Research Services

The State Historical Society of Missouri is unable to offer extensive research services in its collections. We can provide a quick search in SHSMO collections only.

Please submit your request using the Research Request form. Staff will evaluate the extent of your request and assess an applicable fee.

  • Prepayment of the research fee is required.
  • Research fees are non-refundable. They are for the search time involved and do not guarantee that information will be found.
  • The average response time is 6 weeks.
  • Rush service is not available.

Collections stored at one research center can be viewed at any of the other research centers for no charge, but appointments are required. Please use our research request form to identify your research needs and the date and time of your visit. Please note that transfers between research centers can take between one and three weeks and this may affect the scheduling of your appointment. 

SHSMO members receive special rates on research services. Not a member and wish to help preserve Missouri's history and culture? Join today!

Online Genealogy Research Resources

The State Historical Society of Missouri has a number of free resources that are available online. These include:

Other free online services that may help you with your genealogy research include:

Quick Search Service

For this research service, SHSMO staff will spend up to 30 minutes searching for specific reference questions that can be answered from all Society collections.

Newspaper items will be checked that have a particular date associated with them, such as deaths, births, marriages, local events, natural disasters, etc., found in newspapers from Missouri held in the Society's Newspaper Collection.

  • Accurate name, location and date of event are required.
  • Only one name may be submitted at a time.
  • Additional requests may be submitted once the previous request has been completed.
  • Requests that do not contain all the required information cannot be processed.
  • Before submitting a newspaper search request, patrons should consult the newspaper catalog, and verify that a newspaper exists for the time and place in question.

Includes up to 10 photocopies

  • $10 for SHSMO members
  • $20 for Missouri residents
  • $30 for non-Missouri residents

Submit a Research Request

Request with Exact Citation

To request articles from the Society's Index to Selected Missouri Newspapers, 1819-1886, copy and paste the citation information into the Research Request form. Please limit your request to ten citations.

Fee for articles from the Index to Selected Missouri Newspapers

  • $4 for each exact citation newspaper request
    No more than 10 citations at a time

Some Missouri newspapers are available online, free of charge. Available newspapers may be accessed through the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

Submit a Research Request

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Service

The State Historical Society of Missouri's collection is non-circulating; however, an interlibrary loan (ILL) service makes microfilm available to patrons who cannot visit one of SHSMO's research centers (Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, Saint Louis, or Springfield). SHSMO's circulating microfilm collections include:

  • newspapers
  • manuscripts
  • selected high-demand county history books
  • city and county directories
  • land ownership maps
  • periodicals

1-2 reels, two weeks use

  • $15 within US
  • $25 international

Fee for members
How to Join

  • $13.50 within US (10% discount)
  • $22.50 international (10% discount)
  • $10 direct to member at Supporting Level or above ($20 for international addresses)
  • Free to member at Patron Level or above

Accessing the collections

Providing Citations

To fulfill your request, the interlibrary loan librarian will need exact item citation.

For newspapers a citation includes:

  • town of publication
  • title of the newspaper
  • the date or time period needed
  • the roll number

For manuscripts a citation includes:

  • title of collection
  • collection number
  • folder, volume, and/or roll numbers

For material other than newspapers, provide:

  • title
  • author
  • publication date
  • call number (if possible)

Submit a Research Request

Librarians can use the ALA Request Form to make an ILL request.

Note: Check with your local library regarding ILL policies before submitting your request.

To cover postage and handling costs, SHSMO charges $15.00 to $25.00 (US) per interlibrary loan transaction depending on your membership status, location and billing requirements of your local library. Some borrowing libraries pass this cost on to the patron, others do not. Payment is required in advance.

Material Transfer Request

Collection materials may be transferred to the research center of your choice from other SHSMO locations via our courier service. There is no charge for this service.

Please request records at least 2 weeks prior to your visit.

Submit a Research Request

Please note that transfers between research centers can take between one and three weeks. Please contact the Cape Girardeau and Springfield Research Centers directly for information regarding the next available bi-monthly collection material delivery.

Additional Research Fees

Print Materials

Double-sided copies are charged per side.

  • 8.5 x 11       $0.25 per page
  • 11 x 17        $0.50 per page


  • 8.5 x 11       $0.25 per page
  • 11 x 17        $0.50 per page


Print materials

  • $0.25 per image


  • $20.00 per image

Audio recordings

  • $20.00 per media source

Video recordings

  • $20.00 per media source

Oversize items
Cost of reproductions may vary by research center.