Library Collections

The WSDOT Library has nearly 40,000 cataloged items, including books, technical reports, conference proceedings, journals, manuals, general and legal reference materials and historical materials. Our online catalog contains records for the print materials held in the WSDOT Library and the Materials Lab Library, sometimes with a link to an online version of a report.

See below for examples of materials held in our collections:

WSDOT Library 

Reference: Standard, Specialized, and Legal

  • Standard reference materials including almanacs, dictionaries, atlases, style guides, and thesauri
  • Specialized reference materials including materials such as the ASCE Annual Combined Index 1950-1998, Directory of Transportation Data Sources, FHWA’s Highway Statistics from 1945 – present, and Trip Generation.
  • State and Federal legal materials such as the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and Washington State Session Laws.

Manuals and Specifications

  • Current WSDOT, AASHTO, and ACI manuals.
  • Historical WSDOT, AASHTO [AASHO], and FHWA manuals
  • Industry codes such as the Uniform Building Code and National Electrical Code


  • A complete run of all Transportation Research Board (TRB) (and predecessor Highway Research Board (HRB)) series, including: Circular, Transportation Research Record, Special Report, NCHRP Report, NCHRP Synthesis, TCRP Report, TCRP Synthesis, TRB Conference Proceedings
  • Research reports from other state DOTs and federal transportation agencies

General Interest Collections

  • Arranged, for the most part, in Dewey Decimal Classification, we have nonfiction materials such as software instructional manuals, writing and style manuals, soil surveys for Washington counties, draft and final EIS for many ongoing projects, and engineering handbooks for projects such as roads, bridges, tunnels, and strait crossings.

Historical Collections

  • The Olympia library has historical resources such as Biennial Reports, Highway News, legislative studies, clippings files, and many agency publications from the first half of the 20th century.

Materials Laboratory Library 

The WSDOT Materials Laboratory Library supports the functions of the State Materials Laboratory. The collection focuses on pavement engineering, geotechnical engineering, materials testing, and construction and fabrication inspection. Of the approximately 9,500 volumes, about 60% are unique to the Materials Laboratory collection (not duplicated at the Headquarters Library).

Unique collection strengths include:

Technical publications and standards from professional organizations:

  • American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • American Welding Society (AWS)
  • American Wood Preservers’ Association (AWPA)
  • Asphalt Institute
  • Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT)
  • ASTM International
  • Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC)
  • National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA)
  • The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)

Books on pavement design, management, performance, maintenance

Books on foundation engineering, soil and rock mechanics, slope stability, geosynthetics

Soil surveys, geologic maps and reports, climatological data

Washington State Ferries Terminal Engineering Library 


The WSF Terminal Engineering Library consists of resources supporting the design, construction, and maintenance of the Washington State Ferries Terminals. The library holds two main collections: Reference and Records.

The Reference collection contains WSDOT, AASHTO, and other agency manuals and standards, books relating to marine and coastal construction, and resources for delivering WSF construction projects. The collection also includes technical reports and data created by or on behalf of Terminal Engineering.

The Records collection contains the plans, specs, standard drawings, as-built drawings, and permanent and temporary records for past terminal projects.

Washington State Ferries Vessel Engineering Library

Note: Due to security restrictions imposed by the US Coast Guard, access to materials in the Vessel Engineering Library collections are granted on a need-to-know basis.  Anyone not working with the vessels in an approved capacity should therefore contact the Washington State Ferries prior to initiating contact with the Vessel Engineering Library

The WSF Vessel Engineering collection originally started as a storage space for as-built drawings from the shipyards and maintenance engineering drawings. Quickly, the VE collection holdings expanded with various vendor materials, technical research reports, standards, and other materials. It soon became obvious electronic organization was needed to make it easier for the engineering staff to access and locate materials.

With the advent of computer automation, the previously hand drawn drawings were scanned off-site in tiff format and downloaded into the newly created VE Technical Library database. The drawing electronic database now holds more than 12,000 vessel drawings, largely in AutoCAD format.

During the last several years we’ve added a web based on-line WSF/US Coast Guard Correspondence database, enabling an easy tracking system of important regulations and requirements affecting the vessels, increased the Reference Collection, and established a Mandarin3 Circulation Station providing an easy check in and out of the various references, technical reports, standards, and vessel manuals.

Today, the Vessel Engineering Technical Library is an efficient working space for the various WSF engineering staff, Port Engineers, Naval Architect consultants and other departmental members of the WSF community.