The Washington State Research Center remains temporarily closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 virus. Staff are available via email. We look forward to engaging with our communities again soon. Please check back for updates about reopening.

About the Research Center

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.

Read the history of the Research Center facility building here.


  • Open to the public, by appointment only
  • Wednesday and Thursday, 1:00-4:00 PM

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

Directions & Map

Washington State History Research Center
315 North Stadium Way
Tacoma, WA  98403

Get Directions

Access Into the Research Center:

  • Parking is available in a lot to the side of the building
  • From the parking lot, proceed up the steps (near the front of the building) to the main public entrance, which faces Stadium Way
  • Use the outside intercom telephone box (located just outside the front door) to notify the staff of your arrival
  • The outer doors are locked at all times for security purposes
  • Please notify staff in advance if you have special needs or access concerns
  • There are designated parking spaces in front of the Research Center for people with disabilities or using wheelchairs, with access to a wheelchair ramp to the front entrance
  • Researchers are required to provide a photo ID at the time of their appointment, and agree to allow a copy to be made as part of the Society’s security policy for the collections