About Us

We believe that history is a powerful tool for good.  HistoryLink is dedicated to the principle that history belongs to the entire community, and that a better understanding of past events can improve public debate and decisions and enrich the lives of individuals. HistoryLink continues to promote and provide community-based historical research and education by steadily building and expanding HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history.


HistoryLink content is produced by staff writers and historians, freelance writers and historians, community experts, and supervised volunteers. All articles (except anecdotal “People’s History” essays) are fully sourced and carefully edited before posting, and are updated or revised whenever new, verified information is provided by site visitors or from other sources. HistoryLink is NOT a “wikipedia”—site visitors cannot alter its content, and any suggested changes or additions are thoroughly researched before being adopted or rejected.

A Trusted Source for Teachers, Students, Researchers, Tourists, and Citizens

K-12 teachers and students represent approximately one-third of HistoryLink’s site traffic, and it is also used heavily by journalists, scholars, government and business researchers, tourists, and the general public.

History in Your Hand

Our mission is to pioneer innovative approaches to historical research, education, and publishing. Because HistoryLink.org was conceived and designed as a digital resource, our encyclopedia is adaptable to all the advances in information delivery, including mobile applications and location-based searches, making it possible to put history in the hands of everyone.

Funding Model

By combining state, city, and county funding with grants, private donations, and fee-for-service work, we have built a strong and diverse funding base. Since its launch, History Ink has raised more than $5 million through direct government appropriations, grants, gifts, sponsorships, publishing revenue, and project fees from both public and private sector clients.

HistoryLink is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1997 to pioneer innovative approaches to historical research, education, and publishing. Its primary public service activity is production of HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history and the nation’s first original encyclopedia of community history created expressly for the Internet.

Honorary Chair

Mark Boynton, Great-great grandson of Hiram M. Chittenden

Honorary Committee

Patty Murray, U.S. Senator

Robert H. Shrewsbury II, Western Towboat Company

Edward B. Murray, Mayor of Seattle

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Kevin Clark, Owner & CEO, Argosy Cruises

Dick Wagner, Founding Director, The Center for Wooden Boats

Chris Philips, Chief Operating Officer/Editorial Director, Philips Publishing Group

Jim McDermott, U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th Congressional District

John Creighton, President, Port of Seattle Commission

Eric Nelson, CEO and Executive Director, Nordic Heritage Museum

Andrew Bennett, Board President, Northwest Seaport: Maritime Heritage Center

Charles P. Costanzo, Vice President – Pacific Region, The American Waterways Operators

Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle Commissioner At Large

Susan Connole, Community Organizer, Friends of the Ballard Locks

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Councilmember At Large

Warren Aakervik, “Unofficial Mayor of Ballard” and Vice President of Ballard Oil

Gael Tarleton, State Representative, 36th Legislative District

Suzie Burke, President,  Fremont Dock Company

Leonard Garfield, Executive Director, MOHAI

Jeanne Kohl-Welles, King County Councilmember, 36th Legislative District

Board of Trustees

Marie McCaffrey

Bob Royer

James Tupper

Shari Gross Teeple

Chris Smith Towne

Pam Heath

Tina Bullitt

Michael Ellsworth

Peter Jackson

Jessica Jones

Patrick Jones

Robert Kahn, Ed.D.

Greg Nickels

Norman B. Rice

Tré Maxie

Michael Sullivan

Quintard Taylor, Ph.D.

Bill Youngs, Ph.D.

Board Emeritus

Hubert G. Locke

Dorothy H. Mann, Ph.D.

Corporate Counsel

Maren Norton