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Our Archives & Collections

The Rainier Valley Historical Society maintains an ever-growing archive of historic photographs, documents, maps, oral histories, and artifacts. The collection - along with a library of books and other research materials relating to the Rainier Valley - is available to the public during office hours or by appointment and on our online databases.


Researchers are encouraged to contact the RVHS to discuss their requests in advance by emailing

Collections Committee

In 2009 the RVHS Board adopted a new Collections Policy that outlines our commitment to collect and preserved the historical materials in our care. The new policy establishes  a Collections Committee that will oversee accessions, cataloging, and preservation efforts. 

Collections Scope

The collection focuses on the history of the Rainier Valley from 1850 to the present day. Our geographic boundaries are from Dearborn Street on the north to the city limits on the south, and from I5 freeway to Lake Washington. Our collection has historically centered on the Columbia City and the period from 1890-1940, but we are working to expand the collection to include a broader geographic range, materials from WWII and the post war period, and from many ethnic and cultural communities to present the Rainier Valley today. 

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Explore Our Archives

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