Love Tacoma History? Grab One of These Library Cards Before They’re Gone

Photos by Sierra Hartman

We’re big fans of the Tacoma Public Library. Some of our favorite historic images and little history bits have come from their archives. So, when they asked us to help promote their limited-edition historic cards, it was easy to say yes.

Check out the new arrivals, designed by Faith Stevens, that celebrate Never Never Land, Bob’s Java Jive, and the You’ll Like Tacoma sign!

If you trade in your old library card for one of these new ones, you’ll pay a $1 fee and get a new serial number. (Be aware that this will affect your OverDrive account.)

If you don’t have a library card yet, now is the perfect time to get one. To do so, bring in a piece of photo ID with your current Tacoma address on it. If your current address doesn’t match your ID, bring a piece of mail addressed to your current abode.

The new cards are available at all TPL locations. Check out branch hours here. Should you decide to get your card at the Main Branch (1102 Tacoma Ave S), try popping into the Northwest Room. Pull open a drawer or two (yes, really, it’s ok!) and see what you find.

Some of my favorite areas to look in are tourism (old brochures advertising Tacoma), restaurants (including menus and grand opening fliers), and visitors (which has clippings about everyone from political figures to Mark Twain stopping by our city).

The staff there are also an incredible resource if there’s some specific bit of information you’re interested in.

You can also give this link a click to jump to the digital archives. It never hurts to try putting your home’s address in to see if anything turns up.

If you’re still not sure what kind of gems you can find, check out a few of our favorite Instagram posts that include info from both the digital archive and the Northwest Room:

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LIKES TO RIDE STREET CARS the headline of an 1894 article in the Tacoma Daily Ledger reads. It continues: A North End Bull Dog Develops a Peculiar Tendency. . “Bob” is an intelligent white and yellow bull dog puppy and he has a mania for riding in street cars. He will ride for hours at a time. He belongs to the family of George R. Osgood. Every day “Bob” goes to the corner of Tacoma Avenue and North Fourth street and waits for Conductor Purdy’s car on the Old Tacoma line. . When the car comes along, “Bob” jumps aboard. If it is a closed car he gets on the seat, puts his paws and head out of the window next to the rear door and looks out. If it is an open car, he rides on the rear seat. The dog is attracting a good deal of attention from regular passengers and he will ride for an hour at a time. When Conductor Purdy puts him off at Fourth street he goes straight home. Yesterday was the ninth day “Bob” has ridden in succession. Sometimes he rides twice, in the morning and again in the afternoon. . We couldn’t turn up a photo of Bob himself, but here’s an 1893 photo of a Tacoma streetcar that ran close to the Osgood’s home. Car number 27 was part of the 6th Ave streetcar line. . Thanks to the Tacoma Public Library @tacomalibrary for preserving all kinds of fun history bits in their Northwest Room. . . . #tacomawa #tacomahistory #piercecounty #dogtales #tacomawashington #cityofdestiny #cityoftacoma #tactown #washingtonstate #gritcity #253

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