Research

The Five Oaks Museum archives and research library are an extensive collection of historic materials about Washington County, including manuscripts, images, maps, oral histories, and rare books.

We invite everyone to enjoy access to these collections through our online digital collections and at our Research Center in the museum. Use this page to explore our collections, find research support, or request a research appointment.

Research with Five Oaks Museum

The Research Desk is a free service to help the community access and utilize the Museum’s cultural resources. Whether you’re working on a genealogy project, researching a historic site, or you represent a local business creating a historic display, we are here to support you. Please submit your detailed research request to research@fiveoaksmuseum.org and one of our dedicated research volunteers will be happy to help. We will do our best to fulfill all requests remotely, although we may suggest you come in to view our materials depending on the nature of your request. If you would prefer to do your research in person, please request an appointment below.

 

Visit the Research Center

We welcome all researchers ages 16+, regardless of academic background, to connect with our materials and learn about the many fascinating histories of Washington County. Research visits are by appointment only (no walk-ins at this time) and appointments are only available on Thursdays between 11am – 3pm. Please scroll down to browse our online materials and submit a detailed research visit request using the link below. The full guidelines for visiting the Research Center are at the bottom of this page.

  

Please note: Library and archival materials may not be checked out. They must remain in the Research Center and most may be photocopied. 

Five Oaks Museum does not hold the copyright to most of the materials in its collections. The nature of historical collections is such that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine copyright and secure permissions for any reuse of Five Oaks Museum materials exceeding fair use.

Browse Online Collections

Washington County Oral Histories

Discover an extensive collection of local oral histories. Learn more

Washington County Heritage Online

Browse more than 8,000 images online. Learn more

Five Oaks Museum Research Library

Search the museum’s book collection. Learn more

Photo Duplication Orders

One time use of photographs
Museum members: $5 per image
Non-member individuals: $10 per image
Government agencies & non-profits: $15 per image
Business: $25 per image

All images are scanned at high resolution (600-900 dpi) as TIFF or JPG files.

Photocopies and scanned documents
We will scan up to five pages of documents (no images) at no cost. After that, it is $0.25 per page.

Delivery options
TIFF or JPG digital file transfer delivery (at no charge)
Flash drive ($5 charge) in-person pick up
Delivery via snail mail ($5 flash drive charge + $10 in-state postage, $15 out-of-state postage)

To Place an Order:

Locate the photos in the Five Oaks Museum collection that you wish to duplicate on Washington County Heritage Online. Email research@fiveoaksmuseum.org for a Photo Reproduction Form.

Additional Research Resources

In addition to Washington County Heritage Online and Washington County Oral Histories, check out these other regional and national online research resources:

Research Center Guidelines

Access
The museum entrance is accessible via wheelchair ramp and power doors. There are no stairs in the building. The bathroom doors are non-powered. Guest WiFi, magnifying glasses or loupes, pencils, and notepads are available upon request. Please let us know if you need any accommodations to make your visit accessible. 

Health & Safety
If you are feeling unwell the day of your visit, please stay home and contact us to reschedule. We will happily rebook you to the next available appointment. We require all visitors to wear a well-fitting face mask at all times during your visit. Because the archive and library are both confined spaces in which staff, volunteers, and public researchers must work together, masks must be worn correctly at all times. If you do not bring your own, a KN95 or surgical mask will be provided to you. 

Protecting Our Resources
We welcome and encourage researchers to use our collection; however, our public trust also requires that we maintain conservation protocols and security of the collections and records. We ask that you treat our cultural resources with care and respect during your visit. This includes following all directions from staff and volunteers about handling materials, such as having clean hands to handle materials, and being gentle and attentive while handling materials. Only staff and volunteers will move objects and documents to and from storage equipment (e.g. shelves, drawers, cabinets). Patrons must ONLY use pencils while working with archival collections and always write on a flat surface such as a desk or table, never on the materials themselves. Eating, drinking, and chewing gum in the archive or library is not permitted. Personal laptops and cell phones in silent mode are permitted. All bags and other personal items must be stored in the provided cabinets away from research areas during your visit. We also have a refrigerator and microwave in the kitchen available to use if needed.

Duplications & Copyright
We allow personal-use, non-flash photography of materials so that you may continue your research after you leave the museum building. If needed, museum staff or volunteers will handle all scanning on flatbed scanners.
Under no circumstance are you allowed to take any research materials out of the building. We recommend downloading a smartphone scanner app such as TinyScanner or GeniusScanner, which allows you to photograph materials using your phone and convert them to PDFs. Image duplications and some document duplications are subject to a fee and researchers must complete a Photograph Reproduction Request Form in order to obtain digital files. Five Oaks Museum does not hold the copyright to most of the materials in its collections. The nature of historical collections is such that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine copyright and secure permissions for any reuse of Five Oaks Museum materials exceeding fair use.

Anyone found not following these guidelines may be asked to leave the Museum’s research areas.