Archives & Special Collections Home

At Western, the Center for Pacific Northwest StudiesSpecial Collections, and University Archives work together to document the history and culture of Western, the region, and the world. Together, our collections help researchers understand how things used to be, how they have changed, and how different generations and cultures have approached life and developed various worldviews. Western Libraries' Archives & Special Collections are open to all.

Collections & Research

Examples of formats in Archives & Special Collections, including historical photographs, newspapers, and maps.

Our collections include a wide variety of historical primary source material, such as rare books and manuscripts, letters and diaries, photographs and newspapers, oral histories, and more.

Teaching & Learning

Students using archival resources.

Primary sources can enhance instruction in a variety of subjects. We offer a range of customizable options for using rare and archival materials in your classes and assignments.

Events & Exhibits

Pieces in the Global Book exhibit in Special Collections.

Lectures, panel presentations, in-person and online exhibits, and other public programming are among the ways we seek to highlight our collections and collections-based scholarship.

Finding Materials


  • Find rare books, summaries of archival collections, and other Archives & Special Collections materials in Western Libraries' catalog.

Collection Guides

Collection guides, also known as finding aids, describe the contents of archival collections and provide basic background information. Many also contain a list of what is in each folder or box.

  • Search Archives West to find detailed guides to archival collections at Western
  • Collection guides are also discoverable in OneSearch

Digital Content

Subject Research Guides

Subject guides are another handy research tool for locating primary sources. They list a variety of recommended resources related to various topics covered by Western's Archives & Special Collections holdings. 

Browse lists of our resources organized by subject

Harmful Language & Content Warning

We acknowledge that problematic content exists in the material we collect and the methods we use to interpret those resources. We welcome respectful dialogue with those who may be harmed or impacted, and seek to engage in respectful practices that build trust and collaboration.

Read our full "Statement About Potentially Harmful Language and Content"


Access and Use of Collections

Materials in Archives & Special Collections do not circulate, meaning they must be accessed onsite.

Learn more about working with Archives & Special Collections


Downtown Bellingham, 1943

Historic photographs, oral history interviews, campus publications, student newspapers, and more!


Giving to Archives & Special Collections

We accept donations of financial gifts and collection materials. Your contribution enables us to develop, preserve, and promote discovery of world-class collections documenting the culture and history of Western, our community, state, region, and world. For more information about the impact your donation will have, please contact Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Archives & Special Collections (phone: (360) 650-3823 | email:

We are always grateful for monetary gifts that enable us to develop, manage, and preserve our collections more effectively. Financial donations can be made via this ONLINE PLEDGE FORM or by sending a check to the Western Foundation.

We also welcome inquiries about potential donation(s) of materials that are suitable for our various collections. For more information on donating items or collections, please contact Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Archives & Special Collections (phone: 360-650-3283 | email:

Contact or Visit Us


Wilson Library Building

Special Collections is located on the 6th floor of the Wilson Library building, located at 516 High St. on the north end of campus. The Wilson building sits at the corner the Old Main lawn and Red Square.


Goltz-Murray Archives Building

The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and University Archives & Records Management are located at 808 25th St., at the corner of Bill McDonald Parkway and 25th St., on the south end of the Western Washington University campus.

Archives Building Parking

Free archives visitor parking is available in Lot 33G (across from main entrance), marked by signs on north side of the lot.

Contact Us


Elizabeth Joffrion

Director of Archives & Special Collections; (360) 650-3283 ; Wilson Library 673


Roz Koester, she/her

Assistant Archivist for Outreach and Instruction; (360) 650-6621 ; Wilson 662

Tony Kurtz, he/him

University Archivist and Records Manager; 360-650-3114 ; AB 226

David Schlitt, he/him

Special Collections Manager; 360-650-3193 ; Wilson Library 675

Katie Stacy, she/her

Assistant University Archivist for Records Management and User Services; (360) 650-2092 ; AB102

Ruth Steele, she/her

Archivist, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies; 360-650-7747 ; AB225

Michael Taylor

Special Collections Librarian and Associate Professor; (360) 650-3097 ; Wilson Library 674

Visit Us

Visit our individual unit pages or contact us to find out more about specific research hours or to make an appointment. If you're not sure which unit to contact, you may email or call (360) 650-7534. Questions are welcome any time.

Learn more about working with Archives & Special Collections