Visit the Digital Archives

Resident of Equality Colony (Skagit County), Washington, 1900 – 1914. Photographer unknown. State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, Accessed 12 June 2017.

Are you looking for a record related to an ancestor who lived in Washington State or Territory? Minutes of a local government meeting? An historic photo for your family history, newsletter, flyer or presentation (or any other use under the sun!)?

The Washington State Digital Archives, a division of the Secretary of State, is a treasure trove of digitized records, photographs and publications, including birth, marriage, death, census, cemetery and naturalization records. It currently has more than 195 million records preserved, almost 66 million of them are searchable.

One of the photo collections, the “State Library Photograph Collection, 1851 – 1990) consists of 5,274 images of various subjects related to Washington’s history, people, geography, and economic development, from 1851-1990. Subjects include agriculture, Boeing, bridges, canals, Capitol Campus buildings, cities, civilian conservation corps, counties, dams, expositions, fairs, ferries, fishing, forts, ghost towns, historic buildings and houses, historical markers, Indians, lakes, libraries, lighthouses, logging, mountains, parks, portraits, railroads, rivers, schools, Statehood, steamboats, totem poles, trees, universities and colleges, waterfalls, and other subjects.

All of the photos used on our WSGS home page come from the Digital Archives — all are free to use with the appropriate citation (which is even composed for each photo!).

We are so lucky to have such a rich online resource right here in Washington State!