Manuscripts Collection of the Washington State Library

The Manuscripts Collection contains unique, unpublished records created by organizations and individuals in the conduct of their activities. Letters, speeches, minutes, reports, writings, and other types of records document the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

The State Library has a collection of over 600 distinct collected manuscripts. These include records, printed documents, memorabilia, graphic materials, maps, newspapers, ledgers, published books, pamphlets, correspondence, scrapbooks, proof sheets, clippings, and other historically significant materials or ephemera. There are many original manuscripts of published Washington State history titles in the collection.

MS 001

Washington State Library Special Collections collect and preserve manuscripts that are not generated through the government of the State or Territory of Washington. 
Manuscript collections generated through state and local government may be found through the State Archives.

Browse the Manuscripts Collection by title in the catalog

Collection Highlights

Digitized Manuscripts

Guidelines for Use of the Collection




Collections Highlights

  • MS 0171: Emma Smith DeVoe's correspondence and scrapbooks, 1880-1920 
  • MS 0003: Isaac Ingalls Stevens papers, 1835-1972 and 1835-1862
  • MS 0072: (George Washington) Bush family papers, 1856-1939
  • MS 0417: Photographs and history of Washington State libraries, 1938-1994 1966-1971
  • MS 0031: Washington Pioneer Project records and interviews, 1936-1937
  • MS 0138: Columbia Basin Survey Commission's records and other materials, 1919-1962, 1949-1962
  • MS 0140: 16th century (1551) bible excerpt, “From a Matthew Bible-- after Thomas Matthew, printer in Antwerp: five pages from Second Chronicle”, rebound in or around 1846 (This may very well be the oldest item in the Manuscripts Collection.)


Digitized Manuscripts

  • MS 0001: Letter book from May 2nd, 1889 to November 14th, 1889 / Governor Miles C. Moore
  • MS 0008: Correspondence of Fayette McMullin, 1857-1858    
  • MS 0009: Washington State Library's collection of Richard D. Gholson's correspondence, 1860-1861    
  • MS 0013: Correspondence of William T. Pickering, 1862-1864    
  • MS 0028: Assessment and census rolls, Washington Territory, 1857 and 1860
  • MS 0031: Washington State Library's collection of Washington Pioneer Project records and interviews, 1936-1937
  • MS 0034: Albert Atwood's correction proof and research notes for his book The Conquerors, also his Seattle Mining and Milling Company stock book, 1897-1909
  • MS 0078: Daily journal, 1865 / Louisa Jackson
  • MS 0133: Tenino / Written by Mrs. Mae Webster Jackson, 1923-1943?    
  • MS 0134: Thurston County pioneer records prior to 1870, 1917-2000 1917-1928 *
  • MS 0143: Washington State Library's collection of Industrial Workers of the World records, 1916 *
  • MS 0145: William Billings' document of deputization to swear in citizens to quell an anti-Chinese riot in Olympia, Washington Territory, 1886
  • MS 0171: Emma Smith DeVoe's correspondence and scrapbooks, 1880-1920 / compiled, arranged and collected by Bernice Sapp
  • MS 0330: Howard Lougheed's collection of logging photos of the Mason County Logging Company, [1938-1941?]
  • MS 0350: Private Property Owners of Pierce County records, 1982-1987

Notes: * indicates that only a portion has been digitized to date