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About the Archives

Mission and History

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections housed in Penrose Library. The archives collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of these materials for teaching, learning, and research.

Archival Collections at Whitman have a long history. A significant portion of our Northwest History collections were donated by Myron Eells in 1907. For a time, these collections were managed as part of the Whitman Museum. Under the direction of College Librarian Ruth Reynolds, Northwest Manuscript materials as well as College Records began to be stored and processed in Penrose Library. Dedicated staff were assigned to manage the Northwest Collections and Archival Materials beginning in the 1960s.

Today, the Archives houses over 4800 linear feet of archival material and a collection of approximately 5000 rare books. See our Explore Collections page for more information on collections.

Archives Staff

Ben Murphy Ben Murphy
Archivist & Head of Digital Services [email protected]
509-526-4731
Dana BronsonDana Bronson
Associate Archivist
[email protected]
509-527-4703
Joel GaytanJoel Gaytan
Archives Assistant
[email protected]
(509) 527-5922

Collection Development Policy

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives (WCNA) curates materials that document the history, culture, and current state of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region, as well as rare books and other special collections housed in Penrose Library. WCNA collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of these materials for teaching, learning, and research.

The Archives’ Collection Development Policy is available here [add link].

Donations and Transfers

The Archives selectively accepts gifts of regional manuscript collections and rare books, in accordance with our Collection Development policy [add link]. Donations require completing a Deed of Gift. Questions about donations can be directed to Ben Murphy.

Transfers of College Records from offices on campus are accepted when accompanied by a Records Transfer Form. Questions about College Records can be directed to Dana Bronson.