As part of its mission to promote the study of Louisiana history, The Collection opened the Williams Research Center at 410 Chartres Street in January 1996. After an extensive restoration, the Williams Research Center (WRC) serves as The Collection's research facility. City architect Edgar Angelo Christy designed the 1915 Beaux Arts structure, which initially functioned as a a police station and municipal courthouse. Today the façade and the reading room—which occupies the former courtroom—are suggestive of the building's earlier design, although the remaining floor space has been reordered to operate as secure, climate-controlled storage.

The Collection's rare and important holdings at the WRC are available to the general public. Patrons, through the assistance of the Center's experienced reading room staff, have access to more than 30,000 library items, including books, pamphlets, sheet music, broadsides, theater programs, and periodicals; more than two miles of documents and manuscripts; a microfilm collection; and more than 500,000 photographs, prints, drawings, and paintings. Rare manuscripts and documents are available in the original and in microform.

The reading room at the Williams Research Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday, excluding holidays. Access to the research center begins with an interview with reading room staff and the consultation of automated catalogues. Click here for hours, directions and suggestions for parking.

Williams Research Center
410 Chartres Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Ph. 504.598.7171 Fax 504.598.7168