Washington State Jewish Archives


Washington State Jewish Archives (WSJA) is a collaboration of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society and the University of Washington (UW) Libraries Special Collections.

First established with the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation in conjunction with the UW, WSJA is the premier collection documenting the Jewish experience in Washington State. It reflects this unique Jewish community in the far West, characterized by its large Sephardic population. The WSJA contains collections of organizational records and personal papers, photographs, oral history interviews, audio recordings, and moving images.

The WSJA collections are preserved in climate-controlled storage at UW Allen Library​​ Special Collections ​for scholarly research and public access where ​Ryan A. Donaldson​, WSJA Collections Strategy Manager & Archivist, jointly administer the archives program with UW Libraries Special Collections staff.

WSJA Research Guide - Includes information about the content of the collection as well as tips on how to search for material.

WSJA Digital Collection - Includes access to digitized photographs, oral histories, and collaborative digital projects that comprise a portion of the overall collection.

Signature Collections


Washington State Jewish Archives photograph collections

The WSJA Photograph Collections are comprised of over 350 individual collections containing approximately 4000 photographs. Collections have been donated over time by Jewish families, businesses, organizations, and congregations. The photographs document the history of Washington State's Jewish communities but also provide abundant source material for Jewish history in general.

WSJA Oral History collection

There are over 470 oral histories in the Washington State Jewish Archives and the majority are available online. The oral histories include interviews with early immigrants and refugees, businessmen and women, artists, political figures in the Jewish community, and many others throughout Washington State, providing a valuable resource for researchers from a variety of fields.

The WSJA continues to collect and add to the archives.

If you have materials of historic interest that you wish to preserve, consider donating them to the WSJA.

Guidelines for Personal & Family Records to Donate

Guidelines for Organizational Records to Donate

Follow this link to learn more about the research opportunities available through the WSJA.


Funding for oral history recording and preservation is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.