Search Guides to Archival Collections in Archives West

The search box below searches the text of detailed guides (also known as "finding aids") to archival collections housed at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and other programs of Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections. This search widget retrieves guides from the Archives West online consortium database: once in the Archives West platform, you can opt to search content at over 40 member institutions (from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Utah) or to narrow down results to "Western Washington University - Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections."

To run a search, enter a keyword(s) in the form below.



  • Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information and/or research assistance: or (360) 650-7534. 
  • Use simple but specific keywords, rather than a phrase or question: for example, Fish or Larrabee or Labor
  • Avoid use of quotation marks (" ") or parentheses in search queries: the Archives West discovery platform will not process these searches.  
  • If an initial search does not produce a result, try similar but related terms. For example, a search for salmon, might be followed by a search for fish or canning.
  • Archives West returns results that match the precise form and length of the keyword entered as an initial search term. Entering an asterisk (*) after the root/stem of a word will broaden the search results to include guides containing words that begin with this root/stem. For example: blossom* will return guides including the keywords "blossom" and "blossomtime", while canner* will return guides that include the keywords "cannery" and "canneries". 
  • Large sets of search results can be narrowed in the Archives West platform by using the "refine by keyword" window (left-hand side of the page).
  • Searches can be refined by entering the basic boolean operators AND, OR, or NOT in capital letters between search terms. For example, entering Fish NOT Salmon will retrieve guides that contain the word "Fish", but exclude from search results any guides that also contain the word "Salmon". 

If you are interested in maps, photographic holdings, or digitized content, the following additional online resources may be useful. Contact us if you have questions.