Visit the Library and Archives
The Library and Archives preserve and make available to the public the historical record of the Holocaust and support the Museum's wide-ranging efforts in the areas of research, exhibition, publication, education, and commemoration. Access to both published and unpublished materials is available from within the Library and Archives Reading Room.
On this page you will learn about ways to plan your visit to the Museum and prepare for conducting research onsite. If you are interested in remote research assistance, or cannot plan a visit to the Museum, please search in our online tools and then consider asking for assistance.
Hours, Location, and Appointments
The Library and Archives Reading Room is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on federal holidays and Yom Kippur. The Reading Room is located on the Fifth Floor of the Museum building.
No appointment is necessary to visit the Reading Room or to use library materials; however, patrons are advised to contact us in advance if planning to use archival collections. With advance notice, an archivist or curator could be available to assist a researcher onsite.
Plan a visit to the Museum
The Museum provides guidance on travel logistics, local accommodations, food and other aspects of planning a trip to the Museum and its Exhibitions. Please consult that guidance for families, groups, or individuals.
Search before you arrive
Many steps of the research process can be completed prior to your arrival at the Museum. Advanced planning on your part will increase the amount of time you will have to work with the materials when you arrive on site. To identify materials of interest to you—both published and unpublished—find materials using our online tools.
Reserve materials in advance
Unless otherwise specified in the library and archives catalog, all library materials are available on site and do not require an appointment or advanced arrangements for use. On the other hand, archival materials are stored in various locations based on their preservation and housing needs and do require more time to prepare for a user. Therefore, whenever possible, you should request specific materials from the reference staff in advance of your arrival.
Family history and Genealogy
There is no single list of Holocaust victims or survivors; therefore, tracing an individual through the Holocaust is a process of piecing together bits of information from a variety of sources. When available, the name of the town in which a particular individual resided prior to the war provides the most fruitful entry point to the available resources and can indicate to the proper sources or existing records. Please contact the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center to seek family members and trace their history.
In order to examine archival collections, researchers are required to fill out an online Researcher Registration form. Valid government-issued photo identification is required. Researchers should review the Reading Room Policies prior to registration.
Copying, Scanning, and Wi-Fi Options
All microform stations are enabled with scanners that create digital copies of materials rather than paper-based photocopies. Patrons are encouraged to bring a storage device, such as a USB thumb drive or portable hard drive, for use in the reading rooms. Personal laptop computers are welcome and the Museum provides a Wi-Fi-enabled network to support your research needs. Additionally, a scanning station and a photocopy machine are available for your convenience and USB storage devices can be purchased in the Museum Shop.
Because of copyright restrictions, it is not possible for staff to produce duplications of library materials in any format. Photocopiers and scanning stations are provided for “fair use” of materials by researchers. Depending on the restrictions placed on an archival collection by its donor or host institution, it may be possible to purchase a duplication of a reel of microfilm, set of microfiche, or oral history interviews. Those interested should contact staff to make arrangements, or learn about fees for reproductions.
Citing Museum Resources in Research Papers
To assist researchers in providing appropriate and adequate references and citations to Museum materials reviewed by researchers, we have created a detailed page of guidance on citations.
Circulation and Interlibrary Loan
The Library and Archives are set up primarily to support on site research. Consequently, library and archives materials do not circulate to the general public, nor do can they be loaned via interlibrary loan. Please contact your local librarian to determine another source for the published items you are seeking or a member of our reference staff for assistance with a particular item from our archival holdings.
Researchers that access the library and archives reading rooms represent one of the Museum’s key constituencies and your insight and feedback provide valuable guidance to the services we provide. If you have recently conducted research onsite, please take a few moments to complete the online reading room survey.
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