Whether you visit the WVRHC to see the exhibits, conduct genealogical research, or search through our many collections of historical documents and artifacts, the Center is free and open to all for basic use. While most of our services are free, we do charge fees for some services, including making copies and high quality reproductions.
There is no charge to scan materials.
You can photograph materials at the discretion of the WVRHC staff once you read and complete the Camera Use Policy Form.
Scans, photocopies, and photographs of our collections may only be used for private study and research as a substitute for taking notes. They may not be used for publication, exhibition, or any other public purpose without the express written permission from a curator of the WVRHC or the Dean of WVU Libraries.
None of our original materials are available for sale. We can provide high quality reproductions of almost anything in our collections, including photographs, rare materials, and audiovisual materials. Please see Reproduction & Use Fees for associated charges. Forms may be submitted online or via mail.
Request a reproduction by filling out the appropriate form:
For reproductions of oversize materials, such as architectural drawings or maps, please contact Michael Ridderbusch at Michael.Ridderbusch@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-0347.
Most of our collection is only available for use in the West Virginia & Regional History Center. One exception includes microfilm reels for which we have a second duplicate copy. Additionally, many of our books here at the WVRHC have duplicate, circulating copies at West Virginia University's Downtown Campus Library and Evansdale Library. To request these books or duplicate microfilm, please ask your local public, college, or university library to submit a request to the WVU Libraries' Interlibrary Loan Office:
Downtown Campus Library
West Virginia University Libraries
PO Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506-6069
Interlibrary loan policies for the WVRHC are available on the OCLC Policies Directory and a list of our duplicate microfilm is available on our website.
Any interlibrary loan requests which we cannot fill are returned to the borrowing library with an explanation detailing why we were unable to provide the requested material. If there are any questions regarding interlibrary loan requests, calls should be directed to our interlibrary loan department at: 304-293-0368, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST).
WVRHC staff members are available to speak to classes about various topics concerning West Virginia history, genealogy, art, archival management, and other topics on request. Instructional sessions can be focused on a specific area of the collection such as the Rare Books Collection or on several facets of the collection (manuscripts and archives, maps, microfilm, audio-visual materials, etc.). Class sessions can also include hands-on instruction involving primary sources such as manuscripts and archives.
Tours can also be arranged for groups from the university community as well as the general public. To arrange an instructional session, tour, or class visit 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.
The resources of the WVRHC are available to all researchers at the sixth floor of the Downtown Campus Library on West Virginia University's Downtown Campus. You do not need an appointment to visit the Center, though some Archives & Manuscript collections and rare books are available by appointment only due to their storage location. We suggest you investigate the online catalogs and databases available on the WVRHC's website to determine what materials you are interested in consulting prior to your visit.
Staff members are available to help you locate the resources you need. Since the Center's reference desk is always staffed, the greatest degree of assistance is available to those who visit the Center in person. While reference staff must stop short of actually conducting research for visitors, their familiarity with the WVRHC's resources and with various research strategies can be extremely helpful.
Those who cannot visit in person are welcome to contact us via phone, mail, or email with questions or research requests. Long distance research requests are generally limited to information regarding the Center's holdings and advice as to how users may gain access to the information they need.
If you are looking for a specific piece of information (e.g. an obituary) for which a citation is readily available (e.g. bibliographic citation, or exact date and place of death in case of an obituary), staff can conduct a limited search for a fee of $20, payable whether or not the search is successful.
If you have a more extensive research need, a list of names and addresses of local people who can perform research for a fee is available upon request.
To further the West Virginia and Regional History Center's mission of elucidating the history and culture of West Virginia and the Central Appalachian Region, the WVRHC provides awards to scholars who wish to utilize the Center's collections.
Research Grants are offered to help defray expenses of scholars who must travel long distances to use the Center’s resources in the course of their research. Funds totaling $2500 annually are available.
While applications to conduct research in all fields will be considered, current topics of special interest include:
See the WVRHC Research Grants webpage for more information and instructions on how to apply.