Northwest Regional Branch

The Northwest Regional Branch provides archival and records management services to local government agencies throughout Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. 


The Collections at the Northwest Region

Local government records include those from county offices such as the Auditor, the Clerk, the Treasurer, the Board of Commissioners, and from municipalities, school districts, and other service districts. Only a small percentage of the records created by these offices are transferred to the State Archives as archival records. They are selected as archival for their value as legal and historical evidence of policy development, implementation, and effect. The transfer of records to the State Archives is an ongoing process. Some historical records remain with their originating office pending future transfer to the Archives. 

Although the Archives does not hold all the records for the entire span of Washington's history from the various county and city offices in the region, it does hold extensive series of some records from all seven counties. These series include:

  • Birth and death records from January, 1891 to July, 1907
  • Marriage records
  • Court records including naturalization records, court dockets, and civil, criminal, and probate case files
  • Land records including general indices to recordings, deeds, and patents
  • County commissioner's proceedings, ordinances, and resolutions
  • Real and personal property tax records
  • School district and Educational Service District records including school censuses.


Records Management Services

The Northwest Regional Branch also acts as a regional resource to local governments in the area of public records and information management. These services include consultation, workshops, and the coordination of additional services.

Consultation Branch staff can provide consultation on a variety of records and information management topics, including the implementation of authorized records retention schedules, establishing a records management program, records destruction, files management, essential records protection, and disaster preparedness.Consultation occurs both by telephone and by scheduled on-site visits.

Workshops - Branch staff also participate in workshops concentrating on various records management topics.  Workshops typically are designed for specific client groups with similar records management concerns, and are intended to provide attendees with the basic tools for managing public records according to approved retention schedules.  Workshops are offered both to statewide organizations and to individual local groups.

Coordination of additional services - Branch staff can also assist local agencies in coordinating services not provided by the Regional Branch.  This includes consultation in the areas of document imaging, conversion of CD-ROM to microfilm, document destruction, and off-site records storage. 

Contact the Northwest Regional Branch


8:30am to 4:30pm
Closed 12 to 1pm
Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays)

The Northwest Regional Branch is closed for in-person research Mondays and Tuesdays, although we welcome phone and email requests those days.

The branch is open for in-person research Wednesdays through Fridays by appointment only. Please contact the branch to schedule a research appointment.


808 25th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

See below for directions and parking information.

Mailing Address Washington State Archives
Northwest Regional Branch
Western Washington University, MS-9123
Bellingham, WA 98225-9123
E-mail [email protected]
Telephone (360) 650-3125

Traveling to the Northwest Regional Branch:

The Northwest Regional Branch is located on the southern edge of the Western Washington University campus at the corner of 25th Street and Bill McDonald Parkway.

  • From I-5 southbound, take exit 252 (Samish Way), turn right at the stoplight, then left (almost immediately) at the next stoplight (this is an intersection with a Wendy's and a Shell Station on the corners) onto Bill McDonald Parkway.
  • From I-5 northbound, take exit 252 (Samish Way), turn left at the stop sign, turn left at the next light, cross over the freeway, turn left at the second light (this is an intersection with a Wendy’s and a Shell Station on the corners) onto Bill McDonald Parkway.
  • Follow Bill McDonald Parkway up the hill and past the high school (on your left), turn left on first street past the school (25th Street), then immediately turn left into Lot 33G to park.  The Archives is across the street from the parking lot, located on the corner of 25th and Bill McDonald Parkway.

Free parking is provided in the first nine spaces on the left side of University Lot 33G on 25th Street across the street from the entrance to the Archives. Handicap parking is available at the curb in front of the building.


Research & Copy Fee Schedule:

There is no charge to request and to view these public archival documents; however, certain fees do exist for document copies, photographic reproductions, and for special research services by Archives staff.

Research Policy & Fee Schedule