Browse Guides to Collections
The guides or "finding aids" listed below are detailed descriptions of archival collections housed at CPNWS. Researchers should note that detailed guides are not yet available for all CPNWS holdings - please see our Collection Catalog to access and search a complete list of CPNWS collections.
These collection guides typically describe the creator of a collection, the scope and content of records, information about their organization and any access or use provisions. Often a guide also contains a detailed inventory or listing of the records in a collection.
Guides are intended to give the viewer information to help determine whether the collection is likely to satisfy his or her research needs. Please contact us if you have any questions about these guides or the collections at CPNWS.
List of Collection Guides
- Aftermath Club Records document the founding and growth of Bellingham's women's club. The materials span from the club's inception in 1896 though to its final meeting in 2003.
- Aiston, Peggy - Research on Lummi Island History Collection documents research by Peggy Aiston on the history of Lummi Island. She conducted her research from the mid 1970s until her death in 1998. Her research on Lummi Island was extensive, spanning from 1519-1940.
- Alaska Packers Association Records document the history of one of the dominant forces in the commercial fishing industry in Alaska and the Puget Sound from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth century.
- American Association of University Women - Washington State Records The American Association of University Women-Washington State Records document the growth and development of the Washington State Division of this organization from its inception in 1927 to the present.
- American Civil Liberties Union Whatcom County Chapter Records encompass material generated at the national, state, and local levels of the ACLU.Whatcom County Chapter materials include constitution and bylaws, correspondence and meeting minutes, as well as financial records. Materials range from 1958 to 1982.
- American Federation of Teachers, Local 2084 records include newsletters, memos, correspondence, cartoons, clippings and other records documenting union affiliation and activity among Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University) faculty during the 1970s and 1980s.
- Ashworth, Robert collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center of Western Washington University consists of materials from a university student association in Bellingham, WA, and materials from affiliated gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) associations.
- Atwood, R. Frank Papers document the political career of long-term Bellingham attorney and Washington State Senator Roy Franklin Atwood.
- Bacon, Crockett, and Donovan Family Genealogical Histories
The collection consists of two family histories of early settlers in the Puget Sound area.
- Barrett (Eldon) Papers. document the life and career of a nationally-known journalist, UPI news bureau chief and writer.
- Bartholick (George R.) Papers document the career and personal interests of an important Northwest architect.
- Bellingham Bay Improvement Company Records document the transformation of Bellingham Bay from a frontier settlement to a bustling industrial community during the boom and bust era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- Bellingham Central Labor Council Records document the activities and concerns of an AFL-chartered representative Council for members of organized trades in Whatcom County.
- Bellingham Centennial Oral History Project Records documents the memories and personal responses to significant experiences and events from long-time residents of Bellingham as a part of the city's centennial celebration.
- Bellingham Publishing Company Records
The collection includes letters, telegrams and pamphlets concerning the Bellingham Publishing Company's early efforts to establish a new radio station in Bellingham, Washington as well as KVOS program transcripts from 1934-1937.
- Bellingham Woman's Music Club Records illustrate the club's involvement in Bellingham's cultural development.
- Biery, Galen Papers and Photographs include a broad range of material pertaining to Bellingham and Whatcom County history, generated and gathered by local historian Galen Biery.
- Block, Edward E. Radio Heritage Collection includes correspondence, programming, scripts, and other records from the director of programming and production for International Good Music, Inc. the Heritage Music Programs.
- Booker, Edgar S. Papers consist of personal papers and business records of early 20th century Bellingham businessman Edgar S. Booker.
- Brady, Ferd Photographs
The collection primarily consists of photographs and negatives of Native American related activities in the area near La Conner, Washington, the Swinomish reservation, and Coupeville, Washington, circa 1930.
- Bullitt Collection on 18th century Explorers comprises books containing maps, drawings and detailed narratives of expeditions by early explorers and fur traders into the Pacific Northwest, Antarctica, and South Pacific.
- Burn, June and Farrar Papers
The June and Farrar Burn Papers comprise an assortment of writings, correspondence, and photographs that reflect the lives of Puget Sound residents June and Farrar Burn.
- Buswell, Howard Papers and Photographs
A collection of research notes, writings, oral histories, photos, and maps generated by an early, well-known local historian on the development of Northwest Interior Washington, and particularly Whatcom Country. Buswell's interest in the native cultures of the region is well represented in papers.
- Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection contains a variety of unpublished works, financial records, correspondence, research notes and other materials pertaining to social, economic, political, and historical issues in the Pacific Northwest, particularly northwestern Washington State.
- Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Miscellaneous Scrapbook Collection contains photographic and non-photographic scrapbooks compiled by individuals and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. The collection documents local people, fishing boats and facilities, ships, landmarks, and lore and history.
- Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Newspaper Collection
The Newspaper collection consists of regional newspapers dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.
- Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Pamphlet Collection
The Pamphlet collection is an extensive set of regional ephemera.
- Cheever, Bruce: Railroad Photograph Collection
The collection consists of photographs and negatives of railroad related activities.
- Cummins, Nora B. papers document a former WWU professor's service on the Whatcom County Advisory Committee and Consumer Interest Committee during World War II.
- Druzea Club Records document the community service activities of this women's club which was formed with the express purpose of facilitating mental improvement and social enjoyment for its members.
- Friday, W.R. (Bill) Papers include cartoons, published and unpublished works, advertisements, and correspondence, that document the career of Bend, Oregon cartoonist, William R. Friday.
- Funk, Wallie V. Photographs and Papers include photographs, negatives, newspaper articles, and textual materials documenting the personal and professional life of Pacific Northwestresident, journalist, and photographer, Wallie V. Funk.
- Gabl, Franz X. Papers
The collection documents Olympic medalist Franz X. Gabl’s experiences in the German army during World War II, and later as a professional skier and ski instructor in Europe, Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
- Garlick, George and Lois family papers document the family history and environmental activism of long-time Whatcom County residents George and Lois Garlick.
- Gates family papers contain articles and clippings, personal papers and photographs that document some of the the life and interests of the members of this prominent Bellingham family.
- Gay and Lesbian Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection contains manuscripts and audio recordings documenting some of the history of the gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of Bellingham and Whatcom County, Washington.
- Hands Off Washington Whatcom County Records
The organization Hands Off Washington (HOW) was created to defeat Washington State initiatives 608 and 610 which threatened the civil rights of state and local public employees based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
- Higginson, Ella Papers contains correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs and artifacts documenting the life and work of Northwest writer and poet Ella Higginson.
- Hinckley, Ted C. Papers contain the research and manuscript materials used and/or created by Hinckley during his career, particularly as pertains to the history of Alaska.
- Initiative 256 "The Keep America Beautiful" Act of 1970 Records
The records are a detailed account of Dr. Robert Keller’s attempt to promote a legally mandated return to deposits on beverage containers in Washington state.
- Jack (Rand) Papers Papers documenting the work of Whatcom County lawyer and environmentalist Rand Jack, including extensive files from his work as an independent land steward for Forestal Trillium S.A.'s "Rio Condor Project" in Chile.
- Jeffcott, Percival R. Papers A collection of writings, notes, photos, and maps generated an early, well-known local historian on the development of Northwest Interior Washington. Jeffcott was the author of several works including "Blanket Bill Jarman."
- Jones, Rogan Papers document the activities of Lafayette Rogan Jones (1895-1972), a pioneer in radio and television broadcasting, and founder of KVOS television station in Bellingham.
- Koons, Fritz Papers and Komo Kulshan Ski Club Records document the life and activities of the long-time Bellingham resident and outdoor enthusiast, as well as the establishment and activities of the Komo Kulshan Ski Club. The collection spans the time period of 1914-1990.
- KVOS Channel 12 Film Records
The KVOS Film Records include reel to reel films of KVOS Channel 12 programs filmed in the early to mid 1960's.
- Lake Whatcom Improvement Committee Records document the activities and concerns of the citizen fact-finding committee founded in 1964 by residents of Lake Whatcom, Washington.
- Larrabee family papers document the interests and activities of a prominent family in Bellingham, Washington. The papers span the period 1840-2005, with the majority of records dated between 1890 and 1994.
- League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County Chapter records documents the interests and activities of this women's organization based in Bellingham, Washington.
- Leedy Family Papers
Clifford E. "Doc" Leedy taught and directed band classes at Bellingham High School for over forty years. In addition to teaching French, Dorothy E. Leedy was also head of the Bellingham Chapter of the People to People Program for nearly twenty years. The Leedy Family papers are dated 1857-1993, and consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, yearbooks, awards, photographs, and artifacts documenting these longtime Bellingham residents and teachers.
- Mason, David Papers
This collection includes selected works of David Mason, beloved professor of Fairhaven College at Western Washington University.
- Mecklem, L. Guy Collection comprises materials accumulated by Dr. Don Eklund, of Western Washington State College, during his research for a history of Mecklem's early aeronautical career from 1897-1910.
- Metcalf, Jack Papers document two decades of Metcalf’s political career as a Washington State Senator and United States Congressman.
- Miller and Sons records document C.L. (Clarence L.) Miller, Percy D. Miller, and Clarence Miller's involvement in the shingle business in Whatcom County from 1918 to 1971. The collection includes administrative material, correspondence, equipment and operational records, financial records, payroll and personnel documents, photographs, advertisements, and union records.
- Mount Baker Club Records document the activities of the Mount Baker "Hiking" Club, founded in 1911 to promote tourism and recreational development in the Mount Baker region.
- Monday Club Records document the oldest women's literary and social club in Whatcom County, Washington
- Morse Family Papers
The Morse family papers comprises personal correspondence generated by R.I. Morse (founder of Morse Hardware Company in Bellingham, Washington) and other Morse family members following his death in 1920.
- Morse Hardware Company Records
This collection documents the growth of the oldest family owned mercantile business in the region from its origins as a retail hardware supply store to a major wholesale distributor of a wide array of goods and services to retail outlets and heavy industry.
- Motherlode Collection
This collection documents the Portland, OR and Bellingham, WA band, Motherlode, that started in 1980 and performed their own brand of women's folk music throughout the Pacific Northwest.
- Mt. Baker Chapter of the Older Women's League Records document the activities of an organization of women activists based in Bellingham, Washington between 1980 and 1999.
- National Organization for Women (NOW) Whatcom County Chapter Records document the activities of a progressive group of women and men in the seventies and highlight feminist activism in Northwest Washington.
- Nelsen, Ibsen A. Papers document the life of a well-known Seattle-based architect and influential figure in American art and architecture.
- Nesset Farm Environmental Stewardship Project Papers document the Western Washington University Huxley College Environmental Stewardship student project regarding property on the South Fork of the Nooksack River in Whatcom County, Washington.
- Northwest Ethnohistory Collection
The Northwest Ethnohistory collection documents the Chehalis, Shoalwater, Chinook, Clallam, Clatsop, Cowlitz, Duwamish, Haida, Klamath, Klickitat, Kwakiutl, Lummi, Makah, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Nooksack, Puyallup, Quileute, Quinault, Salish, Semiahmoo, Skagit, Snohomish, Squaxin, Steilacoom, Suiattle-Sauk, Swinomish, and Suquamish tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
- Northwest Tribal Oral History Interviews includes Native American first-hand accounts by tribe members and elders of long-standing traditions such aslanguages, education, genealogy, politics, religion, as well as hunting and fishing practices.
- Northwest Women's Studies Association 1984 conference records consist of planning materials, grant applications, and publications related to the Association's 1984 conference entitled "Holding Our Own and Breaking New Ground." The collection also contains informational resources about women's issues, and records from Western Washington University's Women's Studies program.
- Olsen Civilian Conservation Corps Collection includes photographs, newsletters, scrapbooks, oral history transcripts, publications, clippings, artifacts, and correspondence documenting the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Washington State.
- Pacific American Fisheries Records
PAF, one of the world's major salmon canning operations, operated on Puget Sound and in Alaska between 1899 and 1965, with headquarters in Bellingham, Washington.
- Pacific Northwest Jazz Alliance Records document the organization’s history from its inception in 1992 to its demise in 2005.
- Patterson, Margaret and Rev. J.W. Patterson papers document the lives of a couple who worked as Methodist missionaries in Spillumachine, British Columbia and Nooksack, Washington.
- PLF Club Records
The Bellingham PLF Club (Progressive, Literary Fraternal Club) was organized in 1900 as a community organization for educated Bellingham women.
- Puget Sound Power and Light Company Records
The Puget Sound Power & Light Company was one of the leading private power and transportation operations in the Pacific Northwest Region.
- Remembering Whatcom Creek Records
This collection of photographs, poetry, newspaper clippings, artwork, and speeches documents the June 10, 1999 pipeline explosion and the meaning of Whatcom Creek to the community of Bellingham, Washington.
- Royal Development Company (Trinity Mine) Records
The records of the Royal Development Company document the use of material and labor at the company's Trinity Mine, located in the Chiwawa Mining District in Chelan County, Washington.
- Shiels, Archie Papers
Archibald Williamson Shiels was both a maker and a recorder of Alaskan history and folklore, and former president of Pacific American Fisheries. His papers consist of research material, publications, personal papers, maps and charts dating from around 1790 to 1965. The documents reference a number of topics primarily related to Russian America, the Alaskan Territory, and the State of Alaska, including boundary disputes and the Bering Sea controversy regarding fur seal fishing. Other topics include Alaska Natives’ fishing rights and transportation throughout Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest.
- Skinner, Knute Papers
The papers document the life and activities of poet and Western Washington University Professor, Knute Skinner.
- Smith, Frederick E. Papers document the research of self-trained historian Frederick E. Smith, particularly relating to the Equality Colony, a socialist Utopian Colony based near present-day Bow-Edison in Skagit County, Washington between 1897 and 1907.
- Southwestern Alaska Cannery Logbooks, spanning 1918-1950, document the daily work accomplished by various fishing crews working for the Squaw Harbor, Alitak on Olga Bay, and Petersburg Canneries in Alaska.
- Stangroom, M. L. Papers document the work and personal life of M. L. (Marc LaRiviere) Stangroom, a former engineer for the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad.
- Stimpson Family Papers
This collection comprises the records of several generations of the Stimpson and Watts families, influential members of the Bellingham community since the early 1900s.
- Sullivan, Michael Papers
As Whatcom County's Historical Preservation Planner, Michael Sullivan directed two important preservation projects: the Bellingham Historical Preservation Survey and the Whatcom Arts Commission's "Vintage Bellingham" Survey.
- Sumas Roundup Association records
The Sumas Roundup Association was founded to organize, promote and raise funds in support of an annual round-up event in Sumas, Washington. The collection consists of financial records, photographs, ephemera and reference materials, the bulk of which ranges from 1923-1930.
- Swift, Al Congressional Papers
U.S. Congressional Representative from 1978 to 1994, Swift was active on many committees and his files provide rich insights into environmental, social, economic, and political issues ranging from spotted owls to Native Americans and naval base closures.
- Teck, Frank papers document some of his writings concerning his interest in the history and development of Whatcom County beginning with European exploration and settlement and continuing to frontier life in the County.
- Thompson Family papers document three generations of Thompson Family members. The papers also document the career of former University of Washington chemistry professor Thomas G. Thompson.
- Twentieth Century Club records document the history of this "town and gown" organization, designed to bring together educators and other Bellingham residents for discussion and socializing.
- Union Printing Company records
This Bellingham-based company was established in 1898 and continued to operate until 1996.
- United States Power Squadron District 16 records
The United States Power Squadron is a non-profit boating organization dedicated to education in boating safety to make the experience of boating more enjoyable. The records in their entirety reflect the organizational activities of both District 16 and the Bellingham Power Squadrons and include; minutes, office and committee files, treasurer’s files, bylaws, correspondence, handbooks/manuals, squadron histories, information on conferences and councils, publications and newsletters, awards and memorabilia, and photographs.
- Wahl, Ralph E. Photographs and Papers
The Ralph E. Wahl Photographs and Papers comprise photographic materials and textual records reflecting Wahl’s activities and interests as a photographer and fisherman in the Pacific Northwest.
- Wahl's Department Store Records
The collection spans the years 1900 to 1982.The bulk of the collection consists of twelve bound volumes of Wahl's Department Store advertisements from the Bellingham Herald dating from September 1944 to August 1969.
- Washington Science Teachers Association Records
The Washington Science Teachers Association collection contains historical information on the origins and activities of this educational association in Washington State.
- Washington State Good Roads Association Records
The Washington State Good Roads Association (WSGRA) was established in 1899 by Sam Hill to encourage development of an adequate and practical statewide highway system in Washington State.
- Washington Women's Heritage Project Records document a state-wide grant project designed to stimulate awareness of Washington women.
- Waterfront Oral History Project records contains interviews with current and present employees of the Georgia-Pacific Corporation's Bellingham pulp mill (formerly Puget Sound Pulp and Timber Company).
- Wells, Oliver N. Oral Histories includes oral history interviews pertaining to tribal customs, cultures, and early contacts between European Americans and Native Americans on the Pacific Coast.
- Wernstedt, Lage Photographs include photographs and glass plate negatives taken by a surveyor and cartographer for the U.S. Forest Service.
- Western Washington University Centennial Oral History Project Records comprises a valuable set of interviews documenting the history of Western Washington University.
- Western Washington University's "The Great Depression and Its Fifty Year Shadow" Symposium Records document a series of public programs that took place during the fall of 1981. Records include materials related to the grant, transcripts of audio tapes, as well as the original audio tapes of the programs.
- Whatcom County Chapter of the American National Red Cross Records document the establishment, goals and activities of this chapter based in Bellingham, Washington.
- Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze document the activities of this local branch of the national anti-nuclear proliferation organization that was active in the early to mid 1980s.
- Whatcom County United Nations Chapter Records document the activities and events of the Whatcom County chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. This organization existed from 1954 to 1998 with a goal to seek and explore issues of global importance.
- Whatcom County Woman's Christian Temperance Union records document the organization’s activities and philosophy from 1932 to 1958.
- Whatcom Falls Mill Company Records
The Whatcom Falls Mill Company collection includes records on the incorporation and dissolution of Whatcom Falls Mill; financial records; information on other lumber mills; photographs of the mill; and personal correspondence and photographs relating to the G.W. Loggie family.
- Whatcom Family YMCA records document the founding and history of a YMCA branch in present-day Bellingham, Washington.
- Whatcom Human Rights Task Force records document the formation and activities of a community-based organization in Whatcom County, Washington.
- Women of Fairhaven Records document the charitable and social activities of this women's organization in Bellingham, Washington, as well as the activities of the Fairhaven Boy's and Girl’s Club.
- Women's Maritime Association
The Women's Maritime Association provides a community network for seafaring women who may feel isolated in their jobs. The association advocates for fair working conditions for women and the eradication of discrimination and sexual harassment on ships.
- Young Women's Christian Association of Bellingham records
The YWCA of Bellingham provides support, resources, and housing to girls and women in crisis or need. This collection from the local YWCA contains administrative, financial, and committee materials, as well as records of "Y" programs and activities. It also includes a number of scrapbooks, photographs, and newspaper clippings.