Research Tips and Tools

The Seattle Municipal Archives has developed guides to resources that may help with certain types of research:

Research Guides

Looking for a photo of your house? Trying to learn how the land use code has changed over time? Looking for historical information about parks in your neighborhood? Check out our research guides for resources and tips.

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. If you find an item that matches what you are searching for, cutting and pasting the subject terms for that item into the index terms search field will bring up similar results.

Neighborhood Map Atlas

For databases that are indexed by neighborhood, this tool can help you ensure you're searching on the name we use for a specific area.

Annexation Tool

This interactive map details the legislative history of all annexations to Seattle from 1869 through 1975, including relevant ordinances, dates of annexation, and other related information.

Street Designation Maps

Older documents in the archives often reference street designations as they appeared before the city changed its directional scheme in 1961. These maps show the designations before and after the change.