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Available inEnglish
OwnerHistory Ink
Commercial501(c)(3) nonprofit
LaunchedMay 1, 1998[1]
Current statusActive

HistoryLink is an online encyclopedia of Washington state history. The site has nearly 7,000 entries and attracts 5,000 daily visitors.[1] It has 500 biographies and more than 14,000 images.[2][3]

The non-profit historical organization History Ink produces HistoryLink.org, stating that it is the nation's first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. Walt Crowley was the founding president and executive director.


In 1997, Crowley discussed preparing a Seattle-King County historical encyclopedia for the 2001 sesquicentennial of the Denny Party. His wife Marie McCaffrey suggested publishing the encyclopedia on the Internet.[4]

They and Paul Dorpat incorporated History Ink on November 10, 1997, with seed money from Priscilla "Patsy" Collins, by birth a member of Seattle's wealthy and prominent Bullitt family.[5] The prototype of HistoryLink.org debuted on May 1, 1998, and attracted additional funding for a formal launch in 1999. The website was noted for its coverage of the 1999 WTO protests in Downtown Seattle, maintaining a live webcam feed pointed at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Pike Street.[6] In 2003 HistoryLink.org expanded its content to cover Washington state history. Meanwhile, History Ink continues, focusing on the production of history books.[4]


Crowley and HistoryLink.org have won many awards, including

  • The Pacific Northwest Historians Guild's 2007 History Award
  • The Washington State Historic Preservation Office's award for media in 2001
  • The Association of King County Historical Organizations award for best long-term project (2000)[4]


  1. ^ a b "About HistoryLink.org". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "Web site links readers with state history". Bellingham Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Every week, I receive an email notice that there’s more Washington state history at my fingertips. Every week, more articles are added to History Link.org, the nation’s first encyclopedia of local and state history designed for the Internet. History is there to peruse and to prowl. And it’s free.[dead link]
  3. ^ "HistoryLink Expands". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. March 4, 2003. HistoryLink, which offers Seattle and King County history online, is expanding and starting a new database for Washington state history Thursday. The resource will introduce with more than 300 original essays and features, complementing HistoryLink's encyclopedia of Seattle and King County history. The free, non-commercial resource is produced by History Ink, a ...
  4. ^ a b c Long, Priscilla (January 20, 2005). "Crowley, Walt (1947-2007)". historylink.org. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  5. ^ Cassandra Tate (July 3, 2003). "Collins, Dorothy Priscilla "Patsy" Bullitt (1920-2003)". historylink.org. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  6. ^ Stiffler, Lisa (January 15, 2019). "Beating Wikipedia by 2 years, Seattle's HistoryLink remains an innovative online encyclopedia". GeekWire. Retrieved January 16, 2019.

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