Research Services

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives provides basic reference services during its regular hours. Consultations with archives staff may be scheduled during these or other times.

Researchers are encouraged to contact the archives prior to a visit. The archives is open to the public and complies with the access guidelines of the Society of American Archivists. Users are required to follow standard access procedures and complete standard access forms during research visits.

Requests that require research into the holdings of the Whitman College and Northwest Archives may be completed for a fee. A basic fee of $25 will be charged for the first hour of research; additional time will be billed at $12.50 per half hour. The basic fee of $25 must be paid in advance, in the form of check payable to Whitman College and Northwest Archives. This fee includes postage and up to 20 photocopies; additional copies are $.10 per page. Digital scans may be obtained for $10 per image.


The Whitman College and Northwest Archives staff is available to make presentations and exhibit primary source, contextual, and subject-specific materials to classes and groups. In addition, the archives is able to make available digital copies of many of its historic resources for educational purposes.


Researchers wishing to photocopy materials in the archives must first consult archives staff. Certain materials may be copied by the researcher in the archives reading room. Fragile materials will be reproduced at the discretion of and by archives staff. Archives staff may refuse to reproduce materials owned by other repositories.Fees may be paid by cash or check.

  • Black and white photocopies: $.10 per page
  • Color photocopies: $.50 per page
  • Digital scans: $10.00 per image (for originals larger than 11×17″, $20.00 per image)
  • Photographic reproductions: minimum charge of $15.00 for an 8×10” print
  • VHS or DVD copies: $25 per tape/disc.

Please note that permission to publish or display reproduced images must be applied for separately (see below)

For information regarding reproduction fees for Whitman College faculty, students, staff, and alumni, please contact archives staff.


Researchers wishing to quote from, publish, or display materials from the archives must complete a Permission to Publish form.

Fee Schedule
$10 per image
Use Fee
Publication Use
Commercial Publishers $40 per image
Nonprofit Organizations and Agencies $10 per image
Academic Publishers
Thesis, Dissertation (Unpublished) No fee
Advertising Use
For-profit Organizations and Individuals $100 per image
Nonprofit Organizations and Agencies $25 per image
Video, Television, Film, CD-ROM Use (Per Still Image)
For-profit Organizations and Individuals $100 per image
Nonprofit Organizations and Agencies $25 per image
Internet, Web Site Use $100 per image
Exhibition / Display Use
For-profit Organizations and Individuals $100 per image
Nonprofit Organizations and Agencies $25 per image
Special Use On Request
Waived Fees

Permission fees are routinely waived for the Whitman community, including current faculty, staff, and students as well as for college offices and publications. Fees are also waived for black-and-white reproduction of a few images of textual or visual materials reproduced within the covers of a scholarly journal, in an academic monograph published in a press run of fewer than 2,000 copies, and in scholarly microform or electronic editions. Even when permission fees are waived, reproduction fees may still apply and the Permission to Publish form must be submitted.

Union-Bulletin Inquiries

Two ways to gain access to articles and obituaries published in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin or other local newspapers:

  1. Microfilms are available on the ground (first) floor of Penrose Library in the Whitman College and Northwest Archives and may be accessed Monday through Friday 10:00-noon and 1:00-4:00.
  2. Freelance researchers unaffiliated with the archives are available to locate and copy articles and obituaries for a fee. Research fees must be paid in advance, whether or not the search yields the desired articles. The research fee schedule is as follows:
    • $25.00 minimum charge for up to one hour of research. Patrons will be contacted if the first hour of research yields no results.
    • $12.50 per half hour after the first hour
    • Each hour of research includes 20 copies. Additional copies cost 10¢ per page.
    • Large numbers of copies or CDs may require additional charges for postage or supplies.
    • Please make all payments by check, payable to the individual researcher.

Email research requests to: Gayle or Donna

Requests may also be mailed to: Donna Cummins, Memorial 302, Whitman College, 345 Boyer Avenue, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

Resources for Genealogists

Several basic genealogical sources are available in the Penrose Library and the Whitman College and Northwest Archives.

Federal and Territorial Censuses – Penrose Library, Main (2nd) Floor, “Books on Microfilm” Cabinet
  • Enumeration sheets provide information about the address, nationality, citizenship, profession, and literacy of every member of a given household.
  • Penrose Library has the following census records on microfilm:
    • 7th Federal Census, Oregon Territory, 1850
    • 8th Federal Census, Washington Territory, 1860
    • 9th Federal Census, Washington State, 1870
    • 10th Federal Census, Washington State, 1880
    • 12th Federal Census, Washington State, 1900
    • 13th Federal Census, Washington State, 1910
    • Washington Territory Census Rolls, 1871-1892
    • Provisional and Territorial Census Records of Oregon, 1842-1859

Penrose Library does not have a name index for the census or enumeration district maps.

Newspapers – Penrose Library, 1st Floor, Whitman College and Northwest Archives
  • Local newspapers available in Penrose Library:
    • Walla Walla Union Bulletin (and all preceding Walla Walla newspapers), Newspaper Cabinet #28, 29, 1861-ongoing
    • Waitsburg Times, Newspaper Cabinet #27, 1881-ongoing
    • Dayton Chronicle, Newspaper Cabinet #2, 1917-1957
    • Whitman College Pioneer, Newspaper Cabinet #30, 1893-ongoing
  • None of these newspapers is indexed. To locate articles, you must know an approximate date of publication.
Directories – Penrose Library, 1st Floor, and in the Whitman College and Northwest Archives
  • Walla Walla County and City Directories are located in the Northwest Collection on the first floor (1911-1997) and in the archives reading room (1880-2000).
Yearbooks – Whitman College and Northwest Archives Reading Room
  • Whitman College Academic Catalogues (1882- )
  • Whitman College Yearbooks, Waiilatpu (1906-1997)
  • Walla Walla High School Yearbooks (1915-2000)
Other resources – Whitman College and Northwest Archives
  • Ogle’s Standard Atlas of Walla Walla County, 1909 (contains plat maps)
  • Vertical clipping files on “Whitman College People” and “Northwest People,” dates unknown

If you would like assistance with your research, please contact the Walla Walla Valley Genealogical Society.

Finding Primary Resources Elsewhere

Northwest Digital Archives: Provides access to finding aids from historical repositories in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington State Digital Archives: Digital full-text access to select public records, including birth, death, and census records.

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC): A database of catalog records for archival collections held by institutions throughout the United States.

American Memory: A free, full text electronic archive of images, sounds and texts from 19th- and 20th- century America.

Repositories of Primary Source: A directory of web sites for archives and manuscript repositories throughout the world. An excellent place to find contact information for archives and archivists in any region you are studying.

City of Walla Walla Online Records

Fort Walla Walla Museum

Kirkman House Museum

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute Interpretive Center for the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District

Washington State Library’s Classics in Washington History (includes Lyman’s History of Old Walla Walla County)

Whitman Mission National Historical Site