Black Heritage Society of Washington State

Black Heritage Society of Washington State, Inc.

Mailing Address: P. O. Box 22961 Seattle, WA 98122
Office/Collections: 5933 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98108
Phone: (206) 324-1126 Collections/Jackie Lawson Resource Center

Organized in 1977, the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, Inc. is a registered nonprofit dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, exhibition, and education that relates to the history and culture of Black people across the region.

In keeping with its mission, BHS manages the largest public collection of NW historical memorabilia including but not limited to, original photographs, ephemera, documents, small three-dimensional items, and oral histories that are held safely in trust as a public asset. While the acquisition and quality care for the extensive archive is a priority at BHS, the organization extends its purpose to develop and collaborate with community stakeholders and partners to uphold the awareness and celebration of statewide Black history. Together, with its allies, BHS has worked to landmark heritage sites, create public programs, develop education resources, and foster best practice in collections management. In this digital age, BHS seeks to make its special collections easily accessible and digitally available for use outside the library stacks and into classrooms, living rooms and for curatorial purposes.

The all-volunteer led organization is governed by a passionate Board of Directors who enlist and guide committee members to carry out the initiatives, programs and outreach that represent the preservation goals at BHS. The governing body adheres to the constitution and bylaws as adopted by its members and is therefore responsive to its membership. BHS understands and accepts its role as an advocate and keeper of Black history that is fundamentally everyone’s history.

Public access to BHS collections is by appointment Monday to Friday. BHS is an institutional partner with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) for more than twenty years. The organization manages its collections at a shared repository in Seattle, WA at the MOHAI/Georgetown Resource Center.