Visit the Archives
Open Building Hours
King County Archives is thrilled to announce that starting October 3, we will have limited open building hours.
- Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Walk-in microfilm research
- Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Appointment-only all other research requests
We continue to offer remote reference services via email and telephone, (206) 263-2480, and we look forward to expanding our open building hours later this year.
Exterior of King County Archives building, 1215 E. Fir Street, 2017
Before you come to King County Archives, you can do a few things to make your visit more productive.
- Know your topic. What kind of information are you trying to find? The more specific you are, the better we can help you.
- Check our FAQs, research guides, and search catalog to gather more information about the record we hold.
- Contact the Archives in advance via email or call 206-263-2480 to discuss your topic. You may also schedule a reference appointment (more information about this below.)
- Gather your research materials. Have you taken notes? Be sure to bring those. You may also bring a mobile device or digital camera for taking pictures of records and a flash drive so you can save scans of microfilm.
- Please let us know if you require assistive technology or accessibility accommodations. King County Archives is committed to making sure our spaces and materials are accessible for all patrons.
Researching Recorded Documents on Microfilm?
No appointment is required for the self-service microfilm area, which is open to the public on a walk-in basis. The recorded documents collection consists of property ownership records such as deeds, easements, surveys, short plats, and mortgages.
Researching Records not on Microfilm?
Please schedule an appointment at least one business day in advance to view archival records other than recorded documents on microfilm. This allows Archives staff enough time to identify and retrieve records that are most likely responsive to your research topic.
Remember that archival records are unique materials that cannot be replaced. King County Archives is charged with the care and preservation of these records for future generations. We hold them in trust for the people of King County and to facilitate access to them. For these reasons, all researchers will be asked to abide by the following policies:
- Please check in with staff member at the lobby desk. They are there to assist you.
- All patrons will be asked to sign in at the front desk prior to using archival records. The Archives uses only anonymized data you provide for statistical purposes to improve our services and track the use of our collections.
- No food or drinks may be consumed near archival materials. We provide lockers for you to store these items.
- Use of microfilm scanners is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We ask that you limit your research time to 15 minutes if other researchers are waiting.
- Patrons using the research room will be asked to store their bags and coats in a locker outside the research room.
- The use of pens or other permanent marking tools is prohibited while using archival records. Such items can damage or deface historical materials.
- Please be respectful of the other researchers and turn off your mobile device or put it on vibrate. If you need to take a call, please do so in the lobby or outside.
- Ask for assistance when making copies or scans of materials.
- I-5 North or South
- Take the James Street Exit
- Head east on James Street up the hill. The road will turn into Cherry Street
- Right on 12th Avenue
- Left on E Fir St
- The Archives buiding is on the south side of Fir Street halfway between 12th Avenue and 13th Avenue. Drive through the gate and proceed until you find parking on the right.
Access Metro's Trip Planner to find your route and to check for route and schedule changes.
By Street Car
The First Hill Line of the Seattle Street Car stops at 14th and Jefferson, just a few blocks from the Archives. This is an easy way to travel to the Archives from Pioneer Square or Capitol Hill. Access the Seattle Streetcar site and plan your trip.
Click View Larger Map to open the map in a new tab and to type in your address for directions.