Research Area

As with most research facilities, SCHS has certain policies it asks its staff and patrons to follow. Many artifacts and archival materials are one of a kind and must be protected for future generations. We do allow members and patrons access to most of the SCHS collection as long as they follow the policies set forth in our Research Policy and Procedures.

SCHS Research Policy and Procedures

(updated 10/8/16)

The Stevens County Historical Society and Museum is an organization established to collect, preserve, and interpret knowledge about the history of Stevens County. Historical records and artifacts must be accessible, when appropriate, to all who wish to examine or study these materials.

Research resources at SCHS include a collection of over 13,000 three-dimensional artifacts, newspapers dating back to 1876, more than 37,000 photographs and an extensive collection of World War I materials. The archives also include rural school records, organization and business records, journals and scrapbooks. The historical society is an affiliate of the Latter-Day Saints Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has access to their 2.4 million microfilmed records.

The research room (accessible for free to SCHS members) includes a variety of books such as annual school yearbooks, local and state histories, historic volumes on technology and agricultural practices, and a collection of religious texts in several languages.

Research Center Rules

  1. No food or beverages of any type.
  2. No bags or backpacks in the research room. Storage area for items is available outside the room.
  3. Use pencil only.
  4. Staff will retrieve boxes/materials from collections.
  5. Open only one box, folder or book at a time. Do not mix contents of different folders.
  6. Some items may be photocopied or captured digitally for a fee by staff only. Please ask for assistance.
  7. Please return materials to the staff when you are finished.
  8. Fees must be paid or further research activities will be restricted.
  9. Some items may require staff supervision or handling.

Rules for Handling Archival Materials

  1. Hands shall be washed often to prevent skin oils from damaging the papers. White gloves may also be used in some cases.
  2. Hold items as level as possible when moving to keep the contents or pages from shifting.
  3. Open lids and covers slowly and carefully – the items may tear if opened too quickly.
  4. Carefully move through files, artifacts or papers until you get where you need to be.
  5. For photocopies, write on a book mark the article/page or document you would like a copy of, leave it and let staff know.
  6. Documents must be as supported as much as possible. Do not fold pages.  Return the items slowly to previous location in the proper order making sure that pages are stacked neatly.

Research Assistance

Staff and volunteers can assist with any requests or can do research for you. Some research activities can be done without staff assistance.

Setting an appointment for “complimentary research” (see below) is recommended. Call 320-589-1719 or email SCHS is open Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm.

These research activities require staff assistance:

  • Retrieving items from archive room, artifact room, and historic files
  • Reviewing most items in the collections (ie newspapers, photos, artifacts)
  • Searching on the computer database (FileMakerPro) for the location of certain collection items
  • Making copies or digital scans of materials

These research activities can be done without staff assistance:

  • Searching for names in the card catalog files
  • Using on the computer
  • Selecting and reading books on the shelves in the research room
  • Reviewing select (less delicate) materials that have been retrieved from the collections by staff.

These research activities can be done off-site for free through our website:

  • Accessing the 1940 US Census on
  • Searching Stevens County cemetery records
  • Searching the Stevens County newspaper index
  • Several other websites are also listed at

Research Fees

All research is subject to additional copy fees.

  Member Cost (without assistance) Member Cost (with staff assistance) Non-member Cost
Standard Research Report** N/A $35 (copies extra) $35 (copies extra) Free (printing extra) $10/hour (copies extra) $15/hour (copies extra) Free (printing extra) $10/hour (copies extra) $15/hour (copies extra)
Newspaper Index Card File N/A $5 per name and $10/hour (copies extra) $5 per name and $15/hour (copies extra)
Other Research Free use of research room $10/hour (copies extra) $15/hour (copies extra)

Copy Fees

8×11 copies @.50¢ each

8×14 copies @.75¢ each

11×17 copies @$1.00 each


Digital File Fees

There is not a separate fee for items to be digitized (ie scanned or photographed) and emailed to the customer. This cost is built into the time spent by staff.

**The following resources are checked for a Standard Research Report:

  • Newspaper Index
  • Cemetery Database
  • High School Index
  • History of Stevens Co Index
  • Maughn Papers
  • Celebrating 125 years Index
  • 75 year anniversary Index
  • Photo Collection Data Base
  • Wadsworth Trail Index
  • Family History Shelf (gray boxes)
  • Military Records Card File
  • Plat Map Indexes
  • 1941 Who’s Who in Minnesota
  • 1888 Pope/Stevens County Index
  • Genealogical File Cabinet & Shelf
  • Census Indexes (Inhouse)
  • 1911 Great Northwest Magazine
  • 1880 Historical Contributions Artifact Database

Complimentary Research

Complimentary research, use of the research room and research assistance is available for research that benefits the public or will be put to public use. Personal and for-profit research (ie family history, home/building research, some book publishing) will be charged the regular fees. Complimentary research is limited to 10 hours/project.

If utilizing complimentary research services, please set an appointment. 

Complimentary research, use of research room and research assistance is given for the following and their representatives when doing research that benefits the public or will be put to public use:

  • Civic Organizations* in Stevens County (a group that provides a service to the community)
  • Government agencies in Stevens County
  • Newspapers in Stevens County for a newspaper article (please acknowledge SCHS)
  • Small non-profits in Stevens County
  • Students from a school in Stevens County (grade school, high school, college) for classwork
  • Staff and trained volunteers of SCHS on personal time only. (May also do their own personal research for free.)

All research is subject to additional copy fees.

*Examples of civic organizations – homemakers groups, 4-H, VFW, American Legion, scouting groups, Eagles Club, Women of Today, Kiwanis, and others.

You can call us at 320.589.1719 or email if you would like us to help with your research.

Stevens County census and other records can be found at these paid sites: indexes can be searched for the 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses.

For more information about specific research resources, you can also check these following links:

Several other websites you may find useful are:

  • One Step Search by Steve Morse has advanced search forms for many genealogically significant databases.
  • To search Passenger Lists:
    • Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild volunteers have transcribed over 9,000 passenger lists. Search by surname, captain’s name, port of arrival or departure, ship name or browse by location. The search box is down at the bottom of the page, but there is also a video to help walk you through your search.
    • Ellis Island Records has over 22 million entries between 1892 and 1924, searchable for free by ship or passenger name.
    • Olive Tree Genealogy includes over 2,300 free ship passenger lists to the United States and Canada. Free records are marked with a little olive tree.
    • The Ships List offers several thousand free pages of information related to immigrants, including immigration reports, newspaper accounts, shipwreck information, ship photos, some diaries and journals.

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