Washington State Government Publications


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What is a State Publication?  

Locating Washington State Publications

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What is a State Publication?

State publications provide current and historical information about State government.  They are a resource for research into Washington’s past and they are a cornerstone for Washington’s future.

As defined in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 40.06.010 (4) "State publication" means information published by state agencies, regardless of format, intended for distribution to state government or the public.  

Examples may include annual, biennial, and special reports required by law, state agency newsletters, periodicals, and magazines, and other informational material intended for general dissemination to state agencies, the public, or the legislature.   


Locating Washington State Publications 

Washington State Library - has state publications going back to 1889.  They are all listed in our online catalog   

1. Go to the online catalog.  

2. Click the circle beside Washington State Publications before you start your search.

f the State Library has more than one copy of a publication, the second copy may be checked out.  Otherwise, you will have to come to the State Library to view the document.  

If you have any questions, contact Ask-A-Librarian.

Washington State Depository Libraries - Full depository libraries keep depository copies for a minimum of five years, while partial depository libraries keep depository copies for a minimum of two years.   
View a list of the Washington State Depository Libraries

State Agency Web Sites - Some publications may be found on the web site of the State Agency that published it.   View a list of Washington State Agencies     

Washington State Library Digital Depository - Stores electronic publications in a secure digital environment.  They are listed in the State Library Catalog

You can view a list of recent additions to the collection, listed by month. You can also view a list by the Agency, Board or Commission that published the document.


 Washington State Depository Program     



The Washington State Depository Program was officially established by the Washington State Legislature in 1963 to provide Washington citizens with economical, convenient and permanent access to publications produced by Washington state government agencies. The program helps you locate information by collecting, cataloging, and loaning materials and by providing reference services to answer questions.   

The State Depository Program includes a permanent depository for State of Washington publications at the Washington State Library and a system of depository libraries geographically spread across the state. (Washington State Depository Libraries)  

The State Depository Program includes both current and historical publications.

Goals of State Government Publications Depository Program/Benefits for State Agencies and Citizens

Preservation – no matter how often an agency changes or moves, its publications are maintained and permanently preserved for posterity at the State Library.

Retrieval – the State publications depository system organizes publications so they can easily be located.

Availability – state government publications depository libraries are located around the state, so citizens either live near a depository library or they can easily interlibrary loan publications at their local public library.

Accountability – availability through the depository system demonstrates an agency’s commitment to making government information available to the public now and for the future.

Compliance – in 1963 the State Legislature created the state government publications depository program and RCW Chapter 40.06 to ensure that the above goals are met.  The Office of Financial Management Agency Publication Guide is a resource for agencies to aid them in compliance.

Agency Public Distribution of State Government Publications

For longstanding, regular print publications (like annual reports or the budget), many agencies have established distribution numbers for print publications with the State Depository staff at the State Library.

For new print publications a general “rule of thumb” is:

• If you produce any print copies, send 2 copies to the State Library for permanent deposit in Olympia – Campus Mail Stop 42460.

• If you produce 100 print copies, send 15 copies to the State Library for permanent deposit and distribution to each of the major depository libraries across the state.

• If you produce more than 100 print copies, send 50 copies to the State Library for the permanent depository and distribution to all of the depository libraries across the state.

For electronic publications:

• If your publication exists in electronic form on the Internet, send a URL or file to the Digital State Publications staff at the State Library – [email protected]

• If you want to send multiple files at once, or files that are too large to send via email, you can send them to us on a CD – Campus Mail Stop 42460.

The State Library and the Digital Archives will preserve the publication and insure availability to all citizens now and in the future.

 Digital State Publications Depository

As an electronic repository, the State Depository Program stores electronic publications in a secure digital environment with redundant backup to preserve the collection.

Working in collaboration with State agencies and the Digital Archives, the State Library is expanding the current State Publications Depository Program to include a Digital Depository that will capture, preserve and make electronic state publications available to the public.

All digital publications that the State Library receives are listed in the State Library catalog.  

Lists of electronic state publications recently added to the State Publications Depository by month.

List of electronic state publications by the Agency, Board or Commission that created them.

How to download MARC catalog records.