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Washington State Constitution Research


Map of Washington Territory 1888

This guide begins with basic resources for researching the Washington State Constitution.

It goes on to present resources for studying the history and interpretation of the Washington State constitution. It includes links to documents hosted on the law library's website that are not available elsewhere, as well as links to other sites.

Graphic: Map of Washington Territory, Rand McNally & Co, 1888, from Washington Archives, AR270B-A32.

Introduction to the Constitution

Notes About the Digital Files

The files posted here are in PDF. The books and theses are very large files and may be slow to load.

The PDFs are searchable. For instance, you can search for occurrences of the word "railroads" in a document. The searching is dependent on optical character recognition which, because of the irregular fonts and imperfect scans, often mistranslates letters and words. Skimming a passage will often find terms that the search feature missed.

The print in the newspapers is very small. Zooming in makes it possible to read the text but the images are still not crisp, because of the age and quality of the originals.

Notes About the Project

The Washington State Constitutional Law Project was initiated by the Washington Law Review in 2009. The editors scanned or obtained scans of many of the sources helpful in studying the development of the Washington State Constitution. In 2011, the Law Library developed this website to make the materials available to researchers.

People involved in this project include:

  • Mary Whisner, Reference Librarian
  • Penny A. Hazelton, Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services
  • Dave Tawatao, Senior Computer Specialist
  • Hugh Spitzer, Affiliate Professor
  • David Hancock, Editor-in-Chief, Washington Law Review, volume 84, 2008-09

Comments or suggestions? Please contact Mary Whisner.