Visit the Research Library

Two shelves of bound volumes, dark blue with gold text, hold some of our magazine file items

The Samuel P. Hayes Research Library and Archives staff enjoy sharing our resources and unique collections.

All visits are by appointment only.

We're an unusual collection in many ways. The Research Library is located in the middle of a high school building, and we have a much smaller staff than many academic libraries or historical societies. This page and our later information packet have important details to help you plan your visit and understand what to expect.

Steps for arranging a visit:

  • Read this page and send any questions you may have to hayeslibrary@perkins.org.
  • Complete the Research Application form, including an overview of items you wish to consult.
  • Once we receive a completed form, we will schedule your visit.
  • We will also provide additional information about visiting, including the deadline for your complete list of items and the daily schedule for your visit.

We are very glad to answer questions at any point in the process or help you identify the best materials for your research.  


Scheduling a visit

Please arrange your visit as much in advance as possible. Visitors to our building must be escorted at all times and so a staff member must available throughout your visit. The more notice we have, the more likely it is we can make arrangements for your preferred date(s).

Researcher visits are scheduled between 9am and 3:45pm, Monday to Friday, with an hour break for lunch during which you must leave the library space. We are closed on weekends and Perkins holidays.

  • Please arrange your visit at least five working days in advance.
  • For visits of more than two days, please make arrangements at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • Please indicate whether your preferred dates have flexibility.
  • If you are in the area without advance notice, we will do our best to accommodate a visit, but the available materials or amount of time may be limited.
  • Alternate schedules may be possible with sufficient advance notice.

Once you are scheduled to visit, we arrange time and staffing for your visit. Please let us know immediately if your plans change, you are running late, or need to make other adjustments.


The Research Application form

Our research application asks for information about you, your background, and your current research. We help researchers from a wide range of backgrounds, and we're often aware of related material that may not be obvious from the catalog or finding aids.

List of materials: On the form, we ask for an overview of materials you would like to consult. This allows us to share digitized materials, suggest additional items, or clarify what material is available.

We encourage you to search the library catalog, review Archives finding aids (which include links to digital collections) and consult with the Research Librarian to identify materials in our collection before you submit the form. The historical resources subject guide on the Research Library catalog links to resources on the most common topics.

You must provide a complete list of specific Archives or Research Library items you would like to consult at least 5 working days before your visit. Our materials are stored in several different locations, and it takes time for us to prepare them and bring them to the workspace. 

We have limited storage near our researcher workspace. We ask you to be specific about what items you would like to use (and your priority for use, if relevant).  For Archives materials, this means identifying the collection title, Archival Group Number (ex. AG51), and box number.

If you identify additional items after this point, we are glad to see if we can share them during your visit, but some items may not be available on short notice.

Access options: The Archives Collection Access policy has complete details about access to our collection. Some kinds of material may not be available for visitors, or only after additional discussion and application.

In some cases, the materials you are interested in may already be digitized or we can make scans or digital copies for a fee.  In this case, we’ll direct you to those resources or arrange for scans.

Museum: If you would like to view items in the Museum, please arrange for a free tour. They ask for two weeks advance notice. Tours are individual and personalized, focusing on your area of interest. The museum has many items you can touch and handle.

When you are ready, complete the research application form.


Your visit

Scheduling: Once we receive your completed form, we will schedule your visit and confirm the time and date. We will also send additional information about visiting our campus (researcher workspace, parking, location, available food near campus, etc.)

Five days before your visit, we need your complete list of items you would like to consult.

A few days before your visit, we will confirm your arrival time, and you can let us know if there are any additional questions.

Once you arrive on campus: Check in with the reception desk in the Howe Building.

If anything changes in your plans, please let us know as soon as possible. We’ve set aside time and arranged our day for your visit, so knowing if you are running late or need to reschedule lets us tend to other questions and tasks.

Photographs can be taken (of non-restricted items) for personal research use only. We will identify restricted items for you. For any other use, and for more information about our policies, consult our image licensing information.