About University Archives

Historical Collection | Transferring records | Policy

Normal School staff an students on Old Main Quad


WWU Archives is the official repository for the institutional archives of Western Washington University.  The purpose of University Archives is to document Western’s history and the fulfillment of its mission by

  • Preserving a continuity of evidence of official acts and decisions

  • Ensuring Western’s accountability to itself, to its stakeholders, and to posterity

  • Safeguarding and preserving Western’s archival university records

  • Providing a resource by which Western’s staff, faculty, students, and alumni can connect their work and interests with the institution’s history

  • Sharing Western’s history with the local community and general public


The University Archives and Records Center at WWU began in the late 1960s, with origins in the History Department.  Systematic consolidation of the institution's archives began in 1974, and in 1977 the program became part of Western Libraries.  The first documented accession in University Archives was from the Vice President for Student Affairs and included a wide range of historical records dating from the earliest years of the institution.  Since that time, the Archives has grown to a collection of over 3,000 linear feet with records dating from 1895 to the present.

University Archives is part of Western Libraries Heritage Resources, which also includes Western Libraries Special Collections and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.


The University Archives collection includes records from all parts of the institution. The records document all aspects of Western's mission, from planning to iMt. Baker Memorial concept drawingmplementation, from administration to scholarly communication.  There is over 3000 linear feet of material in a variety of physical formats, and a growing volume of digital material. 

Please consult the Collections page for more information about the makeup of University Archives, including how to access.