Seattle Public Library gifted with artifacts from Seattle historian Paul Dorpat

Seattle historian and photographer Paul Dorpat has donated an extensive collection of historical artifacts to the Seattle Public Library.

Dorpat has written numerous books and cofounded Historylink, which is an online encyclopedia of Washington state history.

“He’s always been a huge advocate for public access and public information and wanted his collection to come here so anyone can find and access it for whatever reason,” said Andrew Harbison, the library’s Assistant Director of Collections & Access.

The thousands of artifacts of Seattle history include pictures, books, documents, newspapers, pamphlets, slides, even a box filled with Dorpat’s personal notes.

“That he’s collected for his many different publications, for his research, for the Now and Then column,” Harbison explained.

With so many boxes, the library is in the middle of going through and sorting all of the pieces.

“It’s an enormous collection. Enormously important in the documentary of the history of Seattle. And we’re thrilled to have it,” Harbison added.

But it will take time, likely several months to process the many items into the Library’s Special Collection’s Department. And then it will finally be accessible to the public.

“All of that is tremendously important in the history of Seattle and will serve generations to come,” said Harbison.