Research & Collections

Looking for your past?

The Museum collection is available for users to reference, with Museum assistance when appropriate. Some materials are available for circulation. Most materials are directly relevant and/or specific to the Kent area, but some general historical materials are available.


Holdings include:

  • Artifacts
  • Historical books
  • Historical public & personal documents
  • Newspaper Archive
  • Photograph Archive
  • Map Archive
  • E-media Archive
  • Reference books
  • Free informational brochures

The Museum also houses several specialized collections, such as a local Japanese heritage collection, a collection of music players and musical instruments, and Kent high schools’ annuals dating back to 1911.

We provide reference services for information requests to over 250 members and the public. We can customize information delivery for both private and professional patrons by locating, synthesizing, and interpreting information resources. In-house and some off-site information can be located.

Photographic and archival material can be reproduced for both personal/research and commercial purposes. Please see our Intellectual Property Reproduction Policy.

We are starting the process of digitizing our yearbook collection! As we add to it, we will put them here for you to use!

We have 1950-1954 & 1956 Kent Meridian High School’s ready to go, just click the year here:

1950  1951   1952   1953   1954   1956

We have the rest of the 1950’s as well, but they are too large for the website. If you would like to see them, send us an email or stop by!


Here are photos of the 1960’s yearbooks.

You can see within 4 years how the art of the yearbook changes with history.  Starting at 1964 technology began expanding. A supercomputer was invented, going speeds of up to 3 million instructions per second. Now computers run instructions per second at mega hurts! You can see the difference in 1968, as this was a year of finding freedom. In 1968, Martin Luther King gave his speech, “I have a dream”. Interesting how art and history blend together!


Here are some quotes from the yearbooks themselves! Which one if your favorite?


1963: We now have the 60’s available at the museum!

1964: “We boast that all we know but we really know nothing”.

1965: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”-John F. Kennedy.

1966: “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Lynn Danielson and Gail Monroe.

1967: “STUDIES, I’ve got an essay due Monday, got any asprin?”.

1968: “We are enthralled by the imagry of life, and so searching for identity”.

1969: “The spectrum breaks–bursting–fufillment in all goals”.


If you think this catches you eye, come by the museum, there are some quite interesting photos and art from the 60’s in these yearbooks! You can see the history change with each year!


13 thoughts on “Research & Collections

  1. I am looking for any information on a business known as Valley Frame Shop, Vic Weber, Owner, 1006 W. Meeker, Kent 98032. Thank you.

  2. Looking for information on the Whall and Berg families:
    Julius and Hanna Whall (children)
    George, Inga, Oscar, Marie and Clara Whall.
    Jens and Inga Berg (Berg Dairy). I do believe the Inga Berg’s organ is in the GKHS Museum.
    Thank you,

  3. I’m trying to uncover the history surrounding my house, built in 1909. I understand it was the main farm house for the Waterman Farm, and later on referred to as Waterman’s Acres when the land was broken apart, subdivided, and sold as parcels for what now exists as urban housing (probably during the Depression?). I’m located at 2d Ave S not far from the historical society location. Any information over the years from the mid to late 19th century on and, of course, pictures is what I’m after and/or suggestion of where I might pursue both. Thanks.

  4. I’m trying to find information on the city of Orillia before it was annexed into Kent. Do you have anything?

    Thank you!

  5. I am interested in writing a short article on the water tower which stood near Angle Lake in the 1930s. I realize this is a little out of your geographical area, and is probably in the SeaTac city limits, but you may be the closest historical society. Do you know of a more geographically appropriate historical society with a newsletter or website that might be interested in the history of this old water tower? Or would you like the article, and accompanying photos, for your website?

  6. Do you have any pictures of our bowling alley from the 1950s to 1970s? Our bowling alley is Kent Bowl. I am one of the owners. We want to get some historical pictures of our bowling alley. Thank you

  7. I am looking for any information on the Russell family. Samuel Woodburn Russell was said to have homesteaded 320 acres in Kent in 1854. Do you have any information on the family? I would love to come and see what you have.

  8. We will see what we have! Thank you for requesting information about the Russel family. Have a great day!

  9. I’m looking for information on the Pella and Ameny family.
    Mary Pella Ameny and Paul Ameny and their 3 children
    Genevive(Jane), Paul Ameny and Verna Ameny .

  10. Hi — I’m looking for any information you may have on Roy Czerny, who operated the Kent Theatre in the 1920’s and into the 1930’s. Do you happen to have anything (or know of any resources) that are on hand? I’m particularly looking for photographs (of Czerny or the theatre), but anything you have would be helpful. Thanks!

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