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King County Archives

King County Archives

The County Archives preserves and provides access to government records of enduring historical value.

Grey boxes lining a large bookshelf  

Photo Credit: Matthew S. Browning, Photographer and King County Records Center Technician


About King County Archives

 

Government records are essential for increasing government transparency and protecting the rights of citizens. King County Archives holds historically relevant records created by King County government employees, offices, and agencies. Records range from County Council meeting minutes, County Executive orders, photographs, reports, maps, and project files.

Records at Other Agencies

King County Archives holds many county records, but not all of them. We don't hold name change records, divorce decrees, birth and death certificates, and court case files. Visit the Records at Other Agencies page for more information about documents held by other offices and how to access them.

 

Discover King County History

 

Research Guides

King County Archives created research guides that recommend archival records, additional resources, and search strategies to help you locate information on a specific topic. The Seattle / King County Building History guide was produced by Seattle Public Library in collaboration with the Archives.

Contact the Archives

 

Featured Collections

 
Front view of King County Courthouse building
Smiling girl holding black kitten
Group of people gathered around a logo of Martin Luther King
King County roads and homes from an aerial perspective
Black car parked next to a sign for Vashon Ferry
Rainbow pride flag against skyline

News and Events

 
White clamshell surrounded by sand and seaweed
Stack of records boxes on a pallet
Black writing on white background with image of Innis Arden sign
 

For more news, visit our About Us page.



2023: New Year, New Look

 

Row of chairs in front of a row of computers

Image of King County Archives renovated research lobby. Photo Credit: Matthew S. Browning.

2022 was a year full of change and transformation for King County Archives. We moved back into our renovated building, moved 8,000 boxes of records back on-site, opened to the public for limited in-person research, welcomed two new Assistant Archivists, and increased access to the recorded documents collection for the Racial Restrictive Covenants Project researchers.

This year, to match our renovated building, we've renovated our website with more information about the records in our holdings and beautiful images of our collections. These images are courtesy of Records Center Technician Matthew S. Browning. In addition to working for King County, Matt is a professional photographer with more than 15 years of experience. He specializes in event, portraiture, and editorial photography, and since 2014, he is a frequent contributing photographer for Real Change Newspaper.

We are thrilled to feature Matt's photos of our historical records and newly renovated space, and we appreciate the teamwork and support of the entire King County Records Center team: Matt, Coley, Patrick, and Scott.

Headshot of man with glasses and short brown hair

Photographer Matthew S. Browning

Cart of boxes sitting in between grey metal shelves holding more boxes

Image of King County Archives renovated closed stacks. Photo Credit: Matthew S. Browning.


Online Exhibits

 
Aerial view of sloped pit and farmland
Two boys sitting on the edge of a concrete bridge
Group of smiling people marching in Gay Pride Parade
Aerial view of the Kingdome and downtown Seattle buildings
Three women standing together and reading from a paper
White-line drawing on blue paper of a mill wheel

WHAT OUR PATRONS SAY


"This is the second time I've accessed the Archives. Both times, [I've been] blown away at the level of service."

"Thank you, King County Archives, for your service to our community."

"Thanks for looking into my question and giving me a sense of what's in the Archives. These are exactly the materials I'm trying to track down."

"After visiting the Archives and doing my own research, I have a new appreciation for what archivists do."

"Thank you for responding to [my] request so promptly. I really appreciate the support the Archives provides."

TTY Relay 711

For information about our open business hours, please go to our Visit the Archives page.

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