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Bellingham & Whatcom County History

Discover your community’s past with local history materials, self-guided tours, museums, and archives.

Ancestry Library Edition
Library-Use Only.

Resources for genealogical and historical research in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Includes census, vital, church, court, and immigration records.

HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online offers remote access to a collection of genealogy resources. It offers Census records from the US, Canada, and the UK; the Social Security Death Index; over 22,000 digitized books on local and family history; City Directories from 1821-1989; a collection of Will and Probate records from 1668-2005; records from the Freedman’s Bank, 1865-1871; extracts from the US Serial Set covering acts of Congress that impact individuals; historical maps and photos; and much more!

Newspapers.com – West Collection

Newspapers.com – West Collection provides access to historic newspapers, a tool that can be very helpful for family history and genealogy research. Ancestry and HeritageQuest search results include records from Newspapers.com.

The West Collection has newspapers from these states:


Includes the Bellingham Herald from 1903 – 1923.

City IQ Online Map Viewer – City of Bellingham
Search for Bellingham property information and create custom maps which include photos, property boundaries, location of utility services and more.

Joyce Morse Reference Library
Joyce Morse Reference Library contains more than 500 titles about art and artists from the Pacific Northwest, Whatcom County history, and the history and art of Indians of the Pacific Northwest. It is located at the Whatcom Museum, and available for browsing in the library’s online catalog.

Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Archival collections that document significant developments in the Pacific Northwest history.

Fairhaven History
History and photos of the Fairhaven district since pioneer days.

Historic Preservation Bellingham
This site, maintained by the City of Bellingham, includes interactive maps, historic photographs of Bellingham, and historic resources surveys.

Historic Tours – Bellingham
Self-guided tours and interactive materials, curated by Historic Preservation Bellingham.

Free online Encyclopedia of Washington State history with photos and essays.

Legacy Washington
State collection of oral histories, photos, articles, and maps.

Lynden Pioneer Museum
Lynden history timeline, exhibit description and photos.

Lummi Nation Historical Information
National Museum of the American Indian
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Nooksack Tribe
Nooksack Tribe history from tribal website.

Northwest Regional Branch – Washington State Archives
The Northwest Regional Branch provides archival and records management services to local government agencies throughout Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties.

University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections
Archival material including photographs, books, and manuscripts on many topics and periods.

Washington Digital Newspapers
Search more than 400,000 pages of the Washington State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. A rich source of primary materials for teachers, students, genealogists, and professional researchers.

Washington State Archives
Home website for all Washington State archival collections.

Washington State Digital Archives
The nation’s first archives dedicated specifically to the preservation of electronic records from both State and Local agencies that have permanent legal, fiscal or historical value.

Washington State Historical Society
The Society collects, preserves, and presents Washington history thorough museums, research centers, and online collections.

Washington State Library – Classics in Washington History
This digital collection of full-text books brings together rare, out of print titles for easy access by students, teachers, genealogists and historians.

Whatcom County Genealogy – WAGenWeb
Genealogical collections and resources for Whatcom County.

Whatcom County Historical Society
Publications and other resources on the history of Whatcom County.
Filmed WCHS Events at the Whatcom Museum

Whatcom Museum
The Museum creates programs and exhibitions about art, nature, and northwest history, including a large photographic collection.