What resources are available to researchers at NCHS?
The MacKenzie Research Center at NCHS consists of an archival collection and a reference library of resource materials. Whether your interest is genealogy, the U.S.-Dakota War, or 4-H, the NCHS Research Center offers insights and information.
What’s the difference between visiting a library and visiting an archive?
Both libraries and archives invite patrons to engage with historical information, but while libraries house published material, such as books and magazines, archives are repositories for unique, often unpublished materials, such as organizational records and personal papers.
Much of the material in archives is rare and fragile, which means that your experience as a visitor to the archives will be different from visiting a library. The archival materials are kept in a separate storage space, which can only be accessed by staff. Unlike a library, where patrons are free to peruse the shelves, researchers at the archives will be assisted by staff and volunteers, who will help you uncover the information you are searching for.
What can I expect when I arrive to conduct research at NCHS?
Before entering the Research Center, please wash your hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly. Hand sanitizer leaves a residue, which may damage materials.
There is a $7 daily admission fee for non-members. NCHS members may visit the Research Center free of charge.
All patrons visiting the Research Center will be asked to fill out a User Registration Form (pdf). This form serves as consent that patrons will adhere to the policies of the Research Center while conducting their research.
Some material might be too fragile or awkward to copy safely. In many cases, you can take your own photographs (no flash, please!) of material as a research aid. Just let us know what you want to be copied and we can review the options with you.
Scanners are not allowed.
If you’re interested in conducting research in the reference library, be aware that many of our books are stored in a separate storage area, so please let the Research Coordinator know what your research interests entail a couple of days before you plan to visit so that any appropriate books can be retrieved.