Using Newspaper Microfilm Resources at Washington State Library

Washington State Library holds over 40,000 rolls of 35mm microfilm for Washington newspapers from the territorial period in the 1850s to the present.

This collection is available for in-library use Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Please note the State Library is closed all Washington State holidays.) View driving directions.

Microfilm reader/printers are available on site. Since we do loan microfilm, not every reel is available for in-library use every day. Please check our online catalog, or contact the Reference Desk for assistance at 360-704-5221.

Most newspaper microfilm is available for interlibrary loan. The State Library will loan any other library up to 10 reels of microfilm per request for a 4 week period (including mailing time) with no renewals. Please contact your local library to initiate your request.

Microfilm holdings are listed in the State Library online catalog.

Researchers can also search the catalog by city or county.

A printed union list to newspapers on microfilm is available in many Washington libraries. The title is Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm. Edited by Gayle L. Palmer. (Olympia: Washington State Library, 1991). This list provides information about Washington newspapers, gives dates of microfilm available, and lists Washington libraries that hold copies of the microfilm. In some cases the repository for the master negative of the microfilm copies is also listed.

Purchasing Washington State Newspapers on Microfilm

Listed below are several microfilm vendors from whom copies of Washington State newspapers on microfilm may be purchased.

Please note that there is no comprehensive list of master negatives currently available.

Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm. Edited by Gayle L. Palmer. (Olympia: Washington State Library, 1991) provides information on "master negative" holdings in the holdings statement using the symbol "fmm". When a profiled institution holds master negatives the holdings are indicated. Washington State Newspaper Project (WSNP) generated approximately 1, 500 master negatives. WSNP masters are held by the Washington State Archives whose location symbol is "OEO".

*Most title entries have no information for the master negative holdings because the holdings of commercial microfilm vendors such as University Microfilms, Inc. (UMI), now part of ProQuest, were not profiled in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) database.

Microfilm of Washington State newspapers has been produced by several different vendors. Each vendor has their own prices and turn-around time for providing duplicate rolls. Four major vendors are listed below.  Please note, prices listed below are approximate as of November 2012.

University of Washington Libraries
Microform and Newspaper Collections
Location symbol = WAUW "FMM"
Cost: Approx. $53.75/roll plus shipping


Washington State Library (filmed by Backstage Library Works)
Kathryn Devine
Cost for copies of existing microfilm: $58.75/roll, plus actual UPS shipping cost.


ProQuest (formerly Bell & Howell)
Eugene Bacungan 1-800-521-0600 ext. 4092
ProQuest Company
UMI Division
789 E. Eisenhower Parkway
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor MI 48106-1346
Cost: Please consult sales representative and online catalog.


Library of Congress
Duplication Services
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4570
Phone: (202) 707-5640
Fax: (202) 707-1771
Cost: $85 per reel for 35mm silver positive microfilm, includes spool, box, and shipping fee.