The Whitman College and Northwest Archives curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections housed in the Penrose Library.
The archives collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of these materials for teaching, learning, and research.
Open to Whitman affiliates Monday-Friday, 9-noon and 1-4pm. Open to the public Monday-Friday, 1-4.
Closed on college holidays.
City of Walla Walla Online Records
Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
Tamástslikt Cultural Institute Interpretive Center for the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District
Washington State Genealogical Society
The Archives have extensive microfilm holdings for area newspapers, including the entire run of the Union-Bulletin and some runs of other Walla Walla newspapers dating back to 1860 (coverage is spotty pre-1900). The U-B has been digitized and is behind a private paywall on their website. There is a rough index in the Archives that covers circa 1860-1912.
Along with the Union-Bulletin, there is also microfilm copies for the Pioneer/Wire, papers from Dayton and Waitesburg, early Eastern Washington papers from the Washington Newspapers Project, an index to the Oregonian, and The West shore: an illustrated western magazine. All microfilm can be found and viewed in the Archives when they are open.
Key print books on Walla Walla
The Eells Northwest Collection is Penrose Library's circulating collection of Northwest books, particularly focused on the Inland Northwest and Walla Walla. The collection can be searched in our online catalog, Sherlock.
Digitized Books and Journals
Hathitrust and FamilySearch both provide access to books in the public domain digitized at libraries. Searching for family names and places in these databases can be great ways to find biographies or references to them. The Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History includes Lyman’s History of Old Walla Walla County.
There are many local history journals we have print runs for, which can be a great way to find scholarly articles that document local history and provide helpful citations to archival and local collections in the area. Many of these are digitized for Whitman access only or accessible on our public access computers:
Print reference books
Vital records are official records kept by government institutions such as birth, marriage, and death certificates. They can help in genealogical research in finding people. Many states have digitized their records, including Washington and Oregon.
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