COVID-19 Response at WSHS

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State Historical Society has temporarily closed the State History Museum and the Research Center. The buildings will remain closed until further notice, as we continue to follow recommendations from healthcare authorities and the Office of the Governor. 
Staff are available by phone and email. (See contact information here.)
WSHS is actively supporting and digitally engaging with our communities through the following means:
  • Check out our History at Home page to find resources for students who are learning at home. 
  • Find additional curriculum here.
  • Explore the Historical Society's collections online. Type in a type of object (baskets, for example) or a subject (logging, for example) and see what comes up! 
  • Explore exhibitions at the History Museum using our new app, WA State History Museum. It's free to download from the app store for iPhones, and free to use the web app on Android smartphones or on computers. We will soon have downloadable Activity Sheets to complement the app, and History Lessons To Go loaded within the app itself for deeper learning.
  • Find amazing articles about the rich history of the Pacific Northwest in the archives of our award-winning popular history magazine, COLUMBIA. 
  • Listen to the Columbia Conversations podcast, hosted by Feliks Banel, and featuring interviews with historians from around Washington and the Old Oregon Territory, plus historic sound files. 
  • Contribute your COVID-19 story to our collections. Help WSHS document this extraordinary time by contributing related digital content, ephemera or objects. Click here for more information about how to do that, and thank you!
  • If you're a museum or cultural organization looking for resources, click here.
  • Are you a museum or cultural organization with a stock of personal protective equipment? Join the #museumsgivePPE drive and donate yours! Find out how here-scroll down to the PPE graphic.

WSHS Closure, Program Cancelations and Schedule: Based on current guidelines and our commitment to the community, WSHS is implementing the following plan:
  • The State History Museum is closed for the time being. Our museum is a place of experiential learning, full of interactive exhibits and touchable objects. We would not serve our visitors with a "please don't touch" approach. Our goal is to bring visitors together for meaningful conversation, not remind them to stay six feet apart.
  • The State Research Center is also closed to the public for the time being.
  • In-person public programs are canceled or postponed through the end of May, 2020, however check our Events and Programs page for upcoming digital events.
  • School field trips have been canceled through the end of the school year (through June, 2020).
  • Facility rentals for private events have been paused until further notice.
Our Thanks: We are grateful to our program partners, teachers and constituents and we look forward to continuing to engage our communities once we've safely moved past the coronavirus outbreak.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of the healthcare professionals and essential services workers in Washington and beyond who are aiding the ill, working toward containment, and continuing to provide necessary services and resources. Our thoughts and caring extend to those who are suffering as a result of this outbreak.
What You Can Do: We can all help by following the CDC's steps to prevent illness.

We'll continue to monitor the latest developments and recommendations. Please check our website for updates related to WSHS operations.
With you, we look toward a time when the coronavirus event will be history.

For more information about containment practices and updates, please see:
Washington State Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department