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Century 21 World's Fair - Home
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Century 21 World's Fair - Bibliography

Textual Records

Civic Center Advisory and World's Fair Commissions Records, 1957-1962 (Record Series 9315-01)
Records of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair commissions including: Century 21 Executive Committee, World's Fair Commission, other committee and board minutes, authorizing legislation, promotional materials and reports. Issues addressed included: land acquisition, building design and landscaping, transportation, exhibits, and financial issues. The records date primarily from 1957 to 1959.

Office of the Mayor, Mayor Gordon Clinton Records (Record Series 5210-01)
Records from Mayor Clinton's office regarding various aspects of planning for the exposition.

  • Box 4, Folders 16-17: Century 21 World's Fair, 1960
  • Box 7, Folder 1; Box 8, Folder 18; Box 9, Folder 1: Century 21 Downtown Beautification, 1961-1962
  • Box 7, Folder 15-18: Hotel Licensing Board, Housing, 1962
  • Box 10, Folder 4; Box 20, Folders 6-7; Box 24, Folder 16; Box 42, Folder 7: Correspondence - Century 21/Seattle Center, 1963-1964
  • Box 24, Folder 6: Armory, Century 21, Pier 91, 1964

Seattle Center Facilities Maintenance Records (Record Series 7605-01)
Correspondence, progress reports, architectural drawings, specifications, and financial records relating to construction, maintenance, and site development of Seattle Center facilities. The bulk of the records are for the Civic Auditorium, Coliseum, and parking facilities. Most of the records date from the World's Fair and immediate post-fair development.

  • Box 1, Folder 5: Seattle Center Central Plant, 1963-1964
  • Box 1, Folder 46: Seattle Center Park Garage, 1963
  • Box 1, Folder 47: Seattle Center Peripheral Street Trees, 1964-1965
  • Box 2, Folder 17: Seattle Center General Site Development, 1964-1965
  • Box 2, Folder 21: Seattle Center Irrigation and Drainage, 1964
  • Box 2, Folder 22: Seattle Center Landscape Site Development, 1964-1965 (also includes information on Civic Auditorium, Coliseum, and International Fountain)

Wesley C. Uhlman, Subject Files (Record Series 5287-01)
Records from Mayor Uhlman's office relating to the conduct and results of several World's Fairs, principally the Century 21 Exposition and Spokane's Expo '74. Contains valuable third-party research on the Fair both before and after 1962.

  • Box 196, Folder 11: Worlds Fairs, 1958-1972

Engineering Unrecorded Subject Files (Record Series 2602-02)
Records relating to Engineering Department involvement in various city projects, including Century 21.

  • Box 1, Folders 386-388: Century 21 - World's Fair, 1957-1972

Board of Public Works Miscellaneous Subject Files (Record Series 0601-01)
Records of the Board of Public Works, which coordinated public works projects.

  • Box 1, Folders 12-15: Century 21 Exposition, 1959-1962

Ordinances (Record Series 1801-02)
Permanent laws of the City passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor. Search the ordinance database using terms like "worlds fair" and "monorail."

  • Over 30 ordinances related to concessions, housing, permits, leases, rent, facilities.

Resolutions (Record Series 1801-09)
City legislation of an administrative or administrative nature, or expressing policy. Resolutions are passed by City Council and may carry the Mayor's signature as an endorsement. Search the resolution database using terms like "worlds fair" and "monorail."

  • Over 25 resolutions related to vacations, donations, commendations, intent to acquire property.

Clerk Files (Record Series 1802-01)
Materials placed "on file" with the City Clerk as an official City file. Types of records include affidavits, agreements, audits, applications, appointments, contracts, correspondence, annual reports, Mayor's messages and vetoes, petitions, policies and procedures, City publications, and legislation background materials. These records can be generated by elected officials, City agencies, and the general public. Search the clerk file database using terms like "worlds fair" and "monorail."

  • Over 175 clerk files related to citizen complaints/concerns, housing, minutes, murals, parking, lighting, dignitaries, moral standards, beautification, censorship, post-fair planning.

Seattle City Light Advertising Scrapbooks (Record Series 1201-03)
Scrapbooks of newspaper, magazine, and other advertisements publicizing Seattle City Light, products and appliances, developments in hydroelectric power, and the city of Seattle itself. The Century 21 Exposition figured prominently in City Light advertisements around 1962.

Vertical Files
Program, brochures, planning timeline, ephemera, and other materials.

  • Vertical File 435: Century 21 - World's Fair Brochures and Souvenir program, 1962

Maps and Drawings

Engineering Miscellaneous Improvement Records (Record Series 2615-02)
Records documenting public works projects.

  • Box 1, Folders 1486-1491: Alweg monorail drawings, 1959-1962

Engineering Utility Franchise Records (Record Series 2623-02)
Utility franchises granting permission to grantees to use sidewalks, streets, underground or air space owned by the City. The monorail records contain detailed drawings of columns, tracks, and other parts of its structure.

  • Box 15, 8 Folders: Alweg Rapid Transit Systems drawings, 1961
  • Box 16, 8 Folders: Alweg Rapid Transit Systems drawings, 1961

Department of Community Development Maps and Drawings (Record Series 1600-05)
2 drawings by Paul Thiry, Seattle Planning Commission.

  • Study of Broad St, 4th Avenue and 5th Ave. access to Seattle Civic Center. Proposed alignment of monorail on Century 21 grounds. 62x80 cm. Diazo on paper with colored pencil. May 18, 1960. Item 1169 in Map Index.
  • Alternative monorail terminal Century 21. 62x81 cm. Diazo on paper with colored pencil. 1960. Item 1170 in Map Index.

Photographs and Moving Images

Century 21 Footage (Record Series 3902-01)
Collection of short pieces including two animated Public Service Announcements encouraging visitors to the World's Fair, footage of fair grounds model and construction including Coliseum, monorail and Space Needle, dignitaries touring fair grounds during construction, Century 21 offices, and a woman touring the Fair.

World's Fair Slides (Record Series 9955-01)
55 color slides depicting Century 21 the International Fountain, the Space Needle, amusement park rides, the monorail, and other attractions and landmarks. Search the photo database on "9955-01."

Seattle Engineering Department Photographs (Record Series 2613-07)
Over 90 negatives available online of parking signs, construction, safety awards and other images of Century 21. Search the photo database on "Century 21."

Jim Skinner Photograph Collection (Record Series 9975-01)
A total of 57 color slides taken by Jim Skinner in April 1962 of Century 21. Search the photo database on "9975-01."


1962 Seattle World's Fair background information (Document 5866)
Authored by Century 21 Exposition in 1962. 79 pages.

Seattle "Carveyor" proposal / passenger belt conveyor system for Seattle Transit Commission to service Century 21 Exposition (Document 6118)
Authored by Passenger Belt Conveyors, Inc. in 1958. 18 pages.

Monorail proposal for Seattle Transit Commission (Document 6119)
Authored by Monorail, Inc. in 1958. 21 pages.

Seattle Monorail / a mass transportation demonstration study (Document 7627)
Authored by University of Washington Civil Engineering Department in 1962. 108 pages.

Report of examination / World Fair Commission and Century 21 Exposition, Inc. (Document 7742)
Authored by Washington State Auditor in 1963. 94 pages.

Seattle Center, "the first year" (Document 7767)
Authored by Century 21 Center, Inc. in 1963. 55 pages.

A United States World Exposition at Seattle: 1962 (Document 8057)
Authored by Century 21 Exposition in 1959. 39 pages.

Note: Some images from these materials can be seen on our Flickr site.

Other Century 21 Resources

Seattle Public Library's Century 21 Digital Collection features over 1200 photographs taken of the Fair area before, during, and after Century 21, all digitized and available through the Library's website. Also in the collection are over 65 documents relating to the Fair's conduct, from brochures to internal memos to congressional reports.

The Special Collections division of the University of Washington Libraries holds a significant quantity of primary sources concerning the Fair, both written and visual. Much of their holdings are digitized and available online via their Century 21 Subject Guide.