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Research Services

The Lacey Museum has a vast collection of images, documents, and artifacts related to Lacey and South Sound history.

Here are some examples of the types of material we have:

  • 80,000+ photos of people, families, events, organizations, and locations in Lacey and the surrounding areas
  • Records useful for genealogists, including obituaries, family histories and family files
  • Lacey Leader newspaper and image archive
  • Research and newspaper clipping files
  • Historic property files
  • Yearbooks & School Records
  • School class photos & records
  • Thousands of historic artifacts related to Lacey area history
  • And more!

Access The Museum Collection

Online Resources

The Lacey Museum has a growing number of online resources available for researchers.

Research Files

The Lacey Museum research files are a rich resource containing obituaries, newspaper clippings, brochures, information on people and families, businesses, schools, historic properties, events, plus ephemera of all kinds.

Digital Research Files

The digital research file index includes a variety of topics such as people, businesses, schools, and much more. There is some overlap with the physical files.

Physical Research Files

The research file index includes a variety of topics such as people, businesses, schools, and much more. Materials can be viewed by appointment.

In-Person Museum Resources

The Lacey Museum has a wealth of information, artifacts and photographs that we can make available for researchers. Although the main focus is Lacey, some items are related to Olympia, Tumwater, South Bay and other areas of the South Sound region. 

City of Lacey Historical Collection: Photographs, documents, scrapbooks, and memorabilia related to the City of Lacey, its various departments, and City officials. 

Olympia Genealogical Society Collection (OGS): The Lacey Museum holds the 1700-volume collection of genealogical resources from across the United States and around the world. View the OGS collection catalog at

Lacey School and other school collections: Lacey Museum holds a wide variety of photographs, documents, yearbooks, and memorabilia from public and private schools in and around the Lacey area. 

Historic Properties: Historic property inventory forms, historic photos of properties in Lacey, abstracts of title, maps and other resources are available to property researchers. 

Family Collections: Geneaologies, letters, photographs, personal and business records, and artifacts from clothing to household goods and more. Some of the family collections include:

  • Afflerbaugh
  • Brown/Smith/Bucknell
  • Bowker
  • Carkin
  • Elder
  • Fleetwood
  • Foy
  • Herman 
  • Hicks 
  • Holmes
  • Homann 
  • Huntamer 
  • Gallagher 
  • McKinney 
  • Pattison 
  • Porteous /Huntamer
  • Ruddell 
  • Southwick 
  • Turner 
  • Ulery 

KGY Collection: artifacts, documents and photographs related to KGY radio station during its time at Saint Martin’s College campus and when it was located in downtown Olympia.

Lacey Fire District #3 Collection: Scrapbooks, uniforms, firefighting gear, photographs, records, and memorabilia related to the fire district, the first governmental body in the Lacey area. 

Lacey Leader Collection: Bound volumes and microfilm of the entire run of Lacey’s only newspaper (1967-1981), some loose newspapers plus negatives and contact prints. Images include items published in the newspaper and those not selected for publication. Courtesy of Ken Balsley.

Ken Balsley Collection: includes files, photographs, recordings, reporter notebooks, scripts and periodicals related to Ken’s work in the community. Topics include KGY, Lacey Leader, reporting, Lacey Area Chamber of Commerce, and numerous community organizations, projects, and events.

Thurston County School Retirees Association (TCSRA) Collection: Records, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera related to this important local organization. TCSRA Collection Finding Aid

Plus a lot more! This is not a comprehensive list of everything in the museum’s holdings. Please contact museum staff through the Research Request form below if you are not finding what you are looking for.

Making An Appointment For Access

We look forward to helping you learn more about Lacey’s history! Here are some guidelines to assist you in making your appointment:

  • Advance appointments are required; walk-in appointments are not available.
  • Since we do not yet have a dedicated research area, appointments typically are made outside of museum hours or at another location. 
  • Scheduling is dependent on staff workload and time. 
  • Appointment times are not available on the weekends.
  • Many of our collections are not at the museum. This means that your request may require more than one visit or may occur at another City of Lacey location.
  • If we are helping you conduct a search on our collections, that will impact how soon we can schedule your appointment.
  • Please respect the fragility of our materials by following these guidelines:
    • Always handle materials with gloves or clean and dry hands
    • Please follow any special instructions from staff
    • Food and beverages are not allowed
    • Only pencils (no pens) are allowed for writing
    • Laptops and phone cameras are ok, but no personal scanning equipment
  • Please use the form below to submit your request for an appointment.

Copying & Photo Reproduction Services

Copying and photo reproduction requests are available. Most standard physical copies are .10 cents each. To order a copy or photograph, please use the form below to send your request.

If you want to use one of our photographs in your publication, on your website, for display or any purpose other than personal or research use, we’d love to talk to you about it. A small use fee may apply, although many uses are free. Please use the form below to request the use of an image from our collection.

Please see our fee schedule for prices and information on our reproduction services.

Research Request

If you didn’t find what you were looking for online, museum staff may be able to help. You can also use this form to request a copy of a photo in the museum’s collection.

What are you looking for? (please provide as much information as possible):