Library Research Services

Research your way.

The Martin F. Schmidt Research Library of the Kentucky Historical Society offers several fee-based research services of KHS collections. Address all KHS library research requests to: Research Services Kentucky Historical Society 100 W. Broadway Frankfort, KY 40601 Payment in advance is required. Please allow up to eight weeks for a response to your request.

Research Service Options

  • Single Record Requests

Library staff will search indexed sources for one person in one record. Fee: $15, payable by check or money order only. Mail payment, a self-addressed stamped envelope and a completed Single Record Request Form to the above address. For more information about this service, call 502-564-1792, ext. 4460. Download the form here.

  • Research Requests

KHS staff will conduct research on an hourly basis. Fee: $25 per hour for KHS members; $40 per hour for everyone else. Please submit payment for the first hour of research along with a completed Research Request Form. Download the form here.

  • Photocopy Requests

KHS staff can provide photocopies of cited sources. Please complete the Photocopy Request Form. Policies and fees are explained on the form. Download the form here.

For Professional Researchers

For research requests that are beyond the scope of these staff services, the Martin F. Schmidt Research Library provides a list of genealogy and local history researchers. This list is provided only for informational purposes. KHS does not recommend or discuss the qualifications of these individuals and is not responsible for their actions.

Library Use Policies

The Martin F. Schmidt Research Library is on the second floor of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Elevator access is available.

Our policies are designed to protect the collections and promote an atmosphere conducive to research for all patrons.

When You Arrive

  • Sign in at the front desk in the lobby of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.
  • If this is your first visit, complete the registration paperwork.

You may bring into the library:

  • Paper, research notes, electronic devices and three-ring binders.
  • Pencils (available at the orientation and reference desks for patrons who don’t have one)
  • Cell phones (set to vibrate or at lowest volume. Please leave the library to take calls.)
  • Hand-held cameras and electronic devices with camera capabilities. (No flash is allowed and images are to be used for personal reference only. You may not reproduce, publish, or exhibit the images you or anyone else takes without the permission of the Kentucky Historical Society. (To request permission to publish, please contact the Kentucky Historical Society for a Use Agreement. Additional fees may apply.)

You may not bring:

  • Purses, briefcases, waist-packs, backpacks, etc.
  • Books, magazines and original manuscript documents. (Exceptions to this rule can be discussed with reference staff on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Ink pens of any kind, permanent markers, scanners or personal copiers.
  • Tobacco products, food and drink.

Lockers are available outside the library for personal item storage. You will need a quarter to operate lockers, but we will return it.


Photocopy machines are located in the Reading Room. Researchers are responsible for obtaining necessary publication rights and/or copyright clearances before using copies in any publication.
Patrons can purchase a Venda-card for use in photocopy machines and microfilm printers. Photocopies are $0.15 per page and microfilm copies are $0.30.

Microfilm Readers

There are a limited number of microfilm reader-printers. During especially busy periods, KHS staff reserves the right to ask patrons to limit their use of reader-printers to printing and may ask patrons who are only reviewing microfilm to move to a reader.

Collections Care and Use

  • You may not remove research materials from the Reading Room.
  • After use, return all materials to designated re-shelving carts.
  • Please do not re-shelve materials.
  • Do not mark or damage KHS collections with pencils or other writing implements.
  • Handle materials safely. When in doubt, ask KHS staff.

Library staff will inspect all materials as a precaution as patrons leave the library.