Research Resources

The Douglas County Historical Society has thousands of photographs and documents pertaining to the history of Douglas County, Kansas and its people. These are available in the Archives of Watkins Museum of History for the use of researchers subject to the conditions below. Feel free to ask a staff member if you have any questions about our collections or policies. In order to protect our collections and provide the best possible service to our patrons, we ask that you take a few moments to read through our research policies.

Research Services

On-Site Research

The Research Room is available by appointment only  Tuesday through Sat., 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Please call 785-841-4109 ext. 209 or by e-mail ( ) at least 24 hours in advance to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled based on the availability of staff and resources.  Researchers will not be admitted without an appointment.

Researchers may use the open stacks free of charge.

Note: The retrieval of photographs or other materials from the collection storage facility may require additional time.


The research staff will provide two hours of free research support.  If additional research time is needed, the requestor will be contacted with an estimate of costs for additional research.  On-site research takes precedence; please allow two to six weeks to receive requested information. The research assistant shall notify the researcher if more time is required. A researcher may request expedited service for a fee of $35 plus the pro-rated hourly fee and copy fees.

Research Rates are $5/hr DCHS members, $10/hr Kansas residents, non-members, $15/hr non-Kansas residents, non-members.

Off-site inquiries should be made in writing either by e-mail or mail. The research assistant’s e-mail is: .

Download a research request form here.

Copying Fees: $0.25 for 8½" x 11"; $0.35 for 11" x 17"; $1.00 for color 8½" x 11"

Postage and Handling Fees:  $3.50 minimum

Photographic Reproductions:  Photographic reproductions may be available, please refer to the Reproduction Policies for fees.

On-site Procedures and Rules

h4>Personal Belongings

Researchers may bring one notebook, or paper, a personal computer, cell phone, tape recorder, and pencils into the Research room. All other personal belongings can either be stored at the research assistant’s desk or on the coat racks located on the lower level of the building. Douglas County Historical Society and Watkins Museum of History cannot be responsible for personal items that are lost or stolen. The museum staff reserves the right to inspect all materials carried by a patron upon their entering and leaving the Archives.

Conducting Research

  1. Researchers will be required to wear white gloves when handling original manuscripts and photographs. Gloves will be provided.
  2. Note Taking:
    1. Notes must be taken using PENCILS. NO PENS of any kind are permitted in the archives.
    2. DO NOT LEAN ON items or place paper or note pads of top of documents while taking notes.
    3. DO NOT attempt to make corrections, any marks, or erasures on research material. If you notice errors in research, please call it to the attention of a staff member.
  3. No food or drink is allowed in the Research Room.
  4. No smoking is allowed in the museum.
  5. Photocopies:
    1. Researchers must ask permission to make photocopies or to take photographs of materials.
    2. Not all materials may be copied due to their condition or the copyright laws of the United States.
    3. Original photographs may not be photocopied
  6. The archives staff will re-file all materials.


Reproduction of Materials

All researchers must ask permission to make photocopies. Research staff will copy or scan all materials.
Not all materials may be copied due to their condition or the copyright laws of the United States.
Original photographs may not be photocopied.

In-house researchers must obtain prior approval before taking photographs of material using a camera or cell phone. These images are for personal research only and may not be reproduced for publication without prior consent of the project.

Copying/Scanning Fees for Printed Materials:
$0.25 for 8½" x 11" $0.35 for 11" x 17" $1.00 for color 8½" x 11"

Photographic Reproductions: Photographic reproductions may be available, please refer to the Reproduction Policies.

Shipping and Handling: $3.50 minimum

Permissions and Credits

Access to research materials does not constitute permission to publish in excess of "fair use" according to the copyright laws of the United States. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission to publish any copyrighted material found in the WMH collections. Any public use of materials from the original photograph or manuscript collections must be credited to "Douglas County Historical Society, Watkins Museum of History."

Watkins Museum of History
1047 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence , Kansas 66044
Phone (785) 841-4109 • Fax (785) 841-9547

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