Appointments are encouraged. Please email to work with a staff member to schedule an appointment.


Before making an appointment to visit the Reading Room, what should I consider? 

Please postpone your visit if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed to a person who might be infected. 


Can you give me driving directions? Where may I park?

The "Visit" section of our website provides driving directions and suggestions for public parking.


What hours/days are you open?

The Research Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. The last retrieval of research materials is at 4:00 p.m.


Who is allowed to use the Research Center? Is it free?

The Williams Research Center is open to the public during regular business hours. There is no entry fee or charge for using our research collections. There are nominal charges for photocopies, photography orders, and usage fees for publication rights.


Is it possible to get photocopies?

The reading room staff can photocopy certain materials at the patron's request. Permission must be obtained on a case-by-case basis for all photocopies, excluding microforms. Permission depends upon the condition of the material and any restrictions imposed by collection donors or the owner of copyright. No photocopies may be made of oversize, hand-colored, or fragile items, or if copyright infringement is a possibility. For more details, see our section on Reproductions.


May I take pictures with my camera?

Patrons may use personal cameras or phones to photograph materials.  Prior to taking any photographs, please see a staff member and read our photography policy. Permission is always at the discretion of the staff member.


Can I make copies from microforms?

Yes, our microform readers allow users to print copies at a rate of $.25/sheet. Users may also save images from microforms to a personal USB flash drive.


May I request to have copies made of photographs?

Patrons can request duplicates of photographs in our collections. Permission depends upon the condition of the original prints or negatives as well as upon restrictions imposed by collection donors or the owner of copyright. For more details, see our section on Reproductions.


Can I check things out?

The Williams Research Center is not a lending library. Materials in our collections must be used on-site, in our reading room.


Are you wheelchair accessible/ADA compliant?

Yes, the Williams Research Center is wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant.


What am I allowed to bring into the Reading Room?

Researchers are allowed to bring note-taking materials such as notebooks, paper, or laptop computers into the Reading Room. Electrical outlets are available at most tables. All property not essential to research, including briefcases, personal books, coats, and hats, must be stored during your visit. Secure lockers for personal effects are available at the reception desk. The staff retains the right to search any personal effects brought into the reading room by patrons. Also, please note that ink pens are not allowed. Pencils are available.


Are children allowed in the Reading Room?

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult in the reading room.


How do I get permission to include THNOC materials or images in something that I want to publish or broadcast?

Requests for publication permissions must be submitted in writing. Your request letter should include your name and contact information, a description of your project, the name of your publisher or production company, the specific images or materials from our collection (preferably including our identification numbers), and their intended use(s) in your project.


Can you tell me how much my old book/manuscript/artifact is worth?

The Historic New Orleans Collection cannot give appraisals of materials in which it has a collecting interest. If you wish to learn the monetary value of something in your possession, we encourage you to consult a professional appraiser with experience in the current market for the type of object under consideration.


Can the WRC staff research my topic for me?

The Williams Research Center does receive requests for information concerning our collections from researchers and members of the public who are not able to visit us in person. While our limited staff size generally precludes in-depth research for our patrons, we make every effort to answer these requests.

For questions regarding the William Research Center Collections, email us at
Note: Email research requests require full name, institutional or business affiliation, address, and phone number.


Do you have a file on a New Orleans artist that I’m looking for?

The Williams Research Center maintains an extensive Artist File Collection that contains miscellaneous information on specific artists and artistic organizations such as galleries, clubs, and schools. Our online Artist Database can tell you if an artist or organization is represented in our files, and you can then visit the reading room or contact reference staff to access the contents of the file.


Do you provide translations of documents written in foreign languages, such as French, Spanish, or German?

Some foreign language documents in our collections are accompanied by English translations, but in most cases you will find them untranslated. Our reading room does have some foreign language dictionaries available for use by our patrons.


Can I donate my old book/manuscript/artifact to The Historic New Orleans Collection/Williams Research Center?

We are always very happy to consider donations of materials that relate to New Orleans and the surrounding region. For more information, see our section on Material Donations.