The Granite Falls Historical Museum is one of two museums in Washington receiving the "Award of Merit" from AASLH (the other museum is the well-known MOHAI in Seattle).
The multi-year "technology journey" undertaken by Granite Falls Historical Society (GFHS) was recognized for its innovation in preserving and making available historical material throughout Snohomish County.
The "technology journey" was made possible in part by grants from the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission and the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, along with countless hours of skilled labor from dedicated students of Granite Falls High School.
In addition to the conventional digitization and cataloging of its collection of pictures and documents, GFHS made innovative use of commercial mapping tools to overlay maps from 100+ years, allowing easy comparison of original homestead lines, vintage maps from 1890s through 1970s, original railroad maps, old and new aerial photographs, and modern property lines.
Then local newspapers were scanned and software was licensed to perform optical character recognition on the scans, enabling museum patrons to automatically search the news back to 1922 for specific names or keywords.
Finally, pictures/maps/facts were combined to create "cybertours" for mobile devices.
The results were shared with museums and genealogical societies throughout the County, enabling other groups to use the tools and follow the same steps.
In forwarding the award announcement to GFHS, the AASLH Regional ((ID, AK, OR, WA) Director, Shelby Day, sent the following news: "I have some great news to share! The committee was so impressed with your nomination and project that they have asked me to write an article for History News to be featured at the time of the award banquet/Annual Meeting."
You can visit AASLH at www.aaslh.org and the GFHS at www.gfhistory.org.