Research Tips and Tools

e-learning title card

See our Searching for Records in the Seattle Municipal Archives
e-learning course for a detailed look at our search tools
and tips on how to use them.

Research Guides

Looking for a photo of your house? Trying to learn how the land use code has changed over time? Looking for historical information about parks in your neighborhood? Check out our research guides for resources and tips.


This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records. If you find an item that matches what you are searching for, cutting and pasting the subject terms for that item into the index terms search field will bring up similar results.

Neighborhood Map Atlas

For databases that are indexed by neighborhood, this tool can help you ensure you're searching on the name we use for a specific area.

Annexation Tool

This interactive map details the legislative history of all annexations to Seattle from 1869 through 1975, including relevant ordinances, dates of annexation, and other related information.

Street Designation Maps

Older documents in the archives often reference street designations as they appeared before the city changed its directional scheme in 1961. These maps show the designations before and after the change.

Municipal Archives, City Clerk

Anne Frantilla, City Archivist
Address: 600 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94728, Seattle, WA, 98124-4728
Phone: (206) 684-8353

The Office of the City Clerk maintains the City's official records, provides support for the City Council, and manages the City's historical records through the Seattle Municipal Archives. The Clerk's Office provides information services to the public and to City staff.