411 Chestnut St, P.O. Box 871, Meadville, PA 16335-2902

(814) 724-6080


Conducting Research

We encourage the public to conduct research at the Crawford County Historical Society either in person, by mail, or by online request. There is a $5 user fee per person for each day for a non-member to use the facility; however, access to research materials for members is free. Becoming a member is easy and we offer a number of affordable membership plans.

Take a moment to review our policies and research-related fees, and then complete our research request form at the bottom of this page. For questions, please refer to our Contact page.  

For those looking to make an on-site visit, our location and hours of operation can be found on the Information page.


WWI Soldiers marching down Chestnut Street in Meadville

Research Guidelines

In an effort to protect archival materials and assist anyone who is interested in our local history, the Historical Society Board of Directors has approved the following guidelines:

  • Patrons are required to sign the register each day at the registration desk.
  • All patrons must complete an annual registration form upon entering the archive.
  • All patrons are asked to place briefcases, book bags, binders, folders, hats, coats, over-sized garments, or bulky items in space provided for storage of such items. These items are not permitted in the reading room.
  • The archive’s special collections area, business office, and conference room are closed to the public.
  • Materials cannot be borrowed or removed for any purpose from the reading room.
  • Notes must be taken with pencil only. The archive will provide a pencil for those who need it. Computers are permitted provided other patrons are not disturbed.
  • The archive will supply notepaper for those who need it. Staff reserves the right to examine all notepaper and equipment when patrons are exiting the reading room.
  • Patrons are asked to observe and to note that eating, drinking, use of cell phones and smoking are not permitted in the archive.
  • Each patron will be permitted one manuscript folder or one archival box at a time. Subsequent materials will be provided when the initially requested items are returned to the reference desk.
  • Materials must be handled with great care. They must not be marked, cut, torn, folded, soiled, re-arranged, or in any way damaged. Unopened pages in books should be shown to staff at the reference desk. Do not attempt to open them yourself. Materials must rest on the table at all times.
  • Patrons are requested to stop work 15 minutes before closing time in order for materials to be checked and re-shelved. All materials must be returned to staff.
  • Individuals or organizations completing more extensive research should attempt to call or notify us in advance to allow time to gather materials needed. Those not making an appointment for larger requests may be asked to return at a later date when all materials are gathered.
  • No photographs are to be reproduced by means of personal camera or camera phone/ipad/etc. The Society is happy to make a copy of any of our images for a nominal fee.
  • All photographic materials used in research must be credited as “Collection of the Crawford County Historical Society, Meadville, PA”
  • The copyright act of 1976 provides protection for all writing from the dates of their creation whether or not they are formally copyrighted. Generally, the term of copyright is the life of the author plus fifty years, but the law also extends copyright protection until December 31, 2002,to all unpublished works not protected under common law. Persons wishing to quote from materials in special collections should consult staff members. The Crawford County Historical Society does hold copyright to some of its manuscript collections and may have information about others. It is very important that researchers obtain permission to reproduce materials, as penalties for violation of copyright statute are severe. The Society is not liable for copyright infringement of its patrons.

The nature of the material is unique and freely granted to all patrons; however, appropriate care must be exercised to insure that future generations of researchers will have access to these materials. It is the responsibility of the patron to assist the Archive in the preservation of the archival materials.

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Fees for Research and Copies

Photocopies, material use, and research services are provided through the archive for a nominal fee used to support the resources necessary to provide such services uninterrupted to the community at large.

2016 Research and Archival Services Fee Schedule

Chart of Fees1



taft @ AlleghenyPresident Taft at Allegheny College

Submit a Research Request

Would you like help with your research? Please use the form below, and we will contact you within a few days to discuss how we can help and what fees might apply depending on the extent of your request.

You may review our Privacy Policy found HERE.