Historical Records Project

The Office of the Secretary of State, in an effort to increase accessibility to the historical records of Washington, initiated the Historical Records Project (HRP) in 2002. Staff from the State Library and State Archives identified records from their collections for inclusion in the project, as well as those held by numerous local museums, genealogical and historical societies. 

Currently millions of searchable records are available free of charge on the Washington State Archives website. Yet much work needs to be done. Countless numbers of records need to be transcribed and indexed in order to be beneficial to researchers and genealogists around the globe.

This is where you come in! The bulk of accessible records would not be available for research if not for the tireless efforts of volunteers like you. Using Scribe, you can work from home, at your own pace, on equipment familiar to you. Volunteers are the lifeline of the Historical Records Project and vital to its success!

What is Scribe?
Scribe is an online digital application that allows users to become "honorary archivists" through the transcription and indexing of historically important records in Washington State. By using Scribe, volunteers are able to add information to the images, making them searchable online. Visit https://scribe.digitalarchives.wa.gov to create an account and become a "scribe" today!

  View the User Guide to help get you started

Genealogical Resources

HRP volunteers add to the growing collection of searchable documents at the Digital Archives.  Available records include:

  • Birth Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Census Records
  • Death Records
  • Indian Census
  • Institution Records
  • Land Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Military Records
  • Naturalization Records
  • Miscellaneous Family History records that include: 
    • City and county directories
    • Birth, death, marriage, and divorce notices

More genealogy information is available on the Washington History page.  Additionally, the Genealogy page on the Washington State Library web page lists a variety of useful tools to aid in genealogy research.  The future of the HRP will involve digitizing more of the documents in this collection, too, including the City and County Directories.

Get Involved!

If you would like to volunteer to help transcribe and index records for the Historical Records Project, please contact the Historical Records Project coordinator at [email protected], or call (360) 586-2665.

Be a part of preserving Washington State History