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Ask a research question

There is no charge for requests to check our card catalogs, indexes, and finding aids to determine if we have resources on your topic (as time permits) by phone, 785-272-8681, ext. 117, or by email, and there is no admission charge to use the KSHS research room.

Works Progress Administration libraryIf you are unable to visit in person or need additional research assistance, our staff will perform some research for the following fees: ():

Staff research fee (payable at time of request):
$15 for one newspaper search, when date and place are known
$20 for all other in-state requests
$25 for all other out-of-state requests

For requests that require more research than our staff can provide, we may direct you to a private researcher in this area, or you may contact them directly. Kansas residents can ask their local library to borrow our microfilm collections on interlibrary loan

If you would like to charge your research request to a Mastercard or Visa, please contact our reference staff by phone at 785-272-8681, ext. 117. Please do not submit credit card information in an email request, since we cannot ensure the security or privacy of your information.

Requests submitted by U.S. mail should include payment and be addressed to:

Kansas Historical Society
6425 SW 6th Avenue
Topeka KS 66615-1099

Please include your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address (if available) with all requests. We will respond either by email or U.S. mail in the order the request is received. Our staff check our email every day except Sunday, so there is no need to resend a message. Please see our frequently asked questions page also.

Examples include:

  • Searching for a maximum of one name or event in Kansas newspapers when provided with:
    • name of person and type of event
    • date of the event
    • location
  • One Kansas census search
  • One company's articles of incorporation or two corporate annual reports. Large requests will be billed the staff research fee per half hour, plus postage, handling and tax. Large rush requests may not be possible. For more details on these records, see our corporation filings and annual reports page.

You will receive a written reply to your request whether we are able to find anything or not. Our reference fee includes up to five photocopies and postage. The charge for search time will apply even if the information being sought is not found. We receive a large volume of requests, it can sometimes be several weeks or more before we can respond to letters, emails and faxes.

For prices for additional photocopies or special format copies, plus postage and handling, please see our photocopy services page. All copy work will meet current copyright law and preservation standards.

Any child who requests general information on Kansas history will receive a free packet that includes a map, brochures and information on Kansas historic sites.

When requesting information:

Please do:

  • Include your name and address in the letter and make sure it's legible.
  • Use only standard abbreviations and those recognized by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Ask a specific question.
  • Ask for information on a specific individual, not an entire family.
  • Enclose a legal size (#10), self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • If writing to a specific individual on the staff, include the person's name in the address on the envelope.

Please don't:

  • Send pedigree or family group sheets and ask the reference staff to fill in the blanks.
  • Ask for 'everything' we can find.
  • Send a blank check for payment.
  • Send the same letter or email to more than one staff member or department.  We will refer you if necessary.