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Property and Building History: Home

Resources for researching the history of property and buildings in and around Whatcom County, Washington.


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 Archives & Special Collections (WWU Archives and Records Center, Western Libraries Special Collections and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies).

Archives & Special Collections

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Archives & Special Collections
Special Collections, 6th Floor Wilson Library, 360-650-3193

University Archives and Records Management, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-3124

Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-7534

Archives & Special Collections


Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and research 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.