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Appointments at Wisconsin Historical Society Archives


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 Library appointments here.

Appointment hours

Archives – 9 am-noon and 1-4 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Before your visit

  • For the safety of the library and archives staff and researchers, only four researchers will be allowed in the Archives Reading Room at a time.
  • To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, face masks or face coverings are required to enter 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 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.

Archives 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:

  • view materials in 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)
  • request duplication services by WHS staff for a fee

At this time, we are NOT able to provide:

  • paging of archival materials on demand (all materials must be retrieved in advance of your visit)
  • self-service scanning (you may use your own camera or mobile device)

How to schedule an appointment for visiting WHS Archives

Appointments for visiting the WHS Archives Reading Room must be made at least one week in advance. You may schedule your appointment using our new appointment system: You will receive an email message confirming your appointment that includes information and instructions. Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, you will need to request the materials you want to see by using our online catalog. If you haven’t already done so, you will be prompted to complete an online registration.  If you are not sure how to request materials, or are not sure what materials you will need, our staff is available to help. To contact us email

Please do not come to the Archives without an appointment or before requesting materials through our online catalog. We are doing everything we can to meet physical distancing guidelines and to reduce the need for contact among our staff and guests.

The use of some materials, such as film, audio and microfilm, may require more lead time to prepare. Consequently, we may have to reschedule some appointments.

Our staff is available to help you with this process or to answer any questions you may have. To contact us email

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:

  • Please bring a photo ID.
  • Please bring your own mobile device to avoid use of public computers.
  • Due to COVID 19 and the need for social distancing, you will not be allowed to use our self-service scanners. However, you may use your own camera or mobile device to take photos of materials for research purposes.
  • 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.
  • We will ask you to place your belongings in a designated locker.
  • Researchers may bring into the reading room only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, pencils, and laptops or tablets without cases. Power cords and headphones for electronic equipment are permitted.
  • Please bring your own water to be stored in your locker.
  • 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.
  • Researchers will only wear gloves when working with photographs and metal objects.