The museums holdings include over 3,000 historic images, over 10,000 archival artifacts, a growing research file, and a small, non-lending book library. The museums materials are used for in-house research, publications, exhibits, publicity, and educational programming. These resources are also available to historians, genealogists, students, journalists, publishers, etc.
Photo and research materials are housed in the museums Research Library. At this time the museum has a very small on-line database of its research materials. Staff can provide information about the content of the collections on a case-by-case basis.
Most research assistance is offered free of charge. Although a fee may be assessed due to lengthiness and/or difficulty of request. Research can be conducted in person or remotely by phone, mail, or email.
Contact before a planned visit is especially important as it allows staff plenty of time to examine library holdings for relevant materials. While the museum will make every accommodation to assist drop-in researchers, an appointment will help ensure that a staff member is available to offer assistance.
Researchers should provide as much information as possible in order for staff to facilitate the request. For instance, “Images of Beatty” is too generic a search topic considering that the museum has many images that fall under this heading. Instead, specify a specific street, building, and/or time period to help the museum narrow its search. If a person is being researched, knowing his or her full name is helpful.
Copies of research materials and photos are available for a fee. The museum reserves the right to deny reproduction should doing so cause harm to the object or if the object has known access or copyright restrictions. Researchers are responsible for compliance with laws governing copyright and literary property rights. Neither the granting of access to materials nor the copying of materials convey or imply conveyance of the right to publish or use the materials in any way.
Researchers are asked to complete a form that includes their name and contact information, the topic being researched, and what the research will be used for. Such information helps the museum understand how its collections are used and provides it with useful statistics for grants, reports, etc. The information also allows staff to keep in touch with researchers should new material relevant to their research be collected.
Researchers must take notes in pencil using paper provided by staff. Museum holdings must not be marked on in any way and must be handled according to staff guidelines. Researchers may be required to wear gloves (provided by the museum) while handling certain materials. Use of personal cameras or scanners to copy museum materials is not permissible.
Every effort will be made to fulfill a research request in a timely manner. Be advised that staff may not be able to provide immediate assistance due to work on previous requests or other museum activities. If this is the case, staff will provide an estimate of the time it may take to complete the order.