Property and Building History: Research Methods & Resources: Home
This guide lists some resources that are used frequently to research histories of property and buildings in and around Whatcom County, Washington. It is by no means exhaustive. Please contact staff at the repositories and offices listed below for additional assistance (and especially if your research interests are outside Whatcom County).
The Whatcom Museum's 2008 guide, "Tracing the History of a House or Building in Bellingham" provides useful pointers for researching history of buildings and properties in Whatcom County (PDF file posted on the City of Bellingham's website).
Repositories and Government Offices
The following list provides contact information for additional libraries, museums, archives and government offices. A more extensive list of repositories supporting historical research (local and regional) is also available here.
NB. For many researchers, the Washington State Archives (NW Region) may be the best starting point - staff there can assist with questions relating to deeds, building permits and other property-related records for Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Jefferson, Island, Clallam and San Juan counties.
Researchers seeking information and records about the history of Western Washington University are advised to contact staff at Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs (WWU Archives and Records Center, Western Libraries Special Collections and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies).
Western Libraries Heritage Resources provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and resarch at Western Washington University and beyond. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives and Records Management work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.