Background Image for Header:
The WVRHC is open to the public and welcomes all who have an interest in consulting the Center's resources. There is no fee or cost for basic use and no appointment is normally necessary.
Hours & Directions
Click here to see the WVRHC's hours. Please note that on Saturdays, only the main reading room and microfilm room are open--manuscripts and rare books are not available.
Do I need to call ahead?
Appointments are generally not required when you wish to visit the WVRHC, but advance
notice of requests to use our extensive collections will enable staff to better
prepare for your visit. Exceptions include the following:
- to view a collection with restricted material, advanced notice is encouraged (access restrictions will be noted in the "Conditions Governing Access" section of the finding aid)
- to view a collection stored offsite, advanced notice is necessary (if a collection is stored offsite, that will be noted in the "Conditions Governing Access" section of the finding aid)
- to view items in our Rare Books collection, advanced notice is encouraged
- If you want to arrange an instructional session, tour, or class visit, contact us in advance. For tours etc. of the WVRHC, contact Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, at 304-293-1116. For tours etc. of the Rare Book Room, contact Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian, at 304-293-0345.
Preparing for Your Visit
- Familiarize yourself with our policies ( Rules for Use of Library Materials and Conditions for Duplication of Materials) and forms ( Camera Use and Registration).
- You can begin your research prior to arrival by exploring the WVRHC's collections and research help webpages. Use our search tools to find relevant archives & manuscripts, printed ephemera, and photographs. Use the WVU Libraries catalog to find rare books, West Virginia books, and West Virginia newspapers.
- We encourage you to bring your laptop and digital camera!
- The Society of American Archivists has created "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research", which outlines basic functions and procedures of archives and is designed both for first-time and seasoned archives users.
Availability of Materials
- Books and microfilms in the WVRHC Main Reading Room are available for browsing at any time during open hours. Archives & Manuscripts, Rare Books, and other resources stored in our closed stacks are not available for browsing, but retrieval of these materials by staff usually takes just a few minutes; however, they are not available for use on Saturdays.
- Our materials do not circulate, so they cannot be taken out of the WVRHC. To make this history available to everyone, we can't let it walk out the door! If you want to use our materials elsewhere, consider interlibrary loan, making copies, or ordering reproductions.
- A small portion of our Archives & Manuscripts collections have donor-imposed or legal restrictions; if this is the case, it will be noted in the "Conditions Governing Access" section of the finding aid.
When You Arrive
- First-time visitors are required to fill out a user registration form. A photo ID, generally either a driver's license or student ID, is required for registration.
- Visitors who have already registered only need to sign in!
During Your Visit
There are special rules to follow if you want to use Rare Books or Archives &
- To request special materials, fill out a yellow call slip for each collection or item. Call slips can be found on the Reference Desk in the main reading room. Hand your call slip to a staff member, and they’ll locate your materials for you.
- Coats, handbags, briefcases, umbrellas, computer cases, parcels, and other personal belongings must be placed in the lockers behind the reference desk before you enter the Rare Book or Stealey Manuscripts Reading Room.
- Only pencils, paper, notepads, and personal computers are permitted in the Rare Book or Stealey Manuscripts Reading Room. Pensand scanning equipment are not permitted. Cameras may be used only when you have completed a Camera Use Policy form.
- Requests for retrieval of materials and requests for photocopies will be accepted until 20 minutes before closing time.
- Need a break? Eliza's Coffee Shop is located on the 4th floor of the library, and vending machines are available on the lower level. Remember, food and drink is not permitted in the WVRHC, so enjoy your snack before you return!
- If you have a question, ask! We have a variety of staff and subject experts here to help you.
When You Leave
- All researchers are asked to sign out at the Registration Desk as they leave the WVRHC.
- If you have printed or had photocopies made, the staff member at the Registration Desk can take your payment (cash only, please) and give you a receipt.