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The Sharlot Hall Museum Library & Archives is a full-service Research Center.  The Center provides a variety of resources and archival materials for all patrons and researchers to use as they investigate, examine and study the various topics regarding Prescott, the surrounding communities, Yavapai County area and the Arizona Central Highlands region.  The Museum was established in 1928 as well as the Museum's archives.  Hence, we have a variety of materials in the collections that reach back into Arizona’s territorial era up to the present.

Our reference desk staff and volunteers welcome patrons’ queries and will assist all on their path of inquiry and research.  Although staff cannot do the actual research, they are always ready to direct one to a beneficial resource and help a researcher with his/her general questions. Unfortunately, due to limited staff and time, it is not possible to fully assist and help conduct research for patrons.  When you visit the Library & Archives facility, basic computer literacy is recommended, as many items can be found via the Research Center’s website.  Also, it is suggested patrons make a research appointment whenever possible.


Library Services

The Library is an open-stack, non-circulating library.  Hence, all researchers and patrons are welcome to browse the books located in the Prescott Courier Reading Room, but they will not be able to check out any books or other materials to take home and read.  Our Research Center is an "in-center” research facility only.  All library books are listed online via the Yavapai Library Network and are cataloged using the Dewey Decimal classification system.  Some of the rarest books and limited editions are placed in the Rare Book Room, which also includes books from Sharlot M. Hall’s personal library along with other pioneer families' personal library collections.  The books located in the Rare Book Room are considered "close stacks" and must be retrieved by staff.


Library & Archives Research Center Public Hours

The Research Center is open to the public Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12 noon to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.  The Library & Archives is closed Sundays, Mondays and all State of Arizona holidays.


Newspapers, Magazines & Journals

The Library carries several microfilmed, microfiched and hardcopy magazines, journals and local newspapers.  A majority of the newspapers are located in the microfilm or microfiche format – the earliest newspaper is the Journal Miner edition dated March 1864.  Please click here to see a complete listing of our newspapers, magazines, and journals.  Also, our Prescott True Value Audio/Visual Center provides functioning microfilm/fiche machines with printing capability.


Reference Materials

The Library provides several reference resources to our patrons and researchers from genealogical sources to historic district materials.  We devote special sections in our reference area for Genealogical Resources, that include hard-copy obituary newspaper notices, funeral home records, cemetery information and some birth/death/marriage records information.  Also included are sections dedicated to Arizona Territory and Yavapai County census data, a Mining Resource section, Sharlot M. Hall Writings, City of Prescott and surrounding communities, Historical District materials, Arizona Railroad section and Rough Riders/Military section.


Downwinder Program Information

Staff and volunteers are familiar with the Downwinder program and the checklists to assist Downwinders in obtaining information in order to file a claim.  In fact, the Library reference area devotes an entire section to  Downwinder resources for Prescott, its surrounding communities and Yavapai County.  Please click here for Downwinder information.


Archival Services

We have several manuscripts, personal papers and photographic collections in the holdings.  Some collections provide researchers with excellent primary resources or first-hand experiences. The collections contain items from personal and business correspondence by local Prescottonians to Arizona Territorial historical documents, from philatelic covers to personal diaries, from mining data to Rose Garden biographical sketches, from family photographs and albums to entire collections devoted to Frontier Days parades, rodeos, railroads, Prescott businesses or ranching life in Yavapai County.

The Archives provide resources regarding local and surrounding communities’ business directories, yearbooks, phone books, videos, DVDs, mining data and history, railroad history and a wide range of maps covering all parts of Prescott, the Quad-City area, Yavapai County and Arizona.  Also, access to hundreds of oral histories is provided — excellent primary resources that offer first-hand accounts of early Prescott and Yavapai County history.  In addition, there is a variety of vertical files or quick reference files to get one started on any local or Yavapai County research topic.


Email & Telephone Research Requests

Another service provided is research request by email or telephone.  However, please note that it may take two (2) to three (3) weeks to respond to questions submitted in this manner.  This is due to a small staff and busy reference area.  Also, all research requests received will be allotted a maximum free 30 minute research time.  Extensive or multiple questions, including, but not limited to, genealogical (family history) requests cannot generally be answered in the 30 minute allotted time. Hence, patrons are asked to come to the Research Center during our open hours to conduct such research themselves or will be accessed $10 per hour research fee for SHM staff to complete the query on the patron's behalf. Click here to send an email message. 


Reproduction Orders

Our Research Center provides patrons and researchers reproductions on all of the right-to-reproduce images and sound recordings.  One is welcome to order reproductions in print or CD format for all photographs and maps.  Also, staff is able to make copies for all  oral histories and other presentation recordings on cassette tapes (while supplies last) and CDs.  However, we do charge reproduction costs for all items ordered, and additional Permission-to-Use fees may be applied for patrons and researchers who are planning to publish Research Center materials in a commercial format.