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Research Guides

Types of Materials in the Archives

  • Organizational records include by-laws, minutes, reports, historical summaries, subject files, newsletters and other publications from Synagogues and Jewish organizations throughout the state.   
  • Personal papers includes correspondence, memoirs, family histories, diaries, and other materials which document the Jewish community from the perspective of an individual or family.
  • Photographs includes over 4000 photographs dating back to 1890, which depict families, businesses, religious and social life within the community. Learn more about the photograph collection and how to search for material.
  • Oral Histories have recorded the words, songs, and stories of the Jewish community since 1968. Learn more about the oral history program and how to search for material.


Finding Aids

Archival collections are unique in that they can range in size from one folder to hundreds of boxes. Because archival collections can be complex, archivists describe their contents in "finding aids", also called collection guides. The guides are called finding aids because they help researchers find items of interest within a collection.

The search box at the top of this page allows you to keyword search the finding aids created for archival collections in the Special Collections repository. You can also see a list of finding aids for the Washington State Jewish Archives collections by clicking the link below.

WSJA Finding Aids


Search the UW Library Catalog

To find archival materials held in the Washington State Jewish Archives at Special Collections in the UW Library catalog, click the link below.

UW Library Catalog


Search WSJA Digital Collections

To find selected material from the collection which has been digitized, click the link below.

WSJA Digital Collections


The Washington State Jewish Historical Society promotes interest in and knowledge of the life, history, and culture of the Jewish people and communities of the State of Washington.

The Society is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington State. This unique history is shared through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, and tours.