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Research & Material Requests

Research Assistance

McGovern Historical Center (MHC) Staff are available to answer research questions, provide information on the availability of books or archival collections, and consult on the best resources for your historical projects. Limited consulting is available on the preservation of historical collections. Staff can provide up to two hours of remote reference assistance. For projects lasting beyond two hours, you or a proxy researcher will need to review the materials in the reading room. A list of proxy researchers can be provided upon request. Contact Us.

Search fees and minimum charges may apply to non-library members. Consult with MHC Staff about available discounts.

Review Copyright & Use Policies.

Make an Appointment

The McGovern Historical Center has two locations for its rare book collections and archival collections. Please review our locations and hours.

An appointment is required for use of rare book collection items.To schedule an appointment for the Rare Book Room, use the Make an Appointment Form.

To visit the archives, an appointment is recommended. You will need to provide us with a list of requested materials at least one day in advance, so we can have the materials ready for you. To schedule an appointment, use the Make an Appointment Form.

Before visiting the McGovern Historical Center, please complete the User Registration form.

Request Forms

Below is a list of forms to access materials at the McGovern Historical Center. Select the appropriate form to submit your request.

Material Requests & Fees

Research and Duplication Fees 

MHC offers research and duplication services for on-site and remote researchers. A flat search fee may apply to requests that require up to two hours to review and assess several boxes. Duplication services involve low-resolution (non-preservation quality) images of archival and rare book materials. The content of the material is readable and in some cases very high-quality; however, the specifications will not be suitable for publication or fine-art printing. The table below outlines the services and fees related to general research requests.  
Researchers are welcome to take digital photos of collection materials in the reading room. No charge 
Search Fee* 
For remote researchers, a flat rate will be charged for dedicated research** up to 2 hours. MHC Staff will notify you if the fee applies. 
$25 flat rate (up to 2 hours) 
Minimum Charge*
Minimum charge for duplication services, like photocopies, reference images, and high-quality digital images, may apply for non-library members. 
Photocopies*$0.30 per page ($5 minimum) 
Up to 20 pages for $5 plus $0.30 for each additional page 
Reference Copies*
Low-resolution images of collection materials and rare books
For research and educational purposes 
Can be delivered as a pdf or individual jpg files. 
$0.30 per image ($5 minimum) 
Up to 20 images for $5 plus $0.30 for each additional image
High-quality digital images*
Images captured with DSLR camera. Includes but not limited to the following materials types: rare books, photographic transparencies, slides, negatives, and three-dimensional objects. MHC Staff will provide an estimate total of images or pages before fulfilling the service. 
For research and educational purposes. 
Can be delivered as a pdf or individual jpg files. 
Up to 10 images for $5 plus $1 for each additional image 
Proxy Researcher
When a material request involves extensive research and you are unable to research in-person, you can hire a proxy researcher. MHC Staff can provide a list of past proxy researchers. MHC Staff will not discuss financial compensation. Both researcher and proxy researcher must complete the MHC User Registration
Negotiate rates and terms directly with proxy researcher. 
Digitization Fees

MHC offers digitization services that create high-resolution and preservation-quality scans of collection materials, such as photographic materials (prints, negatives, and slides), textual materials, books, artwork, and audiovisual materials (film, video, and audio). Digital files are suitable for publication, media productions, and fine-art printing. The standard digitization specifications are available. Consult with MHC Staff regarding custom specifications.
Flatbed Scans (< 11” x 17”) 
High resolution scans of two-dimensional items using standard specifications. 
$15 per item 
Custom Flatbed Scans (< 11” x 17”)
High resolution scans of two-dimensional items using custom specifications. (Examples: scanning at higher dpi for enlarged, fine-art printing or photomerge stitching of 2 or more scans) 
$20 per item 
Custom or Large Format Scans (> 11” x 17”)
Maps, blueprints, artwork, paintings, and other large format materials.
Vendor Costs*** 
Audiovisual Materials (in-house)
Audio cassettes, microcassettes, and VHS formats 
$15 per item 
16mm, 8mm, Super-8 
Vendor Costs*** 
Other Video and Audio Formats
Includes: ¾" U-Matic, BetaSP, Open reel audio and video formats, Digital video formats,  
Vendor Costs*** 

For most requests, MHC Staff will deliver digital files via a personalized link where you can download the files. Once the files are downloaded, they will be taken offline. Files will be available online for 1-2 weeks. Ground shipping is an option for paper copies or files on hard drives. Shipping costs will be charged to the researcher. Researchers are welcome to pick up completed requests at the El Rio location. 
Physical Shipping Shipping and Handling costs 
Digital Delivery $0 
Pick-up $0 
Use Fees

The MHC supports users' scholarship and efforts to engage others with archival material. For material requests intended for public distribution, we ask for additional contributions to support the ongoing work of preserving these materials. 
Private, research, or educational use $0 
Publication in a book or major journal $50 per item 
Single media production 
Worldwide broadcast for perpetuity 
$50 per item 
Multiple media productions $50 per item per production 
Born-digital Services

MHC offers born-digital services to retrieve information and content from low-capacity and high-capacity digital media. The services include retrieving the file list, preservation-quality file duplication/transfer to new media, and file conversion to a newer, readable format. 
Low-capacity digital media (5.25” floppy disk, 3.5” floppy disk, removable hard drive, Optical Discs, SD and Memory cards, Zip Disk) $15 per item 
High-capacity digital media (Computer hard drives, external hard drives, computer systems) $25 per item 
File conversion (to PDF, HTML, latest MS Office.)**** $5 per file (original file converted) 
Notes about Fees
Member, non-profit, and other discounts are available. Consult with MHC Staff.
Sales tax will be added to total request order. 
* Search fees and minimum charges may apply to non-library members. 
** Dedicated research: research that requires staff to review and assess materials according to a set research question. (Example: requesting 5 or more boxes, folders, books, or items to be reviewed and searched for materials related to tuberculosis treatment in Southeast Texas from 1920-1950.) 
*** Vendor Costs: the total cost (including shipping) spent to send materials to a trusted vendor for digitization services will be charged to the researcher. 
**** Formats that can be converted include but are not limited to WordStar, Microsoft Office.
Discounts for Services

MHC offers member, non-profit, and other discounts.
Library member or TMC student discount 50% off 
Non-profit discount 30% off 
Digitization discount
If paid, Digitizaiton fees are credited to subsequent Use fees per item used.
30% off