remixed materials, including photographs, drawings, poetry, and prose. Typically limited in print number, zines are most often stapled-together paper reproduced on a photocopier, and distributed locally.

While zines are closely associated with music scenes such as punk or riot grrrl, they have existed in their modern form as a part of a variety of artistic movements since the early 20th century, including Dadaist leaflets and early science fiction fan magazines (aka fanzines aka zines).

The Central Library’s Teen Center zine collection, launched with the goal of promoting the voices and creative expression of teens and young adults, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, includes over a hundred zines and mini-comics, with topics ranging from self-perception to parrotfish to paper airplanes. All zines in this collection are uncatalogued, but may be borrowed and returned to the library when finished. Continue reading “The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections”