New to our Digital Collections: Seattle Mail and Herald

Want to explore Seattle headlines from over 100 years ago? Take a look at our new Seattle Mail and Herald digital collection. The Mail and Herald was a weekly paper discussing the city’s news, politics, society events, entertainment and more. The paper included articles on topics such as Seattle’s regrades, the Alaskan Gold Rush, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and the proliferation of crime and vice under Seattle’s “Open Town” policy. Issues often include portraits of prominent Seattleites and visiting entertainers along with photographs of buildings and scenery in Seattle, Washington State and Alaska. Continue reading “New to our Digital Collections: Seattle Mail and Herald”

Finding Potter’s Field: Indigent Burial in the United States

A patron recently called the library to ask what happens when someone dies without means to pay for cremation or burial. In some cases, such a person might have no living relatives. In others, the identity of the deceased is simply unknown.

Here’s what we learned: Continue reading “Finding Potter’s Field: Indigent Burial in the United States”

For the Love of Data: An Open Data Release

lovedatascienceBack in the spring of 2012, Book 1 of the Fifty Shades trilogy did something for the first and last time at SPL—the physical copy circulated more copies than the e-book version.  Over the next three years, the e-book version had over 500 circs per quarter. Meanwhile, by early 2014, circulation of the physical book dropped to fewer than 100 per quarter. Continue reading “For the Love of Data: An Open Data Release”

hoopla for the holidays

The holidays are upon us, and for many of us that means non-stop activity with family and friends. If you need to take a break and carve out some time for yourself, grab your smartphone or laptop and go right to hoopla and stream a movie, anytime! Here are ten recent additions to consider.

Beetlejuice is Tim Burton’s beloved ’80s classic starring Michael Keaton as a ghost who tries to rid a new couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) out of his house. With Winona Ryder. Continue reading “hoopla for the holidays”

A Bit of Library Magic: Ancestry Library Edition

I believe in library magic. I’ve seen it many times in my sixteen years with the Seattle Public Library. Now some may wonder “What is library magic?” Well, its finding that newspaper article from 1937 that talked about your grandmother, discovering that movie you grew up watching over and over as a child and enjoying it now as an adult, chasing down the book your mom used to fall asleep reading and you would make sure to mark her page before turning off the light, and its tracking down a relative from searching family trees in Ancestry Library Edition.

My personal story with library magic was the latter. I had been playing with Ancestry off and on over the years, but it wasn’t until I started looking at the Ancestry Library Edition database we offered that I really got pulled in. I focused on my mother’s side because they kept the best records and slowly found our native home: Roscommon, Ireland. Continue reading “A Bit of Library Magic: Ancestry Library Edition”