Archives and Special Collections

CWU is a part of the rich and unique cultural stories of central Washington. Established in 2005, our Central Washington University Archives & Special Collections is the repository for official and unofficial records, dedicated to housing, preserving, and promoting our region's histories.

Interested in exploring our collections? The archives is located on the second floor (PDF) 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 has collections in the following areas. Finding aids (guides) for collections are available in ArchivesWest.

University Archives

Our collections span the history of CWU and include documents, photographs, oral histories, audiovisuals, and ephemera.

University Archives

Regional History

Our collections span the history of CWU and the larger central WA area, including documents, photographs, oral histories, audiovisuals, and ephemera.

Regional History

Special Collections

Rare and unique books include regional history, Native American history, children's literature, CWU history, and works by regional authors.

Special Collections

Digital Collections

CWU's digitized institutional repository, Scholarworks, includes collections spanning university and regional historical documents, visuals, and more.

CWU Archives & Special Collections

Digital Collections

Using the Archives & Special Collections

Hours and Location

The CWU Archives & Special Collections is open 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. Email us at or call 509-963-1717 with questions or to schedule an appointment or instruction session.

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


Policies and Procedures

  • Reading Room User Guidelines

    • Upon entering the archives reading room, researchers must sign-in and complete a researcher form. We encourage researchers 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 509-963-1717. 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.

Service Fee
Scanning $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.

Donate Materials

University departments and offices transferring permanent records for retention to the archives must first complete a transfer/destruction form and email it to, 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 is required at the time of donation.

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

For questions regarding donation of materials, email or call 509-963-1717.