Research centers across the state provide access to an ever-growing number of reference materials and historical collections.
Appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure that requested materials are available at the time of your visit. Please use our research request form to identify your research needs and the date and time of your visit.
Collections stored at one research center can be viewed at any of the other research centers. Staff will make arrangements to have collection materials available prior to your appointment date. Please note that transfers between research centers can take between one and three weeks and this may affect the scheduling of your appointment.
Holdings are non-circulating and must be used on the premises. Visitors must provide a government-issued photo ID, and read and sign a rules and consent form before using manuscript material or rare books from the reference collection. Researchers will then be issued a research center card.
Examples of accepted government-issued photo IDs:
For security purposes, patrons will be searched by Society personnel upon departure. Only items such as paper, pencils, notes, and laptop computers are allowed in the center. These items, plus sweaters worn when the room is cool, will be subject to search by Society personnel upon departure.
Patrons may use cameras with the permission of the staff. For security reasons, camera bags and equipment cases are not allowed in the Research Center. SHSMO staff reserves the right to prohibit the photographing of a particular item based on fragile condition or if photography is a known violation of copyright law. Patrons are responsible for observing copyright law. No scanners are allowed in the Research Center.
SHSMO requires every researcher to use a pencil while in the research center. Using pencils to take notes is routine practice in most archival and manuscript repositories. Staff members are happy to provide pencils to patrons who do not bring one with them.
Once the staff has provided a manuscript collection to a researcher, the researcher is only allowed to take one folder out of one box at a time. Because it is very important to preserve the existing order of the papers in each folder, researchers should read through the material like a book, and refrain from removing papers out of the folder. Staff members can assist patrons who need to flag manuscript material for copying if they are uncomfortable doing so. Researchers should report any disarrangement to the reference staff. Failure to comply with the rules and staff direction will lead to the suspension or revocation of research privileges.
All photocopying is handled by the staff. Collections cannot be reproduced in their entirety. Orders of over 200 pages will be photocopied at the staff's discretion based on previously scheduled work. Copies will be stamped with a copyright notice. Audio and video materials held by SHSMO are for research use only, but may be reproduced on a case-by-case basis. Patrons doing research onsite with microfilm are able to print hard copies as well as save scans to a flash drive.