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Priest Lake history on-line

February 27, 2013
The University of Idaho Library’s Digital Initiatives department announces the online release of the Priest Lake Museum Association Collection, a digital collection of historical photographs of Priest Lake, Idaho, and the surrounding area. The 380 images span the years 1880 to 1950, documenting the area’s waters, boats, buildings, landscape and people.

“This is a great piece of history that we can offer to the public,” said Devin Becker, digital initiatives librarian. “By digitizing these images and offering them online, we can preserve the story they tell.”

The Priest Lake Museum Association built the collection in the early 1980s after putting out a call for historical photographs of their region. The photographs were eventually hand-delivered to the University of Idaho Library's Special Collections & Archives Department, where they were photographed, reprinted, and then returned to the Museum Association for delivery to their original owners. The entire Priest Lake Museum Association Collection is now accessible to the general public at

“It’s important for the library to work with local historical societies and associations such as the Priest Lake Museum Association. These groups have valuable historical material and the library has the ability to give it broader recognition,” said Becker.

In addition to striking photographs of Priest Lake and Priest River, the collection features early Idaho images of stagecoaches, timber transport, and homesteading, as well as photographs of silent film star Nell Shipmen’s zoo, moonshine production, and both German and Italian WWII internees.

The University of Idaho Library’s Digital Initiatives department works to preserve, create and make accessible collections from the library, the University of Idaho and the state of Idaho via its digitization database and digital archiving services. For more information, contact Devin Becker at
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