Where to Start

As of Monday, July 20, 2020, the Washington State Archives branches in Olympia and Ellensburg are open to researchers by appointment only. For more information, please visit our page regarding the closure

Picture of a puzzle The easiest way to start looking for information in the Digital Archives is to use the surname search on the home page. Simply enter in the name you are looking for, the records series (or type of record) that you want to search on. Simple Name searches will look through the metadata (the data about the data) captured with each record.

If you are conducting a more focused search, you can use the detailed search. This will allow you to perform a more specific search based on the records series that you select. For example, if you select a detailed marriage records search, you will be able to enter in the name of the bride and/or groom, along with county they were married in and the date married. As more collections are brought into the Digital Archives, the number of detailed searches will grow and the more complex searches you will be able to perform.