In order to ensure observation of social distancing requirements by patrons and staff, the Reading Room is open by appointment only. Appointments will be taken following a short consultation with a reference staff member to ensure that on-site research is the best option for the patron. Appointments are for one person only and must be made 24 hours in advance. Patrons must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines in place. Please email or call (504) 598-7171 to speak with a staff member.

The Williams Research Center strives to offer a quiet, congenial environment for research, and to promote access to our collections while safeguarding their condition. Accordingly, visitors are asked to observe these guidelines while using the reading room:

1. All property not essential to research, including briefcases, books, coats, and hats, must be stored in the designated location. Secure lockers for personal effects are available. THNOC retains the right to search any personal effects brought into the reading room by patrons.

2. In consideration of all researchers, a quiet atmosphere must be maintained in the reading room, therefore, cell phone calls must be made or answered outside the room.

3. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

3. Beverages, food, and chewing gum are prohibited.

4. Please use pencil for note taking as the use of pens or markers is prohibited in the reading room.

5. Help us preserve our materials by observing the following precautions:

  • Make no mark on materials.
  • Do not place papers, books, or other objects on materials.
  • Touch only the edges of materials.
  • Do not refold items in new or different ways than they were when you received them. Ask for assistance if needed.
  • Exercise extreme care in the arrangement of unbound materials. Please report any disarrangement of materials to a staff person on duty.
  • Never remove items from encapsulation.
  • For certain collections, researchers may be required to wear gloves, which we will provide.
  • Manuscript items may be viewed only one item or folder at a time.
  • Only one microfilm reel may be given to the researcher at a time.

6. Photocopies and images obtained at the Williams Research Center or the Historic New Orleans Collection must not be further duplicated.

7. The photocopying and photographing of collection materials may be restricted or denied at the discretion of the reference staff. The photocopying of unique, fragile, oversize, and hand-colored images is not permitted. The Williams Research Center cannot authorize copying of images for which reproduction is prohibited.

8. Pets are not allowed in the reading room.