Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Seattle City Clerk's Home Page Seattle City Clerk's Home Page Seattle City Clerk's About Us Page Seattle City Clerk's Contact Us Page
Online Information Resources
Search Collections Exhibits and Education Seattle Facts About the Archives

Overview of Collections
Search Archives Collections
Search Legislative Records
Selected Collection Guides
Research Tips & Tools
Oral Histories
Other Local History Resources

Search Tips - Maps

Starting Your Search
Enter search terms: You may enter keywords or index terms in the search box. For example, you can search on the word "housing," which will bring up any record with that word in it. Or you can search on the subject term "military-housing," "public-housing," or "low-income-housing," which will provide more specific searches on housing. See Index Terms below.
Neighborhood area: You may limit results to one neighborhood area.
Map Category: You may limit your search regarding two large categories of maps: the Cedar River Watershed Maps and Zoning maps. Zoning maps can be further refined by 1923, 1947 or 1973.
Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box.

Search Results
Your search results will appear as a list of maps which provides the item number of the maps, the date, and title of the map. A blue box will appear if there is a digital image of the map. Clicking on the map title will provide a fuller description of the map, and a digital copy, where available.

About 75% of the map records provide a digital copy of the map online. The zoning and watershed maps are high enough resolution to be used online. The other maps are intended as reference copies; researchers may need to visit the Archives to use the maps. Three different resolutions of the digital copies of maps are available online

Wild Cards
These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms
If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our
thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching
By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field
Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "sewer.ti." will retrieve all records where the word "sewer" appears in the title of the map. Field names for the Map Index are:

ID Document ID
CAB Cabinet number
CONT Box/container
FOLD Folder
ONUM Original number
SER Series ID
ACCN Accession number
TI Title
AU Author
CITY City of publication
PUBL Publisher
PHYS Physical description
SCAL Scale
SCOP Scope/theme information
YEAR Year of publication
DATE Date of publication
LDAT Date of last change
SUB Subject terms
PNOT Physical notes
COND Condition
PW Part/whole relationship
OTH Other related items
NOTE Content notes
DI Digital image availability
LOC Location
POL Polarity

Searching by Date
To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000
This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database