We encourage public visitation to our Research Room
at the Ohio History Center in Columbus, but we realize that not everyone is able to come to us. Reference Archivists can do a limited amount of research among our collections following the guidelines described below.
What is needed to submit a General Research Request
We have received our collections over the course of more than a century from thousands of different organizations, governments, and private individuals. These rich and varied information resources are not arranged in a way that allows us to type in a name and find out every place in our archives where that name appears. In general, we need to know the following four things in order to search our collections for the information that will complement your research.
- The subject or name of the individual being researched
- The type of event/record being researched (for example: marriage)
- The county or city in Ohio where the event took place
- The approximate year of the event
The basic research fee covers a 10-year time span of your choosing for a name or subject.
You can use our Online Collection Catalog
to help determine if we hold the record collections of interest to your research.
General Research Request Fees
The base fee is $25.00 for searching one name in any one specific type of indexed record or record group during a time period that covers up to a 10-year span. The base fee includes up to 4 pages of copies, plus the cost of a first class postage stamp. The charge for each additional page is $0.25 plus postage in excess of the cost of a first class stamp. Research requests must be PREPAID with check or money order payable to the Ohio Historical Society. DO NOT SEND CASH. No refund will be provided for records that are searched but not found. Due to the number of requests received by the Archives/Library, please allow up to sixty (60) days for a response to your inquiry. We do not cash payment until we have finished processing the request.
Tips for Submitting A Research Request
Do not send requests asking for "all" information available about a subject, family name, or specific person. Requests for "anything" or "everything" are too broad to be completed in the time period allotted for your request. Examples of the type of General Research Requests that our staff can do include:
- Public record research request: "Please send me the Franklin County, Ohio, will record of John Doe, who died sometime between 1880 and 1889."
- Audio/visual research request: "Please send me a picture of Union Station in Columbus during the 1880s."
- Book research request for family history: "Please look through your Darke County History Book Collection for the tombstone inscription information of John Doe, who died in 1868."
- Book research request for business history: "Please look through your Columbus books for information about the M. C. Lilley & Company, which made ornamental swords around 1870."
We do not do research in newspapers held in our collections. We can, however, interlibrary loan rolls of newspaper microfilm to your local library. Please read the full explanation of our interlibrary loan procedures
For questions about using the Online Collection Catalog or submitting a General Research Request, please contact the Ohio Historical Society's Archives/Library staff by e-mail
or by telephone at 614-297-2510.