Collections & Research

Research Services


To prepare and move the invaluable collections from the Society's current location in Ellis Library, the Columbia Research Center will be closed to the public beginning April 19, 2019. This closure will last until August 12, 2019.

The Columbia Research Center will not accept new research requests made from April 1 to August 11, 2019. All research requests requiring Columbia collections will need to be resubmitted on or after August 12, 2019.

In the interim, staff from the five open research centers will try to accommodate patron research requests whenever possible. Please note that these additional research centers will have no access to newspapers on microfilm or obituaries, as those materials are housed at the Columbia Research Center.

Please be aware of these specific dates:

  • March 18 – Columbia manuscript collections stored on-site are no longer being sent to other research centers.
  • March 31 – Last day Columbia Research Center will accept research requests.
  • April 17 – Last day for researchers to request off-site manuscript collections to access in Columbia.
  • April 18 – Last day off-cite manuscript collections are received in Columbia.
  • April 19 – Last day Columbia Research Center is open to the public.

Learn More

As of July 15, 2018, the State Historical Society of Missouri will offer two types of research assistance: a quick search and an extended research.

Please submit your request using the Research Request form. Staff will evaluate the extent of your request and assess an applicable fee.

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.

Materials from the manuscript, photograph, audio\visual, and map collections may not be available on Saturdays unless previous arrangements have been made to place them on reserve. This is due to limited staffing and access to restricted areas on the weekends. Saturday hours apply to the Columbia research center only.

SHSMO members receive special rates on research services. Not a member and wish to help preserve Missouri's history and culture? Join today!

Researchers at SHSMO

Quick Search

For this research service, SHSMO staff will spend up to 30 minutes searching for specific reference questions that can be answered from all Society collections.

Includes up to 10 photocopies

Exact Citations

To request articles from the Society's Index to Selected Missouri Newspapers, 1819-1886, copy and paste the citation information into the Research Request form. Please limit your request to ten citations.

Fee for articles from the Index to Selected Missouri Newspapers

Some Missouri newspapers are available online, free of charge. Available newspapers may be accessed through the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

Submit a Research Request

Manuscript researcher

Extended Research Request

For this research service, SHSMO staff will conduct up to 2 hours of research for one individual name or one topic (local event, building history, business history, etc.) across all Society collections.

Per each hour of research, up to two hours
Includes up to 20 photocopies

Additional copies are $.25 per page. Patrons will be informed of additional photocopy costs upon completion of the order.

For requests that require more research than the staff can provide, patrons may be referred to a private researcher.

Submit a Research Request

Microfilm reader

Interlibrary Loan

The State Historical Society of Missouri's collection is non-circulating; however, an interlibrary loan (ILL) service makes microfilm available to patrons who cannot visit one of SHSMO's research centers (Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, or Springfield). SHSMO's circulating microfilm collections include:

1-2 reels, two weeks use

Learn More about Interlibrary Loan

Microfilm reader

Additional Fees

Print Materials
Double-sided copies are charged per side. Add $.05 per side for color copies.


Staff assistance for in-house patrons

Shipping and handling charges may be applied.

Print materials


Audio recordings

Video recordings

Oversize items
Cost of reproductions may vary by Research Center.

Manuscript collections

Exchange of Materials Between Research Centers

Materials may be transferred to the Research Center of your choice from other SHSMO locations via our courier service. There is no charge for this service.

Please request records at least 2 weeks prior to your visit.

Submit a Research Request