Research Center

As of 5:00 PM March 12, 2020, Washington State History Museum and Research Center are temporarily closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 virus. Staff are available and you may reach out via email or phone. We look forward to engaging with our communities again soon. Please check back for updates. 

The Washington State History Research Center provides public access to historical archives, special collections, digital collections and research library, while also serving as the principal repository for the Society's artifact collections, special collections, and digital collections.

The special collection includes the following types of resources, relating to Washington state and regional history: photographs, archives and manuscripts, posters, maps, printed ephemera, books, and finding aids. The museum collection of artifacts presently numbers over 90,000 items, including artworks, clothing, archaeological artifacts, ethnographic materials, tools, equipment, and furniture. The digital collection includes electronic records, documents, digital audio and video files, and digital photography and images.

Search the Collection

Research Request

Collections Donation

Become a member



  • Open to the public, by appointment only.
  • Wednesday - Thursday, 1 - 4pm
  • Additional opportunities for visitor research of Society's Collections are available via our Collections Highlights.



To book an appointment at the Research Center, call 253-798-5916 or use the Research Request Form.

Ed Nolan, Head of Special Collections, special collection donations or research: 253-798-5917 or 

Nancy Jackson, Collections Manager, museum artifact research: 253-798-5912 or

Eileen Price, Reference Archivist, research questions and image orders: 253-798-5916 or


 RC Architectural Drawing

History of the Research Center Facility Building