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General County History and Government

King County renaming:

Other local history resources

The King County Archives is a repository of County government records. The below repositories also provide access to historical documents and photographs from the region:

Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle (external link)

Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library (external link)

King County Snapshots (external link)

Seattle Municipal Archives (external link)

Museum of History and Industry, Seattle (external link)

Online regional history sites

A great resource covering a wide range of King County history topics is HistoryLink (external link), a non-profit community history Web site featuring essays and other independent research relating to Seattle, King County, and Washington State. HistoryLink is not part of King County government nor of the King County Archives, which make no endorsement as to the accuracy of the material presented.)

A history of Washington State during the Great Depression (external link) is hosted by the University of Washington.

Beyond the Archives: Historical King County records at other agencies

Not all of King County's historical records are held centrally at the Archives. Here are other places where you can find county records:

  • King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER), Snoqualmie

  • The Department, or DPER, is the principal source of building and land use permitting documents and maps for unincorporated King County. It was previously known as the Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) and Building and Land Development (BALD) Division.

  • King County Division of Road Services, Map and Record Center, Seattle

  • The Map and Record Center holds documents, maps and drawings related to current and historical road and street construction, inspection and maintenance in unincorporated King County.

  • Puget Sound Regional Archives, Bellevue

  • This repository is part of the Washington State Archives' regional branch system for preserving local government records. It predates the establishment of the King County Archives in 1989 and was the first designated archival repository for county records. Some records are still retained there, notably older tax assessment records, court case files, and some records of the King County Commissioners (1853-1969).

1215 E Fir Street, Seattle, Washington 98122 | Hours: 9am-4pm M-F | Phone: (206) 263-2480 | Email: