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Research Centers

Research centers in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, and Springfield provide access to an ever-growing number of reference materials and historical collections.

Prior to Arrival

Before arriving, visitors should contact research center staff to verify that the collection material they would like to view is available, as materials may be restricted, in storage, or located at another research center. Collections stored at one research center can be viewed at any of the other research centers. Please note that transfers between research centers can take between one and three weeks. Please contact the Cape Girardeau and Springfield Research Centers directly for information regarding the next available bi-monthly collection material delivery.

Research Center Locations

Upon Arrival

Holdings are non-circulating and must be used on the premises. Visitors must provide a government-issued photo ID, and read and sign a rules and consent form before using manuscript material or rare books from the reference collection. Researchers will then be issued a research center card.

Examples of accepted government-issued photo IDs:
  • Driver's License
  • State ID
  • Military ID
  • Passport

General Facility Protocol

For security purposes, patrons will be searched by Society personnel upon departure. Only items such as paper, pencils, notes, and laptop computers are allowed in the center. These items, plus sweaters worn when the room is cool, will be subject to search by Society personnel upon departure.

Patrons may use cameras with the permission of the staff. For security reasons, camera bags and equipment cases are not allowed in the Research Center. SHSMO staff reserves the right to prohibit the photographing of a particular item based on fragile condition or if photography is a known violation of copyright law. Patrons are responsible for observing copyright law. No scanners are allowed in the Research Center.

SHSMO requires every researcher to use a pencil while in the research center. Using pencils to take notes is routine practice in most archival and manuscript repositories. Staff members are happy to provide pencils to patrons who do not bring one with them.

Once the staff has provided a manuscript collection to a researcher, the researcher is only allowed to take one folder out of one box at a time. Because it is very important to preserve the existing order of the papers in each folder, researchers should read through the material like a book, and refrain from removing papers out of the folder. Staff members can assist patrons who need to flag manuscript material for copying if they are uncomfortable doing so. Researchers should report any disarrangement to the reference staff. Failure to comply with the rules and staff direction will lead to the suspension or revocation of research privileges.

All photocopying is handled by the staff. Collections cannot be reproduced in their entirety. Orders of over 200 pages will be photocopied at the staff's discretion based on previously scheduled work. Copies will be stamped with a copyright notice. Audio and video materials held by SHSMO are for research use only, but may be reproduced on a case-by-case basis. Patrons doing research onsite with microfilm are able to print hard copies as well as save scans to a flash drive.

Hours of Operation by Research Center

Cape Girardeau

Research Center
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


The Columbia Research Center will be closed April 19 to August 12, 2019 for the move to the newly constructed Center for Missouri Studies. Learn more.

All Columbia facilities are closed on Mondays
Research Center
Tuesday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Main Art Gallery
Tuesday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Gift Shop & Administrative Office
Tuesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Kansas City

Research Center
Tuesday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Research Center
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

St. Louis

Research Center
Tuesday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Research Center
Tuesday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Requests must be made at least one week in advance—by the third Wednesday of each month.

Holiday Closings

(subject to change)

  • Martin Luther King's Birthday: January 19-21, 2019
  • Memorial Day Weekend: May 25-27, 2019
  • Independence Day: July 4, 2019
  • Labor Day: August 31 - September 2, 2019
  • Thanksgiving: Noon November 27-30, 2019
  • Christmas and New Year's Day: Noon December 24, 2019 - January 1, 2020