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Ask a research question

Contact our staff by phone, 785-272-8681, ext. 117, or by email, to request a check of our card catalogs, indexes, and guides (as time permits) to determine if we have resources on your topic. There is no admission charge for using the KSHS research room. If you are unable to visit in person and need additional research assistance, the following fees apply:

Staff research fee - payable at time of requestKansas Historical Society reading room in Topeka, Kansas

$15 for one newspaper search, when date and place are known
$20 for all other in-state requests
$25 for all other out-of-state requests

For additional charges for copies, postage and handling, if applicable, please see our photocopy services page. All copy work will meet current copyright law and preservation standards.

You will receive a reply to your request whether we find anything or not. The charge for staff time will apply even if no information is found. For requests that require more research than our staff can provide, we may direct you to a private researcher. Kansas residents can request to borrow our microfilm on interlibrary loan through their local library. 

How to submit a request for research

Requests submitted by mail should include payment and be addressed to:

Kansas Historical Society
Reference
6425 SW 6th Avenue
Topeka KS 66615-1099

Please include your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address (if available) with all requests. Our staff responds either by email or U.S. mail in the order the requests are received. We check our email every weekday, but because we receive a large volume of mail, it can sometimes be several weeks before we can respond to requests. Please read our frequently asked questions page as well.

Please do not submit credit card information in an email request, since we cannot ensure the security of your information. If you would like to charge your research request to a credit card, please contact our reference staff by phone at 785-272-8681, ext. 117 or ask for information about using our online store.

Examples of research our staff can perform:

  • Searching for a maximum of one name or event in Kansas newspapers when provided with:
    • name of person and type of event
    • date of the event
    • location
  • One company's articles of incorporation or two corporate annual reports. Large requests are billed a research fee per each half hour of research, plus postage, handling and tax if applicable. Rush requests may not be possible. For more details on these records, see our corporation filings and annual reports page.

Please do:

  • Include your name and address in the letter and make sure it's legible.
  • Use only standard abbreviations and those recognized by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Ask a specific question.
  • Ask for information on a specific individual, not an entire family.
  • If writing to a specific individual on the staff, include the person's name in the address on the envelope.

Please don't:

  • Send pedigree or family group sheets and ask the reference staff to fill in the blanks.
  • Ask for 'everything' we can find.
  • Send a blank check for payment.
  • Send the same letter or email to more than one staff member or department.  We will refer you if necessary.