The Washington State Library is marking its 160th anniversary since serving as a book lender as far back as state territorial days. An open house is planned this afternoon from 2 to 4 at the library’s current location at 6880 Capitol Blvd. in Tumwater.
As Brian Zylstra of the Office of the Secretary of State posted today on the agency’s blog, the library dates to a shipment of 2,000 books arriving on the Olympia waterfront on Oct. 23, 1853.
The texts had been transported from New York via ship on a trip around the tip South America, and, as Zylstra writes:
The arrival of those books, maps, globes and other items led to the birth of Washington’s oldest cultural institution — the Washington Territorial Library, now known as the Washington State Library.A lot has happened since those days and the library is has been located in Tumwater since 2002 when it was moved off the Capitol Campus in Olympia to accommodate the massive Legislative Building renovation. The library also was merged into the Office of the Secretary of State during budget cuts of that period.