The Watkins Museum’s archives has thousands of photographs and documents pertaining to the history of Douglas County, Kansas and its residents. These materials cover themes including businesses, schools, churches, personal correspondence, and changing Lawrence city governance. While the core research materials outlined below are on hand through our research facility, materials in the museum’s archival collections can be made available through research requests.

Important Update:

Although renovations to the
KRAMAR Family Research Room are complete, research requests and appointments will begin in January 2023. Thank you for your patience.

Reference & Research Resources

  • Archival collections
  • Audiovisual and oral histories
  • General history files
  • Local history index
  • Maps and atlases
  • Monographs
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Obituary/Mortuary records
  • Photographs and postcards
  • Research guides
  • Teacher & student resources
  • Vertical files
  • Yearbooks and school newspapers

Research Requests

While the Watkins Museum of History is open for normal hours, research staff are not on-site everyday. Please submit all research requests via email to Collections Manager Kate Grasse at or call (785) 841-4109 for more information. In your email, provide a summary of your research objective, question(s), and any background information relevant to the research request.

On-Site Research

  • The Research Room is available by appointment only Tuesday through Friday, 10am – 4pm. Appointments may be available for other days but must be requested at least 3 business days in advance of the desired date.
  • Researchers should contact the Collections Manager Kate Grasse with details of their research topic prior to visiting Watkins. All research requests are handled in the order in which they are received.  However, a researcher may request expedited service for a fee of $35 plus any associated research and copy fees.
  • The research staff will review each request to determine whether relevant materials are available and will contact the research to schedule an appointment


An estimate of research fees will be provided to researchers and payment must be received prior to the initiation of the requested research services

  • Research Rates: $20/hour
  • Copying Fees:  $0.25 for 8½” x 11″; $0.35 for 11″ x 17″; $1.00 for color 8½” x 11″
  • Postage and Handling Fees: $3.50 minimum
  • Digital Reproduction Policy and Fees: Researchers must submit a completed Reproduction Request Form for all digital reproductions.
    • $5 per image for personal research only
    • $10 per image for publication or public display (hard copy, web, film usage)
    • $30 per oversized image (originals exceeding 11” x 17”)
    • $50 per image for multiple commercial usage

Additional Online Resources

To access digital resources already available online see Douglas County On-line Resources.  Please check back frequently as the listing will be updated by Watkin staff. To access digitized newspapers, visit the Newspaper Search Guide.

Other area institutions: