Explore the Seattle Room Collections

Shelves in Seattle Room Collection

Over 50,000 items documenting and exploring the culture and history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest through books both unique and familiar, archival collections, articles, news clippings, photographs, postcards, city documents, maps, atlases and illustrations. The collections also include oral histories, restaurant menus, yearbooks from Seattle Public high schools, and many works by local artists.

These collections are non-circulating and can be accessed by appointment through the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room, located at the Central Library on Level 10. Appointments are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. You may book 30 minutes to 2 hours of time.

Preview the Collections

Many items from the Seattle Room are available online, which makes it even easier to find information about Seattle’s rich history. Search digitized items by type, decade and subject, or explore focused collections to learn about Seattle’s Black history and culture, 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, or the development and growth of the Pike Place Market.

Using the catalog’s advanced search you can limit search results for Seattle Room Collections by using the Collection drop down menu and selecting the ‘REF - Ask at Level 10 Desk’ and/or ‘REF - Level 10 Seattle Room’ options.

About the Collections

The Seattle Public Library has collected resources documenting the history of the City of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest region, and the people who have called these lands their home, since the library’s establishment in 1891.

The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room opened as part of the new Central building of the Seattle Public Library in 2004. With its opening, select local history and culture resources were brought together to better highlight the library’s commitment to supporting research in the multi-faceted story of Seattle.