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Most historical photographs of county roads held by the King County Archives are held in one records series. This series contains visual materials created or collected by the Road Services Division and its predecessor agencies, the Department of Public Works and the County Engineer, between approximately 1900 and 2002. Robert Brittain, staff photographer (later head of photographic services) for the Department of Public Works was primarily responsible for the present form of the collection. For questions, or to access these records, please contact the Archives.

King County Department of Transportation photograph and moving image files, 1900-2002.

Photographs relating to road construction and improvements are present in this series. The photographs can usually be searched by road name, road number, or nearest street-avenue intersection. This series consists of three components:

(1) Photographic material removed from engineering project files (c.1900-1960) and maintained as a photographic reference collection. This material includes black-and-white prints, negatives, and glass slides. Some glass slides have been hand-colored. Topics include road, bridge, and wharf construction and maintenance. Representative examples of images can be found on our Photograph Collections page.

(2) Master file of project photographs maintained by the County Engineer's office (1958-1969), the Department of Public Works (1970-1996), and the Department of Transportation (1996-2002). Ground and aerial photographs document all aspects of county public works during this time period including road, street, and bridge construction and maintenance. Material types include prints, negatives, and contact sheets, arranged in an ascending agency number sequence (1-6000) which approximates chronological order.

(3) Additional photographic and moving image materials maintained by the King County Department of Transportation and its predecessors, 1960-2002. Principally divided by format and arranged by subject, this material consists of photographic prints, negatives, 35mm slides, and contact sheets; videotapes (Beta, U-Matic and VHS formats); and motion pictures. Additional 35mm slides are arranged by individual item numbers supplied by Archives staff. A small number of audiotape narrations for slide shows are also present.

Photographs from this collection can also be seen in the Road Services Division's online presentation, Historic and Scenic Corridors Project.

TTY Relay 711

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9 am-4 pm

Please note the Archives is closed Wednesdays.