Research

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In order to fulfill its mission, the Willamette Heritage Center has extensive collections documenting the history of the Mid-Willamette Valley. This includes everything from heavy textile machinery to fragile photographs to extensive archival holdings. Access to the collections for researchers is a vital part of the Willamette Heritage Center’s mission.  You can learn more about the WHC’s holdings here.

Covid 19 Access Protocols

Due to safety restrictions put in place to help mitigate the contagious effects of the COVID-19 and subsequent reductions in staffing, we have had to change the way we offer access to the collections.  We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these new systems together.  Until further notice, the Willamette Heritage Center Research Library and Archives is closed to the public for drop-in research.  You can still access our collections in the following ways:

Services Available

Cost Deliverables Approx. Turn Around
Reference Services Free .pdf list of cataloged materials in the WHC Collections ~1 week
In person Research Appointment Free Access to materials Subject to Availability
Photo Request Varies based on quantity and nature of materials Digital image files (we don’t print materials, but there are many local businesses that will!) ~4 weeks
Guided Research Appointment Half Hour: $25.00

Hour Appointment: $50

Interactive Zoom call with staff/volunteers at the WHC who will provide real time remote access to materials and/or walk through the process of finding the answer to your research question Subject to availability
Research First 15 minutes free.

$40 per hour in minimum 15 min increments.  You will get a bid for services prior to undertaking

Written report with citations giving where information came from. Subject to Availability

Reference Services

COST: FREE

Use this service to determine if the Willamette Heritage Center has the materials you need.  Staff will provide a .pdf list of all the materials in the WHC’s collections that have been cataloged and can also offer ideas on other resources to further your research.

Types of Research Questions:

  • Do you have a picture of my grandpa? 
  • Do you have a high school yearbook from McNary High School class of 1986? 
  • Do you have a picture of my house at 123 Main Street?
  • Do you have records of the Salem Women’s Club?

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Research Appointment

COST: FREE

These appointments provide an opportunity to access materials at the Willamette Heritage Center of interest to researchers.   Please note that this option only provides physical access to requested materials in order to keep our staff and volunteers safe and socially distanced.  If you would like assistance in interpreting or finding materials, please consider a Guided Research Appointment.

Requirements

  • Appointments must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • A full list of materials the researcher would like to view must be submitted at the time of scheduling the appointment.
  • Appointments are limited in number and duration, and subject to staff availability.  Staff will maintain a waiting list and assist on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Masks will be worn at all times on the museum grounds.

Types of Research Questions:

  • Can I view your 1962 Salem City Directory
  • Can I look at the 1986 yearbook from McNary High School? 
  • May we look at the Salem Women’s Club records from 1952-1980.

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Reference Services

COST: Varies based on quantity and nature of material being requested

Receive digital copies of materials in the WHC’s photo archives.  For more information about photo reproduction services, please see this page: https://www.willametteheritage.org/historical-photos/

Types of Research Questions:

  • Can I get a copy of my grandfather’s photo? 
  • I’d like to get an historical photo of Salem to hang in my office, can you help? 

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Guided Research Appointment

COST: 1/2 Hour – $25.00 / Hour – $50.00

Access the WHC’s Collections and staff “know-how” in the comfort of your own home through zoom.  Staff can

  • Use a document camera to leaf through resources of interest.  Hit the record button and you have instant digital access to primary documents that you can revisit and read over and over.
  • Walk you through a particularly sticky research question, pulling and providing resources physically at the site and online in real time.
  • Learn how to get started researching a specific topic with step by step instructions and our expertise!

Types of Research Questions:

  • Can you help me figure out what resources are out there? 
  • How do I research my grandmother who lived in Salem?
  • Do you have a digital copy of the meeting minutes of this building?

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Research

COST: First 15 Minutes are Free!  Then we charge $40.00 per hour in minimum 15 minute increments.

Need an answer to a research question?  We may be able to help!  We will dig and provide what we can for free if it takes less than 15 minutes.  However, if the answer is harder to find, we will provide you with a quote for how much it would cost for us to do the research for you.  We can’t guarantee results, but we will provide a written report of what we tried and what we found.

Types of Research Questions:

  • Who used to live in my house? 
  • Where is my grandfather buried?
  • How many gas stations were in Salem in 1962? 
  • What was the name of the restaurant that used to be at 123 Liberty Street?
  • Who was the first dentist in Silverton?

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Reference Services

COST: FREE

Use this service to determine if the Willamette Heritage Center has the materials you need.  Staff will provide a .pdf list of all the materials in the WHC’s collections that have been cataloged and can also offer ideas on other resources to further your research.

Types of Research Questions:

  • Do you have a picture of my grandpa? 
  • Do you have a high school yearbook from McNary High School class of 1986? 
  • Do you have a picture of my house at 123 Main Street?
  • Do you have records of the Salem Women’s Club?

Fill out the form below to get started today.

Start Your Research Request!

Questions?

You can reach the research library via email or phone 503-585-7012 ext 257.  Please be aware that due to COVID-19 our staff and volunteers are not in the office everyday.  We will get back to you as soon as we can.  We thank you for your patience as we all navigate this new world together.