The Washington State Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)3 membership organization, open to any and all individuals, families, or firms. The Society is also recognized in statute (RCW 27.34) as a trustee agency of the state of Washington with enumerated powers.

The Washington State Historical Society is headquartered in Tacoma on the traditional lands of the Puyallup People who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We pay respect to their elders past and present.

Founded in 1891 and now into its second century of service, the Washington State Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and vividly presenting Washington’s rich and storied history. The Historical Society offers a variety of services to researchers, historians, scholars, and lifelong learners, as well as operating the State History Research Center and the Washington State History Museum.

The Historical Society is governed by a Board of Trustees, which includes seven public officials (the Governor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction and four State Legislators) who serve ex officio. Trustees (excepting statewide elected officials) are limited to three three-year terms; the officers (President, Vice Presidents for western and eastern Washington and the Treasurer) are limited to two three-year terms. The director is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the board and functions as the corporate secretary.


The Washington State Historical Society partners with our communities to explore how history connects us all.


Our vision is to be the recognized destination for Washington State history. We will achieve this by serving as our state’s primary history educator, making history relevant to our modern lives, and supporting civic dialogue where all are welcome.



  1. Create meaningful impact in every region of the state.
  2. Build new audiences and grow existing audiences, locally and statewide.
  3. Develop institutional assets to meet the evolving needs of our collection, visitors, and customers.
  4. Grow organizational resources to support our mission sustainably.
  5. Embrace inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in our operations, programs, and collections.


Click here for a chronological summary of the Historical Society.

Annual Report

Click here to see the FY18 Annual Report.

Strategic Plan

Click here for the Historical Society’s Strategic Plan.

Rule Making

The Society recently adopted rules regarding the acceptance of gifts, grants, conveyances, bequests and devices. These rules can be found here.

Questions about agency rule making can be directed to Jennifer Kilmer, Director at