Frequently Asked Questions

All branches of the Washington State Archives are now open to researchers by appointment only. For more information, please visit our page regarding the closure

  • Category: Collections

    1. How do I report a transcription error in a record?

      Many of the legal and historical records on the Digital Archives website are made searchable by hundreds of volunteers who manually index these documents. The challenge of reading often illegible handwriting understandably results in transcription errors. Users can notify us of possible transcription errors by using the “Give us Feedback” link at the bottom of each record page and then selecting the button for “Errors.”

    2. What is the difference between a Record Series and a Collection?

      A records series is a group of similar records that are related as a result of being created, received, or used in the same activity. A record series is identified by a title. A collection is a group of records that have some unifying characteristic. For instance, from the Governor's Office we may get correspondence, press releases and executive orders - all of which are records series; together all of those series make the Governor's Administration Collection. The Digital Archives also creates online collections based on record types (Birth Records, Death Records, etc) for easier searchability.

    3. How can I obtain copies of records found on the Digital Archives' website?

      Many of the records displayed as images on the Digital Archives' website can be printed by the user for free. Certified copies of records from selected series may be ordered online for a fee using a credit card. To order records that are indexed but not displayed, please use the "Ask An Archivist" button on our Home page to request information regarding placing an order for copies.

    4. How can I order high quality printouts of maps and photos displayed on the Digital Archives' website?

      High quality prints of maps and photographs found on the Digital Archives' website are available for a fee. Please contact the branch identified in the Citation for each specific map or photograph. If you are interested in an image that you cannot find in the Digital Archives collection, contact the State Archives or your Regional Archivist for assistance.

  • Category: eRecords Management

    1. What is an eRecord?

      An electronic record is any record created that is only readable by a machine. Some common examples of electronic records are: word processing files, database files, email, scanned images and web pages.

  • Category: About Us

    1. Can I donate equipment to the Legacy Museum and Lab?

      Yes, the Digital Archives is very interested in your old computer hardware and software. If you have something that you would be interested in donating, please contact us!

    2. Do you rent out space at your facility for training and/or special events?

      Yes, the Digital Archives has two classrooms and a presentation classroom that are available for a reasonable fee. For more information, please contact us with the date, purpose of the event and expect number of attendees.