Historical Collection: the Institutional Archives of WWU

How to access the University Archives

Nearly all University Archives material is freely available for in-person access, although in rare cases access restrictions are required by law. University Archives does charge cost-recovery fees for the production of copies of archival material.  Please see our fee schedule HERE or contact University Archives for information about fees.


Researchers must schedule an appointment to ensure access due to limited staff availability. Please contact university.archives@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3124 with inquiries.

Selected online collections of University Archives:

Please consult the Heritage Resources "Search Our Collections" page for ways to access online content from University Archives. For digital collections, see the Western Libraries Digital Collections page (https://library.wwu.edu/find/digitalcollections).

Please contact university.archives@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3124 with any questions, and we can help to guide you directly to relevant content.

More About the University Archives

Western Washington University Archives is the official repository for the institutional archives of WWU.  The archival collection is extensive and varied.

What is the collection scope?

Records in the Archives provide historical documentation of the activities, people, programs, and places involved in the pursuit of Western's mission.

How large is the collection?

The records in the Archives comprise over 3000 linear feet.

What dates does the collection cover?

1895-present, beginning with the first Board of Trustees meeting at R. C. Higginson's store in New Whatcom in July of 1895.

What kinds of records are in the collection?

The records come in a wide variety of formats (paper, digital, audiovisual, photographic, engineering, etc.) and originate in all parts of the university.  The University Archives collection is particularly strong in the following areas:

  • Administration - including records of the Board of Trustees, President and Vice Presidents, and Faculty Senate.  These records cover an extremely broad range of subjects relating to Western's history, in addition to providing evidence of strategic planning and formal decision-making.

  • Physical and built environment - including records relating to construction of buildings, property acquisition, and maintenance of Western's infrastructure

  • Scholarly communication - including records relating to grant-funded activities, conferences, symposia, programs, centers, and institutes.

  • Academic programs and curriculum - including course catalogs, master class schedules, curriculum development and approval, academic college and departmental administration, and the records of the Faculty Senate and its predecessors

  • Western's external relationships - including Public Information Office/University Communications records, President and Vice President records relating to external relationships with the community, other institutions, and the government

  • People - including records relating to students, faculty, and staff of Western, and their activities at Western.

Please contact university.archives@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3124 with inquiries about access or about transferring records to the Archives.