Historical Collection: the Institutional Archives of WWU

Historical Collection: the Institutional Archives of WWU

How to access:  


Nearly all University Archives material is available for in-person access, although in rare cases access restrictions are required by law. Researchers must schedule an appointment to ensure access due to limited staff availability.  Please contact university.archives@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3124 with inquiries.


We are in the process of developing more online access to collections. View the current list of online University Archives collections


Western Washington University Archives is the official repository for the institutional archives of WWU.  Records in the Archives provide historical documentation of the activities, people, programs, and places involved in the pursuit1904 Bellingham State Normal School Football Team of Western's mission.  The records in the Archives comprise over 3000 linear feet and span the entire history of the institution, beginning with the first Board of Trustees meeting at R. C. Higginson's store in New Whatcom in July of 1895. The records come in many formats (paper, digital, audiovisual, photographic, engineering, etc.) and originate in all parts of the university.

The University Archives collection is particularly strong in the following areas:

  • Administration - including records of the Board of Trustees, President and Vice Presidents, and Faculty Senate.  These records cover an extremely broad range of subjects relating to Western's history, in addition to providing evidence of strategic planning and formal decision-making.
  • Physical and built environment - including records relating to construction of buildings, property acquisition, and maintenance of Western's infrastructure
  • Scholarly communication - including records relating to grant-funded activities, conferences, symposia, programs, centers, and institutes.
  • Academic programs and curriculum - including course catalogs, master class schedules, curriculum development and approval, academic college and departmental administration, and the records of the Faculty Senate and its predecessors
  • Western's external relationships - including Public Information Office/University Communications records, President and Vice President records relating to external relationships with the community, other institutions, and the government
  • People - including records relating to students, faculty, and staff of Western, and their activities at Western.

Please contact university.archives@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3124 with inquiries about access or about transferring records to the Archives.


Selected online collections of University Archives: