Research Tools


A Guide to Researching the History of Seattle and King County Buildings:

  • Document that guides researcher on proper and effective methods to research local buildings (pdf)

Seattle Municipal Archives:

  • Includes documents pertaining to the history, development, and actions of the agencies and elected officials in the City of Seattle. Link to website here.

UW Special Collections:

  • Rare published and archived materials, including historic maps
  • Located in the basement of Allen Library South (Note: materials must be read in facility and cannot be checked out)

King County Parcel Viewer:

  • Online tool to find detailed property records on a specific parcel within King County. Link to website here.

UW Libraries System:

  • Explore the various libraries on UW campus
  • Online UW Library website can be used to located books/journals/photos/etc. on specific topic. Materials can be available online of in print. Link to website here.

UW Digital Collections:

  • Collection of photographs, maps, newspapers, posters, reports, and other media from the UW library system. Link to website here.

MOHAI – Museum of History and Industry:

  • Research library and artifact collection that covers history of Seattle metropolitan area. Link to website here.

Seattle Public Library – Seattle Room:

  • Extensive collection of documents, newspapers, photographs, postcards, oral histories, maps, atlases, and artwork pertaining to Seattle’s history.
  • Located on level 10 of the Central Branch of the Seattle Library System. Link to website here.


  • Collection from the Library of Congress that includes extensive information on historic buildings, landscapes and engineering reports. Link to website here.

Library of Congress:

  • Online database that includes materials pertaining to national topics. Link to website here.

National Register of Historic Places:

  • Includes detailed information and nominations for buildings and districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Link to website here.

Nationals Historic Landmarks:

  • Includes detail information and nominations for buildings and district that are landmarked. Link to website here.