In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State Historical Society closed the History Museum and Research Center in mid-March 2020. With permission from the Office of the Governor, museums were allowed to re-open with limitations and under specific guidelines during phase 2, and Washington State History Museum will re-open on September 29, 2020. Subsequently infection rates began to rise again and have sustained a level of increase that has led the Governor’s Office to close museums again as of November 17, 2020.
The History Museum is closed through December 14, 2020. When we reopen, we will do so following guidelines as laid out by the Office of the Governor.
The Research Center will remain temporarily closed and facility rentals at the museum will remain paused through the end of 2020.
Staff are available by phone and email (please see our contact list).
You can also stay connected with virtual programs, downloadable curriculum, and more.
- Download resources for preschool and K-12 students who are learning at home on our History at Home page, and find additional curriculum here.
- Explore artifacts, exhibits and learning activities through the WA State History Museum’s free app.
- Look through the Historical Society’s collections in an online database: In the search field, type in your object or subject of interest (baskets or logging, for example) and see what comes up!
- Join in our live virtual Washington Stay Home Society programs! They’re free and our speakers often include a follow-along make-at-home project.
- Dive into a digital library of articles about the rich history of the Pacific Northwest in the archives of our award-winning popular history magazine, COLUMBIA.
- Tune into Columbia Conversations to hear interviews with historians from around Washington and the Old Oregon Territory.
- Contribute your COVID-19 story to our collections. Help document this historic event with digital images, ephemera or objects. Click here for more information, and thank you!
- Heritage and cultural organizations: We have a list of resources for you, and join us for Common Concerns live online conversations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the Common Concerns email list.
We are grateful to our program partners, teachers and constituents and we look forward to continuing to engage our communities both online and in the museum.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of the healthcare professionals and essential services workers in Washington and beyond who are working toward containment and continuing to provide necessary services and resources. Our thoughts and caring extend to all 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. For more information about containment practices and updates, please see: