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Research Center

Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center

(Library & Archives)


115 McCormick Street
Prescott, Arizona 86303

Mailing Address

415 W. Gurley Street
Prescott, Arizona 86301



Appointments Required

Wed – Fri:  12 PM – 4 PM
Sat:  10 AM – 2 PM

Appointments REQUIRED

Research Center staff appreciates appointments being made in advance for research requests, as this allows them time to prepare  materials for patrons.
Please call (928) 277-2003 or EMAIL US to make an appointment.

Our Research Center is a public library, and as such, open to all without charge.

Mission Statement

The Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center (Library & Archives) [SHMRC] is a full-service research facility, collecting and preserving archaeological, cultural, and historical materials related to Prescott and the surrounding communities, Yavapai County, and Central Arizona.

The primary function of SHMRC is to provide support to amateur, professional, and academic researchers, as well as members of the general public who are interested in its resources.

In reference to the museum’s namesake, Sharlot Mabridth Hall, SHMRC also collects materials regarding pioneering, territorial, and modern-day Arizona women and their families who settled and lived in Yavapai County and Arizona Central Highlands area.

The Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center (Library & Archives) [SHMRC] is a full-service center that provides a variety of resources and archival materials for all patrons and researchers to use as they investigate and study the various topics relating to Prescott and its surrounding communities, Yavapai County area and the Arizona Central Highlands region.

The SHMRC is located across the street from the Museum at 115 S. McCormick Street in Prescott and inside the Granite Creek Center.

The Museum and its archives were established in 1928. Accordingly, the Center has a variety of materials in the collections that reach back into Arizona’s territorial era up to the present.

The SHMRC reference desk staff and volunteers welcome patrons’ queries and assist all on their paths of inquiry and research. Although staff cannot do the actual research, they are always ready to direct patrons to beneficial resources and assist researchers with general questions. When visiting the SHMRC facility, basic computer literacy is recommended, but not necessary, as many items are found on the Museum’s Research Center website. In addition, it is suggested that patrons schedule research appointments whenever possible, especially if you are coming from outside of the Prescott area.

For those patrons who email or call in a research request, research times are allotted 30 minutes to each request due to limited staff and time restraints. After the first 30 minutes, there is a $25.00 per hour fee for staff to conduct research on a patron’s behalf.

General Collection Information

The Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center (Library & Archives) collections consist of rare books, manuscripts, diaries, personal correspondence, organizational papers, maps, photographs, oral histories, archaeological reports, some local and state governmental records, and genealogical materials that vary in an array of topics.

Subjects range from prehistoric Native cultures and early pioneer settlements to the modern mining, ranching, and business history of the Arizona Central Highlands area.
Please click on the link to review the collections policy:  Collections Management Policy

Library Services

SHMRC (Library & Archives)  is a member of the county-wide Yavapai Library Network (YLN) and one of its few special libraries, due to the archival materials and collections SHMRC has available to the public, in YLN.  Researchers and patrons are welcome to browse the books located in the Prescott Courier Reading Room, but are not be able to check out books or other materials to take home.

The rarest books and limited editions are placed in the Rare Book Room, which also includes books from Sharlot M. Hall’s personal library, along with other pioneer families’ personal library collections.

The books located in the Rare Book Room are considered “closed stacks” and must be retrieved by staff.

All cataloged library books are listed online in the Yavapai Library Network and are cataloged using the Dewey Decimal classification system.  To begin searching the SHMRC book collection, please click here: Library Books Catalog.


Newspapers, Magazines & Journals

SHMRC carries several microfilmed and hardcopy magazines, journals, and local newspapers.  Many of the newspapers are located in microfilm or microfiche format.  The earliest newspaper is the Journal Miner edition dated March 1864.  Please click here to see a complete listing of our newspapers, magazines, and journals.  Also, the Prescott True Value Audio/Visual Center provides functioning microfilm and microfiche machines with printing capability.

Reference Materials

SHMRC provides several reference resources to our patrons and researchers from genealogical sources to historic district materials.  Special sections in the reference area are devoted to Genealogical Resources and include hard-copy obituary newspaper notices, funeral home records, cemetery information, and some birth/death/marriage records information.  Also included in the reference area are sections dedicated to the Arizona Territory and Yavapai County census data, a Mining Resource section, Sharlot M. Hall Writings, the City of Prescott and surrounding communities, Historical District materials, Arizona Railroad section, and a Rough Riders/Military section.

Downwinder Program Information

Staff and volunteers are familiar with the Downwinder program and have checklists to assist Downwinders in obtaining information in order to file a claim.  In fact, the Library reference area provides an entire section to  Downwinder resources for Prescott, its surrounding communities, and Yavapai County.  Please click here for Downwinder information.

Archival Services

SHMRC has numerous manuscripts, personal papers, and photographic collections in the holdings.  Many collections provide researchers with excellent primary resources (documents, diaries, or manuscripts) and first-hand experiences. The collections contain items from personal and business correspondence by local Prescottonians to Arizona Territorial historical documents; from philatelic covers to personal diaries; from mining data to Rose Garden biographical sketches; and from family photographs and albums to entire collections devoted to Frontier Days parades, rodeos, railroads, Prescott businesses, and ranching life in Yavapai County.

SHMRC provides resources including local and surrounding communities’ business directories, yearbooks, phone books, videos, DVDs, mining data and history, railroad history, and a wide range of maps covering all parts of Prescott, the Quad-City area, Yavapai County, and Arizona.  Also, the Research Center grants access to hundreds of oral histories — excellent primary resources offering first-hand accounts of early Prescott and Yavapai County history.  In addition, there are a variety of vertical files and quick reference files to get one started on any local or Yavapai County research topic.

Email & Telephone Research Requests

Another service provided is a research request by email or telephone.  However, please note that it may take two (2) to three (3) business weeks to respond to questions submitted through email and telephone.  In addition, all research requests received will be allotted a maximum free period of 30 minute research time.  Extensive or multiple questions, including, but not limited to, genealogical (family history) requests, cannot generally be answered in the 30 minute allotted time. Accordingly, patrons are encouraged to come to the Research Center during open hours to conduct research themselves.  Staff research costs $25.00 per hour for SHM associates to complete research on a patron’s behalf. Click here to send an email request or call at (928) 277-2003.

Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center Rules

For the safety and security of the materials, please read these rules carefully.

The Research Center hours are posted on the website page banner. 
NOTE:  Research Center (Books & Archival) materials will not be retrieved for patrons after 3:45pm Wednesdays-Fridays & 1:45pm Saturdays.

  • Patrons are asked to leave all personal materials (including purses, backpacks, briefcases, cell phones, etc.) in the lockers provided. Coats can be placed in lockers or on the provided coat rack.
  • NO CELL PHONES MAY BE USED IN THE RESEARCH CENTER.  Please turn off all phones and place them with other personal items.
  • All patrons must fill out the entire research registration form, sign and date, and submit an official photo I.D. (State driver license, School I.D., passport, military I.D.)
  • Only pencils and blue colored paper are allowed and provided in the Research Center.
  • Laptops and other media devices are only allowed with Research Center staff approval.
  • To view archival items, all patrons must fill out a “Request for Materials” slip provided by Research Center staff or volunteers.
  • Please exercise all possible care to prevent damage to archival materials. Do not lean, write, fold anew, trace, or roughly handle any of the documents, maps, records or photographic images.  Unbound documents and records are to be kept in order in which they are received.
  • Gloves are provided by the Research Center staff and must be worn when viewing photographic images (i.e. prints, postcards, photo cards, negative, slides, etc.)
  • Patrons must wash their hands before handling rare or fragile paper/document items.
  • Self-service photocopying is available for a fee.  Older, fragile, or oversized materials must be copied by staff or volunteers only.  Photographic images and restricted archeological materials may not be photocopied. Photocopies are only available on blue colored paper due to security of the materials.
  • Please ask for assistance and a tutorial when using the microfilm viewers and printers.
  • SHMRC Library materials are available for patrons to browse, but is a non-circulating special public library.
  • Library staff may inspect patrons’ research papers before they leave the library.
  • Digital and print reproduction of photographic images, maps, videos, oral histories audio and transcripts can be ordered.  Please consult with a Research Center staff member for a Reproduction Costs list and/or Permission-to-Use fee schedule.



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