Seattle historian and photographer Paul Dorpat has donated his entire collection of local historical artifacts to The Seattle Public Library. Dorpat’s collection of thousands of items span many eras and formats, and includes photos, negatives, art, prints, postcards, film, video, audio, ephemera, books and other materials documenting the rich history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

“We're thrilled to receive this incredible gift and look forward to making the collection available for the public to see and enjoy,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director of Collections and Access Services and interim manager of Special Collections for The Seattle Public Library.

Harbison said it will likely take several months to organize and process the thousands of items into the Library’s Special Collections Department. “We do know people are eager to have access to these items and we will soon have staff working on it,” Harbison said. “We will make an announcement when the materials are ready for the public.”

Among the treasures in Dorpat’s collection is his weekly column Now & Then, a Seattle Times Sunday magazine feature since 1982.

Dorpat, who has written numerous books about Seattle, is one of the three founders of HistoryLink, an online encyclopedia of Washington state history. He was involved in Seattle's first underground newspaper, the Helix, which was published between 1967 and 1970. In 2001, Dorpat received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild.