Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board (WSHRAB)

Our Mission Statement

"The Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board serves the public as the central advisory board for historical records projects and plans and provides leadership and guidance to help ensure the identification, preservation, and use of the state's historical records. It acts as a state-level review body for proposals as defined by NHPRC grant program guidelines."

2013 WSHRAB Grant Digitization Program


2011 WSHRAB Grant Digitization Program


2009 WSHRAB Grant Digitization Program



The History of the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board:

Governor Dan Evans initially appointed WSHRAB in 1976 at the requests of NHPRC. Charged with planning for the benefit of state historical records and grant review tasks, the original board of consisted of seven members, most of whom were professional archivists representing the major historical repositories around the state. The membership was later expanded to fifteen.

The board initiated a survey in 1977 to inventory and determine quantity and condition of both government and private historical records wherever they were located. A grant proposal to NHPRC resulted in funds for the Board to report on historical records throughout the state. This two year survey, produced a database from which was published in 1981 the first comprehensive guide to a state's historical records since the Works Progress Administration surveys of the 1930's. View the survey results.

Informed by the major survey, WSHRAB pioneered studies to assess needs, set priorities, and plan actions to protect and make available our documentary heritage. In 1984 a report was published containing an action agenda: completion of the state archives regional system; an improved state records management program; and development of a strong legislative archive. Most of the agenda was implemented over the following decade.

Building on this foundation the board developed a record of successful NHRPC grant applications, ranking high nationally in both number of grants and their dollar value.

In 1994, NHPRC funded a planning grant for WSHRAB to produce a strategic and tactical plan for preserving and managing Washington's historical records. Informed by five focus groups engaging over 100 persons across the State speaking for groups ranging from Indian Tribal archives to private museums, the Board published Preserving and Sharing Washington’s Historical Records: A Strategic Plan for the 21st Century.In 2009 WSHRAB announced its first ever re-grant program.


National Historical Publications and Records Commission logo

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission was created by law to encourage efforts to preserve and make available for use records that further the understanding and appreciation of American history. It supports projects to advance technology related to records, to promote cooperative efforts among institutions and organizations, and to improve the knowledge, performance, and professional skills of those who work with historical records.

The Commission is composed of members appointed from the federal government and various national historical and archival associations. The NHPRC awards various types of financial support grants directly to organizations. The State Historical Records Advisory Boards also act as the channel in their state to which funds are distributed. The partnership allows the Board to define the unique needs of Washington's historical records, which can then be addressed through Board support and re-grant funds awarded from the Commission.

Funding Priorities

One of the primary functions of WSHRAB is to conduct statewide strategic planning to assess the conditions and needs of historical records programs in the state, which serve as the Board's funding priorities. The priorities are identified in the Board's 1997 Strategic Plan.