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Phone: 509-963-3682

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The Central Washington University Archives & Special Collections was established in 2005 as the repository for official and unofficial records that document the history of the university. It therefore serves as a regional repository to house, preserve, and promote the unique cultural history of central Washington. The archives is located on the second floor of the James E. Brooks Library on the Ellensburg campus. Follow the archives on Facebook and Instagram to learn about our latest news.


The archives houses the following collections. Finding aids (guides) for collections are available in ArchivesWest.

Archival photo of Barge Hall from 1893
University Archives
Collections include documents, correspondence, photographs, oral histories, audiovisual materials, and ephemera that document the history of Central Washington University.
Archival photo of The Bumblebees band
Regional History
Collections include documents, correspondence, photographs, oral histories, audiovisual materials, and ephemera that document the history of Ellensburg and the larger central Washington area.
Leaf from a psalter circa 1400 A.D.
Special Collections
Rare and unique books include those on regional literature, Native American history, children’s literature, Central Washington University history, and works by regional authors.
Archival photo of Cle Elum
Digital Collections
University history, including student newspapers and yearbooks, and regional history, including community projects, photographs, and documents, are available in digitized format through the CWU institutional repository, ScholarWorks, in the CWU Archives & Special Collections and Community Projects collections.

Using the Archives & Special Collections


The CWU Archives & Special Collections is open 10am-3pm Monday through Friday and by appointment. Email us at or call 509-963-1023 with questions or to schedule an appointment or instruction session.

Location and contact information

The archives is located on the second floor of the James E. Brooks Library in room 201.


Reading room user guidelines

  • Upon entering the archives reading room, researchers must sign-in and complete a researcher form (PDF). We encourage reserachers to bring the completed form to your appointment.
  • Pencils, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, and laptop computers are allowed in the reading room. Pens are not allowed. Pencils are available for researcher use.
  • As a courtesy to other researchers, cell phones must be turned off or on inaudible vibrate.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in the reading room.
  • Use of cameras and scanning equipment are not permitted, unless by special permission of the University Archivist.
  • No library materials or personal items may be brought into the reading room, including coats, briefcases, backpacks, computer cases, and purses. All library and personal items must be left by the entrance of the archives or stored in one of its available lockers.
  • Materials in the archives do not circulate and cannot be taken out of the archives.
  • Researchers assume all responsibilities, familiarity, and understanding of current ownership, U.S. copyright laws and fair use guidelines.
  • Duplication and imaging requests must be completed and in compliance with the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and Title 17 of the United States Copyright Law.
  • Duplication and imaging requests may be declined if materials are too fragile or may become damaged in the duplication or imaging process.
  • Central Washington University retains all copyright and ownership to materials in the Archives & Special Collections.

Citing archives collections

The citation should contain the following:
Appears courtesy of Dr. James E. Brooks Library, Archives & Special Collections
[Collection title/image]
Central Washington University

Research room policy

The archives research room policy is available online.

Research & Instruction Support

The archives seeks to support the curriculum and teaching of Central Washington University by providing instruction to classes in the archives. Its collections offer a wealth of primary source material that can enrich the learning experience and add excitement and depth to almost any class on campus. Engaging with primary documents enlivens cultural, regional, and general history for students, and helps them understand the social or cultural contexts of ideas and texts covered in classes.

Faculty are invited to use collections to support their syllabi. Archives staff will assist faculty in determining the best resources to use by introducing students to using the collections, archival research methods, the history of the book, and providing instruction sessions to classes on individual subject strengths in the department. Faculty are also welcome to put items from the archives collections on course reserve (housed within the archives) for student use in projects or classwork.

The following library research guides provide information on conducting archival research.

To schedule an in-person or virtual instruction session in the archives, email or call 509-963-1023.

Digitization Services

Duplication and imaging requests may be sent to the archives by email at or by phone at 509-963-1023. Requests may be given in person when the archives reading room is open.

Requests are completed by archives staff and may be completed by an outside vendor depending on the format of the requested item.

Digitization Services
Service Fee

$5.00 per page or image. No charge for first 10 scans per visit.

Photocopy $0.10 per copy. No charge for first 10 copies per visit
Archival research conducted by CWU staff $50.00 per hour. Assessed charges are for library staff conducting research for outside entities for commercial, for-profit purposes.
Commercial and professional for-profit requests Regardless of format, $50.00 per image/item for one-time use.

Copyright information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for compliance with copyright in their use of photographic materials. CWU Libraries reserves the right to refuse to accept an order for imaging services if, in its judgment, completing the order would violate copyright law.

Permission to publish

Publication use applies to the use of a reproduction in digital, film, print, or video format. All users purchasing reproductions in any format, digital, or photographic, who intend to use them for any purpose other than personal research, must submit a written request for permission to publish, republish or use, to the University Archivist.

Additional Regional Repositories

University departments and offices transferring permanent records for retention to the archives must first complete a transfer/destruction form and email it to Kerrie Nelson, Records Analyst.

Donors of collections pertaining to university or regional history must contact the University Archivist regarding the potential donation. Collections are accepted that adhere to the archives' collection development policy. A completed deed of gift (PDF) is required at the time of donation.

Donors of books must contact the University Archivist regarding the potential donation. A completed donor record form (PDF) is required at time of donation.

For questions regarding donation of materials, email or call 509-963-1023.

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