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Appointments at Wisconsin Historical Society Library

Please continue reading for information on what services are available, how to request an appointment, and what to expect during your visit. Read about Wisconsin Historical Society Archives appointments here.

Appointment hours

Library – 9 am-noon, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Before your visit

  • For the safety of the library staff and researchers, only ten researchers will be allowed in the library at a time.
  • To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, face masks or face coverings are required in the Wisconsin Historical Society building.
  • We also request that you practice physical distancing of six feet apart while in the building.
  • Appointments must be made with at least one week’s notice for the Archives Reading Room. If you need an exception, contact us email askarchives@wisconsinhistory.org. Do not travel to the library or archives if you have not received a confirmation email.
  • Remember to bring a photo ID to enter the building.
  • If you are not feeling well, please respect everyone’s safety and email our staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

Library Reading Room Services available

All reading room services are contingent upon availability of staff and all building services may not be supported.

During your appointment you will be able to:

  • browse the entire library collection
  • view materials in the reading room at designated tables
  • use your own camera or mobile device to take photos for research purposes
  • have limited computer access (we encourage you to bring your own device to limit contact with shared computers)
  • page library materials on demand
  • have limited access to self-service scanning
  • have limited access to microfilm readers/scanners if requested in advance

At this time, we are NOT able to provide:

  • study space if not using library collections
  • onsite reference assistance

How to schedule an appointment for visiting WHS Library

You may schedule your appointment using our new appointment system: https://wisc.libcal.com/calendar/whslibrary . You will receive an email message confirming your appointment that includes information and instructions. There are limited microfilm readers available, so please request the use of these in advance when you make your appointment.

Please do not come to the Library without an appointment.  Our staff is available to help you with this process or to answer any questions you may have. To contact us email asklibrary@wisconsinhistory.org

The day of your visit

Upon arrival at the Wisconsin Historical Society headquarters building at 816 State Street for your appointment, please follow these directions:

Onsite guidelines for the WHS Library

  • Please bring a photo ID. You will need your
  • Please bring your own mobile device to avoid use of public computers, however there will be limited access to public computers in the Library Reading Room.
  • You may use your own camera or mobile device to take photos of materials for research purposes, however there will be limited access to self-service scanners.
  • Face masks or coverings are required of both visitors and staff.
  • Please wash your hands after arriving. Hand sanitizer will be available for use. If you use hand sanitizer, please rinse your hands thoroughly before handling collection materials, as the residue may cause damage.
  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times during your visit. Please observe any floor markings that indicate safe distances.
  • You will be assigned a table that is distanced from the staff and other researchers.
  • Shared surfaces are regularly disinfected.
  • Materials will be quarantined as appropriate.