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Explore our Collections

Collection Areas

Northwest Manuscripts Collection

WCNA acknowledges that we exist upon the traditional homeland of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla and Nez Perce Peoples. WCNA collects and solicits donations of manuscripts and records from individuals and organizations of significance to the history and present of the Walla Walla region and the inland Pacific Northwest. Strengths of our manuscript collections include:

  • Records of early settlers and missionaries to the region
  • Records of Walla Walla businesses
  • Records of Walla Walla educational, religious, or cultural institutions
  • Letters, diaries, and other personal papers of Walla Walla residents
  • Photographic collections relating to the history of the Walla Walla region

We seek additional records of Walla Walla organizations, associations, and clubs, particularly from underrepresented populations including, but not limited to, women’s organizations, immigrant populations, people of color, the Latinx community, labor unions and organizations, and LGBTQIA+ identified organizations. 

College Archives

Includes records produced by College offices, student clubs and organizations, and select faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as other materials that document the history of Whitman College (chartered in 1883) and its predecessor, Whitman Seminary (chartered in 1859).

Several Whitman publications have been digitized, including student newspapers, select College publications, and the student yearbook.

For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, access to certain College records are restricted. Student educational records such as credentials, grade sheets, correspondence, reports, notes, applications, and all other records pertaining to past and present students are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation. Personnel related files of the college’s faculty and staff, including search, review, promotion, reappointment, tenure, and disciplinary/grievance records, are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.

In addition, the following record series are restricted for the following periods:

  • Board of Trustees and its subcommittees (30 years)
  • Board of Overseers and its subcommittees (30 years)
  • Office of the President (20 years)
  • Office of the Dean of Faculty (20 years)
  • Office of the Dean of Students (20 years)
  • Office of the Treasurer (20 years)
  • Development Office (20 years)
Rare Books and Special Collections

A collection of 5000 volumes focusing on Pacific Northwest Americana, including the Myron Eells Library of Northwest History. Other highlights of the collections include finely illustrated texts from the 15th to the 19th centuries, artists books and small press imprints, including the Newland-Johnson Book Arts Collection, and the Elbridge H. And Evelyn Clark Stuart Napoleon Collection.

Reading Room and Reference Collections

Includes Whitman College publications such as the College catalog and yearbooks, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and predecessor newspapers on microfilm, Walla Walla city directories, and other Northwest periodicals and reference materials. 

Digitized Collections

ARMINDA is the digital institutional repository of Penrose Library. It includes select digitized materials holdings from the Archives, and other digital collections from college sources.

Eells Northwest Collection

Part of the circulating collection of Penrose Library, the Eells collection includes books about the history and culture focusing on the Inland Pacific Northwest. Books from the Eells Collection are located on the first floor outside the Archives, and can be found in Sherlock.

Searching Our Collections

Archives West includes finding aids for our College Records and Northwest Manuscripts Collections. Our finding aids provide high-level overviews to the contents of an archival collection, including information about the creator and the scope and contents of the collection.

Archives West also includes finding aids for archival repositories in the Western United States. To limit your search to Whitman collections only, use the search bar on the left hand side of the page.

Sherlock, the library catalog, includes records for finding aids in Archives West, as well as rare books held in the Archives. To limit a search to materials in the Archives in Sherlock, use the search box below.

After you search in Sherlock, you can use the dropdown menu to limit your results to “Special Collections.” This will limit your results to books and finding aids located in the Archives.