Civil Service Commission Subject Files, 1950-1961

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). Civil Service Commission
Civil Service Commission Subject Files
1950-1961 (inclusive)
0.2 cubic feet, (1 box)
Collection Number
Topical collection kept by Seattle Civil Service Commission staff.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Civil Service Commission was established in 1896 to oversee the Civil Service Department, which administered the City’s personnel system, including the fire and police forces, laborers, inspectors, and clerical, electrical, and library workers. The commissioners classified city services and employees, coordinated and administered physical, medical, and competence examinations, dealt with appointments, promotions, and removals, and conducted investigations in the event of an employee appeal. The years brought new employment issues, including those of wartime employment conditions and women in the workforce.

During the Commission’s early years, it faced some opposition; in 1912, charged with wastefulness and inefficiency, the Commission underwent an investigation by the City Council. Subsequently, a 1917 report reclassified city services and employees. Other difficult times in the Commission’s history included the first and second World Wars, as well as the Great Depression; budgets were often tight, and many city employees joined the armed services or found business opportunities in other industries. In 1937, the City’s services were again reclassified.

In 1979, the City’s personnel system was reorganized with the creation of a Personnel Department independent of the Commission. The Commission was reorganized with jurisdiction to hear employee appeals relating to demotions, terminations, suspensions, certain lay-offs, and violations of personnel rules. Three members, serving staggered three-year terms, comprise the Commission. One member is appointed by the mayor, one by the City Council, and one is elected by City employees.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Small collection of subject files created by Civil Service Commission Secretary and Chief Examiner Roy Palm. About half of the records relate to anti-communism, subversive organizations, and loyalty oaths. Other topics include performance testing and age requirements for city employment. There is some overlap with Record Series 6010-04 (Legal Opinions).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Civil Service Commission Subject Files, Record Series 6010-11. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Age Requirements 1961
1 2 Examination Results 1955
1 3 Performance Testing 1952-1954
1 4 Provisional Employees 1954
1 5 Civil Defense 1954
1 6 Loyalty Oaths 1951-1955
1 7 Subversive Organizations 1953-1959
1 8 Anti-Communist Trials - News Clippings 1950-1953
1 9 Anti-Communist Trials - News Clippings 1953-1955

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Loyalty oaths--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personnel Administration
  • Personnel management--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Subversive activities

Corporate Names

  • Seattle (Wash.). Civil Service Commission