Doing Research in and around Seattle
Lorraine McConaghy, November 2004
Western Washington abounds with research opportunities for historians. Take advantage of discounted travel and accommodation rates (available from three days before the annual meeting and for three days after) to plan visits to a local library or archive before or after (or even during) the meeting! Visit the web sites to preview collections online and to get other information.
Ferguson Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. Library open Monday–Wednesday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday 1–5 p.m.; Ferguson Seattle Room open Monday–Friday 1–5 p.m. To schedule a visit, contact Jodee Fenton at 206-386-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holdings: Seattle history in books, maps, atlases, oral histories, photographs, ephemera, and vertical files. The Northwest Index includes subject indexing and biographical citations from local newspapers.
Seattle Municipal Archives, 600 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA 98124. Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m. To schedule a visit, contact Anne Frantilla at 206-233-7807 or anne.frantilla@ seattle.gov.
Holdings: more than 7,000 cubic feet of textual records; 3,000 maps and drawings; 3,000 audiotapes; 1,000 videotapes and reels of motion picture film; and over one-and-a-half million photographic images documenting the history, development, and activities of the agencies and elected officials of the City of Seattle.
National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Alaska Region, 6125 Sand Point Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115. Monday–Friday, 7:45 a.m.–4:15 p.m.; until 8:00 p.m. on the first and second Tuesday.
To schedule a visit, call 206-336-5115 or e-mail email@example.com.
Holdings: more than 34,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1850s through the-1990s—photographs, maps, and architectural drawings, created or received by nearly 100 federal agencies including federal courts located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries, Allen Library, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–7:45 p.m. To schedule a visit, contact Dawn Haggerty at 206-543-1929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holdings: rare and archival materials covering a broad range of topics, formats, and periods; strengths in Special Collections include Pacific Northwest history and culture, Seattle architecture, book arts and fine printing, 19th-century American literature, regional photography, travel and exploration literature, and historical children’s literature.
Sophie Frye Bass Library, Museum of History & Industry, 2700 24th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112. Monday–Thursday, 1–5 p.m. . To schedule a visit, contact Carolyn Marr at 206-324-1126 or email@example.com.
Holdings: more than 1 million images from the greater Seattle area; 10,000 volumes of regional history publications; manuscripts, maps, motion pictures, and ephemera; strengths include maritime, architectural, transportation, and cultural subjects, the PEMCO Webster & Stevens and Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographs.
Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue Community College, Bellevue, WA 98007. Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. To schedule a visit, call 425-564-3940 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holdings: more than 20,000 cubic feet of historically valuable records from local government agencies in King, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties.
Washington State Historical Society, Special Collections, 315 North Stadium Way, Tacoma, WA 98403. Tuesday–Thursday, 12:30–4:30 p.m. To schedule a visit, contact Ed Nolan at 253-798-5914.
Holdings: Washington state historical materials: pioneer, ethnic, women, labor, GLBT, environment, lumber/timber. 500,000 photographs, 50,000 ephemera; historical maps.
The Everett Public Library Northwest Room, 2702 Hoyt, Everett, WA 98201. Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday, 1–6 p.m. To schedule a visit, call 425-257-8005.
Holdings: photos, manuscripts, oral history, film/video of Everett and Snohomish County; strengths include Everett from 1890s to present; frontier industry; lumbering/logging; labor history and the 1916 Everett Massacre; women’s history; biography; and portraits.
Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State, 6880 Capitol Blvd S., Tumwater, WA 98501. Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. To schedule a visit, call 360-704-5221.
Holdings: Washington State newspapers on microfilm, Washington State document depository, federal regional depository, Northwest Collection, territorial library.
Washington State Archives, Olympia, 1129 Washington Street SE, Olympia, WA 98504. (Please call for directions.) Monday–Friday, 8:30–4:30 p.m. To schedule a visit, contact David Hastings at 360-753-1801 or email@example.com.
Holdings: State government archives collections and the Southwest Regional Branch Archives; historical records of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of state government, including records of the government of Washington Territory, the State Constitution, governors’ papers, legislative records, Supreme Court case files, and much else; and the historical records of local governments in southwest Washington.
—Lorraine McConaghy is a historian with Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, and is a member of the LAC.