Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Research Room Regulations

Hours | General Rules | Document Handling | Document Copying

The Library welcomes everyone who wishes to study President Trumanís career and related topics. Although appointments are not required during regular hours, we strongly suggest you contact our research room prior to arrival so we may better serve your needs.

Anyone may use the Truman Library subject to the following two requirements:

  1. There must be records or other materials on your topic among Truman Library holdings. If you are better served by visiting your local library or another institution, we will refer you there.
  2. You must be at least 14 years old or be accompanied by an adult.

The research room is open Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The research room is closed on Saturday, Sunday, and all Federal Holidays.

Important rules and information for the research room:

  • To request documents and photographs, researchers must fill out the Reference Service Record, which is available in the Research Room. The collection name, box numbers, researcher name, date and researcher card number are required on the form in order for the staff to pull materials for researchers. Each form must be signed by the researcher and submitted to the attendant on duty in the research room. Collections and box numbers for textual collections and photographs can be identified using finding aids that are available in the research room and on the Truman Library web site. No more than 10 boxes may be requested at one time.
  • The National Archives and Records Administration requires that all pulls are to be completed within one hour from the time that materials are requested. You are allowed one cart of materials at a time. You may order a new cart only when you are finished with the one you have. At the end of the day, you may request that new boxes be substituted for some of the boxes on your cart.
  • A photo identification card, such as a driverís license, must be shown to the guard. Only pencils, laptop computers, digital cameras and flatbed scanners are allowed in the room. Lockers are available for other belongings. Paper and note cards are provided in the research room. You will be required to present any materials you are carrying to the research room monitor or the guard for inspection when entering and leaving the research room. No outerwear is permitted in the research room.
  • The use of cellular phones and pagers is prohibited in the research room. Please either turn your phone/pager off, or place it on vibrate. Any phone conversations must be taken into the Library lobby or hallway.
  • You may not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke, or use smokeless tobacco products. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the building. There is a break room which has a refrigerator, a microwave and vending machines.
  • Sign the research room register once each day when you first enter the room, and enter your departure time in the register at the end of your workday. Please indicate on the columns provided on the register whether you are doing textual and/or audio-visual research.
  • Excessive noise and disruptive behavior are not permitted in the research room.

The following are more specific rules for handling documents:

  • Please handle the documents with care. You are responsible for safeguarding the condition of the records that have been brought to you.
  • You may remove from a cart and open only one box or bound volume at a time.
  • Researchers may be requested to position their cart or the box on their table so that research room staff can maintain an unobstructed view of the research room.
  • You may remove and open only one folder from a box at a time. Keep the folder and the documents flat on the table. Do not fold over and crease pages of the document.
  • Put a paper marker in the box in the place of the folder you are using. Maintain the documents in the folder in the same order they were in when you received them.
  • Researchers not may not share documents, folders or boxes with other researchers.
  • Never write on the documents nor write on another sheet of paper on top of the documents.
  • Never let your pencil mark the documents.
  • When working with still or motion picture records, you must wear white gloves, provided by the staff, to protect the records.

Information on copying documents:

Please ask the staff for instructions on how to order document copies. The fee for this service, set nationally by the National Archives Trust Fund, is eighty cents per page. A self-service copier is available in the research room; the fee is twenty-five cents per page. Your use of the machine is strictly according to the following rules:

  • When copying original documents, do not lower the lid of the self-service copier on top of the document.
  • Do not tear the documents or damage them in any way.
  • Never remove any staples or fasteners except with the permission of the archives staff.
  • Do not take photocopies made on the self-service machine, which are on blue paper, to your desk. Put them instead into a box near the machine that will be assigned to you. You may take these copies with you any time you leave the research room.
  • Pay for your self-service copies when you have completed your research and are leaving the Library.
  • Flatbed scanners are allowed but automatic feed scanners are not. Hand-held scanners that are moved or rubbed across the face of documents are not permitted. There are no restrictions for laptop computers.
  • Digital cameras may be used but the flash must be turned off. A digital camera is available for the use of researchers for a fee of $10.

A researcher should tell the archivist no later than 4:15 p.m. what materials they are finished with and what materials they would like to see the next day. The research room closes promptly at 4:45 p.m.

These rules are intended to help the staff of the Harry S. Truman Library serve all researchers who come here to use our manuscript holdings. The staff will do everything it can to give you the service you require. You have a right to see and use the documents in the custody of the Library, or to be told in specific instances, why certain documents must remain temporarily closed. You have a right to appeal any decision to close a document. The staff will discuss the right of appeal with you upon your request.

The research room telephone number is (816) 268-8272. The e-mail address is truman.reference@nara.gov.