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Records Management Program

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is the official repository for statewide information on historic, cultural and archaeological sites in Washington. The Department maintains information on over 32,000 archaeological sites, over 2,900 cemeteries, over 28,000 cultural resource reports, and over 629,000 historic properties.  This information is contained in individual paper records, USGS quadrangle maps, photographic negatives, prints, slides, videos and electronic data in a digital and tabular format.

DAHP Records Storage Room These records are created by the office, various federal, state, local government, and tribal agencies, private corporations and individuals and provided to the office as part of the office's official functions.  This information is covered by the Public Records Act (RCW is 42.56) and specific components of the records are exempt from disclosure (RCW 42.56.300) to avoid the looting or depredation of such sites.

Use of this information is necessary for the protection of these resources by various federal, state, local, and tribal governments and private entities. Such information is necessary for compliance with federal and state laws, and tribal and local ordinances along with assisting in historic and archaeological research and in promoting the public awareness of Washington' cultural heritage.

In order to assure the stewardship, security and appropriate sharing of this information and to assure conformance with existing laws and regulations the Department shall adhere to these policies:

Information Stewardship

The overriding policy of the Department is to assure the stewardship of the records it maintains on behalf of the citizens of Washington State. These site records are maintained permanently and no site records are physically removed from the files once entered. All policies and procedures shall be in conformance with applicable state law.

Public Inspection of Records

Consistent with the Public Records Act, physical inspection and review of the records shall be offered at no charge during normal office hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Where records contain information exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, the office shall withhold that information when such release would result in the loss or damage to the resource.  Because of limited researcher space, limited staff, the physical extent of the records and because specific records and components of records are exempt from public disclosure, the Department shall provide explicit instruction to assure equitable access, orderly inspection, and re-filing of the records.

Copying of Original Records

There is no charge for copies. Copying of public records of historic, archaeological and cultural sites is allowed to professional researchers, agency officials from regulatory agencies, tribal officials and the owner of record. Such copying is permitted upon completion and signature by the requestor of a confidentially agreement for those records that are exempt from public disclosure.  Where records contain information exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act the Department shall withhold that information when such release would result in the loss or damage to the resource.

Public Disclosure

To make a public records request, please see additional information.    To review records within the office please contact Jamie Ferris at (360) 515-8416 or email to schedule an appointment.

GIS Program