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Preserving Okanogan County’s Heritage

January 3, 2024

For several years, volunteers at Okanogan County Historical Society have been preserving our paper records in digital format.  This is a large on-going project and consists of many steps. Information was converted from an old database to Past Perfect. Also, a volunteer has been going through file cabinets, etc. and digitizing those documents. Another volunteer is organizing our library and entering information in the database. Other people are editing data in Past Perfect to correct errors and add people names, classifications, subjects, and search terms. Their editing efforts will enable the records to be searched by various means. Our researcher assists by answering multiple questions generated by the editing process. Images are added to the Past Perfect records after a volunteer scans the photos and/or negatives.

Our records are divided into three areas: Photos, Archives, and Library.

All photos in our collections are in the process of being scanned and stored in a computer file.  Each image will eventually be in Past Perfect as a separate record and will contain any known data regarding the image. Information in each record can contain dates, a description of the image, the photographer, place, classification, subjects, search terms, and related photographs or documents. We currently have over 200,000 photo records in Past Perfect. We have many photographers represented such as Matsura, Ladd, Gavin, Rosenoff, Gregg, Curtis, Swain, Widel in our collection.

Archives include family histories, biographies, land documents, maps, stories, and events. There are currently over 10,000 documents in Past Perfect. A volunteer has been going through all the archives and linking them to the people biographies.

The Library includes magazines, Okanogan County Heritage publications, articles, and books.  Over 2,000 records are currently in Past Perfect.

Progress has been made but there is still a lot to do. If anyone has an interest in history and time to volunteer, we have a variety of projects for multiple skill levels and interests.