About this collection

The General Photograph Collection of the Washington State Historical Society is a visual record of the people, places and events that tell the story of Washington State.

There are images revealing the beauty of the land: the wild rivers before the dams, the forests and the deserts, the beaches and the bluffs, the lowlands and the mountains. The photographs include early views of Olympia, Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane, as well as the small towns in between. There are photos of loggers in the woods, fishermen hauling seine nets in Puget Sound, teachers and students in one room school houses, coal miners descending into the mines at Newcastle, farmers threshing wheat in the Palouse, and pickers harvesting apples in Yakima. There are portraits of presidents, governors, tycoons, and generals as well as the ordinary men, women and children who helped build the State.

A broad range of photographers who document 150 years of history of the State of Washington is represented in the collection. Photographers include A.H. Barnes, James Bashford, R.L. Boren, Roger Chute, John Cress, I.G. Davidson, J. Boyd Ellis, Virna Haffer, Darius Kinsey, Frank LaRoche, F.H. Nowell, Thomas H. Rutter, Henry M. Sarvant, Alfred G. Simmer, C.B. Talbot, photographers from the Works Progress Administration, and many others.