Washington Archives, Societies & Publications

It is a good idea to familiarize personally with just about any repository in Washington that you simply might travel to by communicating with to the best suited archive or library in advance.

Most, if not all, Washington repositories have written and published content that present its collections as well as research policy.

Washington archives and historical organizations usually have On-line sites that provide equivalent details. Several also contain down loadable data for some or parts of their collections.

List of Washington Archives

  • Washington State Archives – Digital Archives
  • Washington State Archives, 520 Union Ave. SE, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220; The central repository receives and catalogs materials for the entire state, and publishes a number of guides to its various collections, the titles of which can be found on its website. Records of a local government nature are collected and preserved in the five regional branch archives, each serving several counties as follows:
    • Pacific Alaska Region – Seattle, The National Archives, 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-7999; Phone 206-336-5115
    • Eastern Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Eastern Washington University, 211 Tawanka, Cheney, WA 99004; Covers Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Oreille Pend, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman.
    • Central Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Central Washington University, MS-7547, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7547; Covers Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima.
    • Puget Sound Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Pritchard-Fleming Bldg., 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, MS-N100, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484; Covers King, Kitsap, and Pierce.
    • Northwest Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Western Washington University, MS-9123, Bellingham, WA 98225-9123; Covers Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom.
    • Southwest Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, 1129 Washington St. SE, P.O. Box 40238, Olympia, WA 98504-0238; Covers Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum.
  • Washington State DIGITAL ARCHIVES It has the following collections to search;
    • Agreements and Contracts
    • Audio Recordings
    • Birth Records
    • Cemetery Directories
    • Census Records
    • Court Cases
    • Corporations Records
    • Death Records
    • E-Publication Records
    • Frontier Justice
    • Indian Census Records
    • Institution Records
    • Land Records
    • Map Records
    • Marriage Records
    • Military Records
    • Minute Records
    • Misc Auditor Records
    • Misc Family History
    • Naturalization Records
    • Oaths of Office Records
    • Ordinance Records
    • Photographs
    • Plats and Surveys
    • Power of Attorney Records
    • Professional License Records
    • Real Property Record Cards
    • Resolution Records
    • Uniform Commercial Code Recordings
  • Washington State Library, Point Plaza East, 6880 Capitol Blvd., Tumwater, WA 98501; Mailing Address: P.O. Box 42460l, Olympia, WA 98504-2460
  • The National Archives – Pacific Alaska Region – 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98115-7999; (Archival Research Room, Microfilm Research Room, Records Center Research Room)
  • Clark County Archives – Record Division,1300 Franklin Street, Suite 650, Vancouver, WA 98660
  • King County Archives, 1215 E. Fir Street, Seattle, WA 98122
    Phone: 206-296-1538

List of Washington Libraries & Museums

List of Washington Historical & Genealogical Societies

For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state genealogical council, or both.

In addition to their own work, Washington groups many times help coordinate the efforts of local societies throughout the Washington.

Their unique publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those created through the area societies.

Regional and State Societies

County, Township and City Societies

Religious and Ethnic Societies

Washington Newspapers & Publications

Washington Genealogical publications (magazines, newsletters, periodicals, books, etc.) contain all types of invaluable information about specific ancestors, whole lineages and families, places in time, and about all sorts of genealogical records and repositories.


The Washington State Library, which is located in Olympia, has microfilmed copies of all extant newspapers for the state. The library has an interlibrary loan program, which makes those records more accessible for researchers. The website for the library lists indexes and links of holdings for selected older newspapers, as well as current newspapers.

Various newspaper clippings from 1900 to 1942 have been collected together in the “Pacific Northwest Clippings Collection” and published online by Washington State University. Around 10,000 pictures have also been placed on the website.


Genealogical journals provide you with plenty of sources of information and facts, they are generally overlooked by genealogy and family history researchers and genealogist in looking around for family history.

Many regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies produce periodicals which have records relating to the region or vicinity they operate.

Frequently these publications have articles involving records that are not obtainable somewhere else.

  • Columbia Magazine, which is published by the Washington State Historical Society, is full of historical articles. An index of all of the articles that have been published in Columbia Magazine is located at the Washington State Historical Society.