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Researcher policy

Welcome to the Kansas Historical Society! We ask all of our researchers to follow these procedures to help us preserve the collections while providing access to them. Please feel free to ask our staff for help.


9-noon and 1-4, Tuesday-Friday

9-noon the last Saturday of the month

The research room is closed all state holidays.


  • Please register at the reference desk.
  • Photo ID required. Patrons without an ID will be given a temporary registration card for one day only.
  • Registrations are renewed every fiscal year starting on July 1st.

Personal belongings

Bring only your research materials and/or a personal computer into the reading room. All materials carried in will be inspected at the reference desk as you leave. Free coin operated lockers are available to store your extra belongings. You need a quarter to operate our lockers but the quarter is returned each time you open it. Use the free lockers for personal items, including:

  • Coats
  • Any bags or boxes, including: purses, briefcases, computer cases and backpacks.
  • Cell phones (or turn off the ringer).
  • Large file folders or boxes

Finding Archives materials

Wireless Internet

Choose the KS-Open account.

Books, maps, photographs and manuscripts

Most of our collection is kept in a shelving area that is not open to the public. Consult our catalogs and fill out a call slip to request something from these stacks. The retrieval desk staff will call your name when the item is available. Ask the reference staff for help with the catalogs and call slips.

  • Please submit no more than 4 call slips at a time.
  • At one time, you will be given no more than:
    • 4 printed items
    • 1 box of manuscripts or records or
    • 20 photo envelopes
  • No materials may be removed from the research room.

Handling Archives collections

When using our collections, please remember:

  • Food or drinks are not allowed in the research room.
  • Use pencils, not ink pens or markers.
  • Do not mark or erase on research materials.
  • Do not write notes on top of materials, lean on them or hold them in your lap.
  • Wear the clean cotton gloves provided when handling photographs.
  • Do not rearrange document collections. If you need photocopies, ask the staff for instructions.
  • Do not photograph, videotape or scan materials without speaking to staff.

More detailed instructions about the care and handling of some materials may be provided when you receive them. Patrons who fail to abide by these policies may be denied access to the collections. Theft and mutilation of documents are crimes that will be prosecuted by the appropriate law enforcement agency.


  • Photocopies from paper items must be requested at the retrieval desk. You can photograph from library materials using a digital camera without flash. Please ask the staff for handling instructions and read our Digital Camera Use Policy.
  • Photocopies from microfilm are self-serve. Ask for assistance, if needed, when you are ready to make copies. You can make copies from the microfilm readers using your digital camera without a flash.
  • Change for small bills is available for the lockers or microfilm copiers from the retrieval desk.


Researchers must obtain formal permission to publish photographs and certain original materials. The Kansas State Historical Society must be credited as the source. For help with the format of your citations, try bibliography websites such as BibMe.

Young researchers

  • Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or chaperon.
  • Children must register and abide by our researcher policies.
  • The parent or chaperon accompanying the child must also register and should ensure that the child does not disturb other researchers.


Patrons must cooperate with staff in the event of a fire/tornado drill or emergency situation, which requires either evacuation of the building or moving to a safe area within the building until the danger is past. Research materials must stay in the reading room.