About Collections

Collections

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives houses over 3500 linear feet of manuscript and archival material and about 5,000 rare books. Major collections include:

College Archives: Official and unofficial records, publications, select personal papers of faculty, staff, and alumni/ae, and other materials that document the history of Whitman College (chartered in 1883) and its predecessor, Whitman Seminary (chartered in 1859).

Northwest Manuscripts Collection: Manuscripts and records from individuals and organizations of significance to the history of the Walla Walla region. Materials in the collection range from the personal papers of some of the earliest missionaries in the region, including Marcus and Narcissa Whitman (1836), to records of contemporary local businesses and organizations, such as the Walla Walla Woman's Reading Club (1894-1995).

Myron Eells Library of Northwest History: Rare Pacific Northwest Americana and a growing, circulating collection of books and periodicals about the Northwest. Highlights include some of the first books printed in the Northwest at the Lapwai Mission Press (1839-45) and other early Northwest imprints.

Elbridge H. And Evelyn Clark Stuart Napoleon Collection: Books, furniture, and artifacts associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic era. Highlights of the collection include a desk used by Napoleon’s surgeon on the island of St. Helena, William Mudford’s An Historical Account of the Battle of Waterloo (1816), and William Ireland’s Life of Napoleon (1822).

Vernon H. McFarlane Collection: About 130 illustrated books from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Highlights include a Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) and a number of rare atlases and Bibles.

Book Arts and Small Press Collection: Over 300 artists’ books and small press imprints, including works produced by the Dogwood Press and books created by college faculty, students, and the Whitman Book Arts program.

Collection Development Policy

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives is the institutional repository for Whitman College and functions as the final repository for the official records of the college, including college publications, institutional records, and other materials created by college employees in the course of performing their work. The archives also collects unofficial records of individuals and groups affiliated with the college, including records of student groups, personal papers and other materials created by faculty, staff, and alumni/ae, and Whitmaniana (artifacts bearing the emblem of the college).

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives collects materials documenting the history of Walla Walla region from the arrival of the first white settlers to the present. Local history records of interest include records of Walla Walla organizations, businesses, and educational and cultural institutions and personal papers and other materials that highlight important dimensions of Walla Walla history.

The Whitman College and Northwest Archives also maintains a rare book collection. Strengths of the collection include Pacific Northwest Americana, finely illustrated books from the 15th-19th centuries, and book arts. While the archives is particularly interested in strengthening these collections, all fine and rare editions will be considered for acquisition.

Completion and submission of a records transfer form will help us determine how records or personal papers can best be preserved. When possible, send us this form (and if applicable, a box/folder list) prior to sending records. If you have any questions about the form, please contact the Archives.