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The Digital Archives Website will be offline for scheduled maintenance from Wednesday, March 3rd from 11:59PM to Thursday, March 4th at 3:30AM.

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Digital Archives preserves 3.5 million critical, public records

America's first digital archives of its kind has rescued more than 3.5 million critical, public records and historic documents. The state-of-the-art facility, based in Cheney, Washington, works on behalf of the public to save the electronic history and important records.

Since its doors opened in October of 2004, the Digital Archives Program has made considerable progress.

New records include:

  • The complete websites of former Governor Mike Lowry along with former Governor Gary Locke
  • The Frontier Justice Database
  • Executive Orders back to 1918
  • 70 Censuses fully indexed imaged and browse-able
  • 1882 Grays Harbor Census
  • 1887 Adams County Census
  • Spokane County Death Records 1888-1907
  • Spokane County Birth Records 1890-1903
  • Pierce County Marriage Records

Users may also notice new functionality such as full-text searching, record-level security for confidential records and easier navigation.

The archives hold a wide range of material from birth, marriage, death, census, military and naturalization records, to historic records like the State Constitution and the first election results in Washington Territory. In fifteen years, citizens could access up to 800 terabytes (the equivalent of 200 billion pages of text) of public records and history from their home computers.

The Digital Archives has hosted observers from around the world who are interested in the technology and the overall program.

To visit our website www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

Background:

Electronic records began disappearing becausethe technology to preserve them did not exist.

Archivists estimate that the State of Washington is missing more than half of its electronic records and many will never be recovered. These include email and electronic documents from Governors, legislators, and other elected officials, as well as records important to those researching their ancestors.