How do you research the museum collection in-person?
Appointments are required for viewing museum collections. Access to materials is dependent upon their physical condition and level of processing by the park staff.
Researchers are encouraged to complete preliminary research before their visit. Limited space and staff affect our ability to accommodate researchers. We ask that researchers focus on materials only available in the park’s collection.
To access the collections for research please follow these steps:
- Submit a research request detailing their research project. (Download the Research Request Form)
- Confirm your appointment.
- Read and sign the Access Policy when you arrive at the park. See "Rules" section below for information about the Access Policy.
An appointment is required to visit the museum collection. The collection is generally available for appointments:
Research Room Rules
- No food, beverages, or smoking allowed in the research area. • Only pencils may be used for note taking. NO pens or markers.
- Cameras may be used WITHOUT flash, to avoid damage to the materials.
- Scanners and portable photocopy machines may be used if granted permission from the supervising official. Scanning may need to be completed by the park staff to avoid damage to certain materials.
- Researchers must maintain quiet in the research room.
- Use of tape recorders, cell phones, and portable computers is subject to security procedures. Use of any equipment must not bother other people in the researcher area.
- No coats, packages, containers, folders, briefcases, backpacks, or purses are permitted in the research area. They can be checked in with curatorial staff and will be available when not researching.
- The research area will close if no staff is available to monitor research area.
- Researchers must sign in and out each time they enter or leave.
- Researchers may not remove any archival or manuscript materials from the research room.
- All items must remain in original order. Researchers will work with only one folder from one box of materials at a time to avoid damaging a collection’s original order.
- Researchers who disregard these rules or endanger the records or the work of others will be denied access.
- Hands are to be washed prior to handling materials, even if wearing gloves.
- Cotton gloves must be used when handling photographic images.
- Only one box or volume of material will be issued at one time.
- When handling the archival and manuscript materials, only one folder may be removed from a box at a time, and folders must be laid flat on the table.
- Documents should be handled with utmost care and viewed only one at a time.
- Researchers must maintain the original order of documents within their folders. Attending staff should be contacted if there is any sign of damage or if items appear to be out of order.
- No attempt should be made to by the researcher to reorder or rearrange the documents or folders or to repair any physical damage.
- Objects may not be leaned on, written on, or handled in any manner that may damage them. Paper objects may not be folded or traced over.
The standard method for citing documents in scholarly works is to go from the specific to the general. Under this formula, citations for NPS archival and manuscript collections should indicate the:
- Author/Creator (if applicable)
- Title and date of the document
- File unit
- Title of the collection
- Name of the park
- National Park Service
NPS has also recommended providing citations starting with the general and move to the specific. Under that method, the order of the elements listed above would be reversed. Citations, however, are entirely the responsibility of the researcher, and the researcher is under no obligation to follow NPS recommendations.