Central Regional Branch

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The Central Regional Branch provides archival and records management services to local government agencies throughout Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima counties.

Central Region Collections Overview

Local government records include those from county offices such as the Auditor, the Clerk, the Treasurer, the Board of Commissioners, and from municipalities, school districts, and other service districts. Only a small percentage of the records created by these offices are transferred to the State Archives. They are selected for their value as legal and historical evidence of policy development, implementation, and effect. The transfer of records to the State Archives is an ongoing process. Some historical records remain with their originating office pending future transfer to the Archives.

Major subject areas of the records in custody include:

  • Genealogy
  • Land use/property
  • Legal system
  • Education

Genealogy - Genealogical records include birth and death records from the turn of the nineteenth century, marriage records ca.1867-1997, naturalization records, probate records, and a host of additional records such as pre-statehood county censuses, and schoolchildren censuses ca.1890-ca.1932. Completeness of these records in the Archives' holdings varies from county to county, but the Archives staff can assist researchers in determining the appropriate location of the information, if it exists. Contact the Central Regional Branch.

Land Use/Property - Land use and property records include patents, deeds, mortgages, tax assessments and rolls for both real and personal property, timber cruise ledgers, mining claim records, plat books, and water rights records. For information on real and personal property ownership in Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley at the turn of the twentieth century, a useful online resource is our Guide to the Gerrit d'Ablaing Insurance Books (1897-1907). This guide includes both name and location indexes, as well as transcriptions of all of the books' entries. Contact the Central Regional Branch.

Legal system - Documentation aiding legal research includes original Civil, Criminal, and Probate case files from Superior Courts, ca.1889-ca.1980; miscellaneous District Court records; and select County Sheriffs' records. Contact the Central Regional Branch.

Education - Educational records come from a variety of sources, from one-room schoolhouses to a modern university. Records gathered from the region's school districts include district formation and boundary change records, records of school district officers, teacher contracts, eighth grade examination records, school registers, school children censuses, superintendent records, school board minutes, levy and election records, and budget records. The archives also houses extensive records from Yakima Valley Community College that document a host of subjects, from student activities to official administrative actions. Contact the Central Regional Branch.

Records Management Services

The Central Regional Branch also acts as a regional resource to local governments in the area of public records and information management. These services include consultation, workshops, and the coordination of additional services.

Consultation - Branch staff can provide consultation on a variety of records and information management topics, including the implementation of authorized records retention schedules, establishing a records management program, records destruction, files management, essential records protection, and disaster preparedness. Consultation occurs both by telephone and by scheduled on-site visits.

Workshops - Branch staff also participate in workshops concentrating on various records management topics. Workshops typically are designed for specific client groups with similar records management concerns, and are intended to provide attendees with the basic tools for managing public records according to approved retention schedules. Workshops are offered both to statewide organizations and to individual local groups.

Coordination of additional services - Branch staff can also assist local agencies in coordinating services not provided by the Regional Branch. This includes consultation in the areas of document imaging, conversion of CD-ROM to microfilm, document destruction, and off-site records storage.

Contact the Central Regional Branch

Hours:

8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m., Closed 12 to 1pm, Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays)

The Central Regional Branch is closed for in-person research Mondays and Tuesdays, although we welcome phone and email requests those days. 
The branch is open for in-person research Wednesdays through Fridays by appointment only. Please contact the branch to schedule a research appointment.
The Central Regional Branch is closed for in-person research Mondays and Tuesdays, although we welcome phone and email requests those days. The branch is open for in-person research Wednesdays through Fridays by appointment only. Please contact the branch to schedule a research appointment.

Researchers traveling to the Archives from outside of Ellensburg are strongly encouraged to make advance arrangements with the Archives in order to 1) ensure prompt access to the Archives upon arrival, and 2) confirm the availability and/or existence of desired records.

Location: The Washington State Archives’ Central Region Branch is located on the campus of Central Washington University, at the northwest corner of 14th and D Streets in Ellensburg. See below for directions and parking information.
Mailing Address: State Archives Central Branch
Bledsoe & Washington Archives Building
400 E. University Way
Mail Stop 7547
Ellensburg, Washington 98926-7547
Telephone: (509) 963-2136
Research e-mail: CEBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov
Records Management
e-mail:
recordsmanagement@sos.wa.gov
FAX: (509) 963-1753

Directions and Parking

Directions to the Archives from West of Ellensburg (I-90): Take the first Ellensburg exit (#106), stay on the exit road, and follow it into town. At the second stoplight (Main Street, take a left and head north. Follow the street about 6 blocks until it ends at a "T" intersection at 14th Street. Take a right onto 14th. The Archives is at the next four-way intersection (14th & D), on the northwest (near left) corner.

Directions to the Archives from East (I-90) and South (I-90 from I-82):  Take the Canyon Road exit, turn right onto Canyon Road, and follow it into town. Stay on the same road all the way through town (it becomes Main Street). Eventually the road ends at a "T" intersection at 14th Street. Take a right onto 14th. The Archives is at the next four-way intersection (14th & "D"), on the northwest (near left) corner.

Directions to the Archives from North of Ellensburg (Highway 97—Highway 10): Turn left onto University Way, which takes you into Ellensburg. At the second stoplight, take a left onto “A” Street. Follow this about 6 blocks until it ends at a “T” intersection with 14th Street. Take a right. The Archives is at the next full intersection (14th and D), a brick building on the Northwest corner (the only building actually on the corner).

Parking:  Limited parking is available in the lot on the west side of the building.  Street parking is also available along D Street north of 14th, and in designated areas along 14th west of D Street.

Research & Copy Fee Schedule:

There is no charge to request and to view these public archival documents; however, certain fees do exist for document copies, photographic reproductions, and for special research services by Archives staff.

Research Policy & Fee Schedule