SMA's Virtual Vault

Activities for Adults

City Light Power Control CenterAre you looking to liven up your video calls? Download Zoom backgrounds from the archives for your next meeting. You'll find interior and exterior shots from a variety of time periods, pre-sized and ready for you to do a little time traveling.

puzzle

Check out our online jigsaw puzzles! We have a variety to choose from, at varying levels of difficulty. Puzzle your way through photographs, postcards, maps, and more. You can compete against others, and can adjust the number of pieces you'd like to play in each puzzle by using the "play as" drop-down menu. We have collections of puzzles featuring Seattle icons and ephemera.

YouTube screenshot

On the hunt for something new to watch? Our YouTube channel has a wide variety of film and video from decades past. Check out our Movie Time playlist for some selections.

handwritten letter

Interested in volunteering in the archives from home? Consider helping out with transcription of early documents to make them more accessible. Most records date from the 1870s to the 1890s and contain glimpses into the lives and activities of a growing Seattle. Visit SMA's FromThePage site to learn more. You can create an account to track your progress, but also can participate without an account.

coloring page

If you're looking for an artistic outlet, download our coloring pages inspired by graphic items featured in our Seattle at 150 book, like hatchcover designs from 1976, a subway track design from 1920, and a 1937 drawing of the Seattle city seal. Each coloring sheet is accompanied by 1-page description giving a short history of the image. No matter your age, a coloring project can be both creative and relaxing!

fireboat

Sending more mail these days? Writing thank you notes? We have postcards and note cards featuring photos from the collections, available here in PDF form for you to download and print from home.

Activities for Kids

puzzle

We have online jigsaw puzzles especially for kids, featuring fun images from the archives and fewer pieces. Use the "play as" drop-down menu to increase or decrease the difficulty of each puzzle.

YouTube screenshot

Some of the moving images in our collection were originally meant for kids. Take a look at our Kids Movie Time playlist for cartoons, zoo animals, educational productions, and more.

cootie catcher

Remember origami fortune tellers? We've got a Seattle history-themed version ready to download and print at home. Folding instructions are available here.

coloring book

Download and print this coloring book distributed by City Light in the 1970s - kids can color while also learning how to be safe around electricity.

Other Resources

puzzle

Are you cleaning out your attic or basement and finding old photographs, documents, or other personal records? Check out our Preserving Personal Collections page for tips on how to care for your own historical materials, with links to detailed resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives, and others.

WPA letterhead

Digital document libraries are a resource for history students and teachers. Primary source documents are available online on topics such as Hoovervilles, Prohibition, and the history of Seattle's LGBTQ community in the 1970s and 1980s. Although the geographic focus is Seattle, the topics reflect events at the state and national level.

man with microphone

Seattle Voices contains audio exhibits with excerpts from public hearings and committee meetings on topics such as rent control, bicycle registration, I-90, and much more. Seattle residents interacting with their city government can be inspiring!

open housing march flyer

Online exhibits on the SMA website are illustrated stories on specific topics, including open housing legislation, Seattle's annexed cities, redlining, and the Boundary Dam. The exhibits dip into the collections so that viewers can see the records without coming to the Archives.

classroom

The Archives 101 section of our website includes information on primary sources and more about what archivists do. Our classroom projects feature a primary source analysis project and information on participating in National History Day.