Research Services

Anyone with an interest in history, including scholars, students, genealogists, and the general public, is encouraged to research the Georgia Historical Society’s collections. In addition to providing reference assistance to reading room patrons, the Georgia Historical Society also offers research services to patrons who are unable to visit us in person. Additionally, the Georgia Historical Society offers on-site group orientations to using Research Center resources. Groups of 5 or more researchers must make an appointment prior to visitation; fees may apply.


Research Services Statement: The average turnaround time for research requests may be up to four weeks. Please note: fees paid for research requests are non-refundable. If you require faster service, rush fees will apply.

The Georgia Historical Quarterly (excluding the previous three years) is available electronically at JSTOR.


On-Site Reference Services

On-Site Reference Services

The first fifteen (15) minutes of research are free of charge. Non-members are assessed a $5 per day research fee, paid at the end of their visit, for research visits that exceed fifteen minutes.

Each researcher must present a valid government-issued photo ID upon each visit and complete a Patron Registration form once per calendar year. To facilitate the sign-in process, please print out and complete the registration form prior to your visit.

Researchers are assisted by the reference staff for both reference inquiries and photocopy requests.

Appointments are required for in-depth on-site service or instruction; additional fees will apply.


Telephone and Email Ready Reference

Telephone and Email Ready Reference

Ready reference questions are those that Research Center staff can answer quickly using secondary sources easily at hand at the reference desk, including the Georgia Historical Society’s online catalog. These searches are free of charge, but are very limited in scope. Patrons may submit ready reference questions by telephone or email. If using email, please submit only one question at a time and wait for a response before submitting additional questions. Results are not guaranteed. If staff determines that a question is beyond the scope of the ready reference service, we will require a formal written request. This process and the associated fees are explained below.


Basic Search Requests

Basic Search Requests

Basic Search requests must be submitted in writing using a Basic Search Request form and must be accompanied with payment of the search fee (see below). Research Request fees are non-refundable. Most Basic Searches are conducted for genealogical requests and must be for one individual only and must be submitted one at a time. Please wait for a response before submitting additional requests. A trained staff member will consult up to five indexed sources specified by the patron on the request form and will respond with a brief written summary, as well as up to five photocopies (additional photocopies are subject to additional fees).

Other Basic Searches are subject to the same policies outlined above, and can be searches of up to five indexed sources (including, but not limited to, those listed on the form) for one specified building or property or one narrow and well-defined question that goes beyond the scope of a Ready Reference question. Requests for photocopies of material from a source specified by the patron are also subject to Basic Search policies and fees. Results of searches are not guaranteed and fees are refundable only if staff determines that the request is beyond the scope of this service.

Pre-payment is required for research to begin. Research Request fees are non-refundable.

  • $10 for non-members
  • $8 for members
  • $10 rush fee – two week turn-around (additional to Basic Search fee)
  • Shipping, handling, and tax charges (as applicable) will apply to mailed photocopies that exceed the 5 copy limit.

Advanced Search Requests

Advanced Search Requests

For research beyond the scope of a basic search request, patrons might consider hiring an independent private researcher, researching themselves on-site at the library, or submitting a request for GHS staff to perform an Advanced Search. An Advanced Search is limited to one well-defined individual, topic, or question. Patrons may submit one request at a time, waiting for a response from GHS staff before submitting additional questions. Advanced Search results may include up to 10 photocopies; fees for additional photocopies are assessed on a per page basis. Staff will check relevant resources and supply the requestor with a summarized written response of the findings. Staff will contact you if more time beyond the initial hour is required.

Advanced Search Requests must be submitted in writing on an Advanced Search Request form.

Pre-payment is required for research to begin (one hour minimum). Research Request fees are non-refundable.

  • $25/first hour of research for non-members
  • $20/first hour of research for members
  • $15 for each additional 30 minutes of research
  • $40 rush fee – two week turn-around (additional to Advanced Search fee(s))
  • Shipping, handling, and tax charges (as applicable) will apply to mailed photocopies that exceed the 10 copy limit.

Genealogical Research

The Georgia Historical Society Research Center holds an extensive collection of material useful to genealogists and family researchers. Research Center resources include select vital, land, tax and military records, cemetery indices, and directories. Researchers will find a broad collection of resources for counties throughout Georgia and neighboring states, including histories, published abstracts, historical and genealogical journals, newspapers, and U.S. Censuses.

Search Research Center collections by country, city, or surname. See Additional Resources and Links for several helpful resource guides and other online resources that are useful for genealogists.