Research Fees

Research Fees at the Historical Society of Dauphin County

All research requests will be classified into one of the following categories.

Photocopies and postage are not included in the fees below.

On this page:

  • Information Requests
  • Local Newspaper Obituary/Article Searches
  • Birth and Death Certificate Searches
  • Society Staff On-site Research Service
  • Society Staff Off-site Research Service
  • Self-directed Research for Members
  • Self-directed Research for Non-Members
  • Self-directed Student Research for Non-Members
  • Access to Special Collections

Information Requests – No Fee

  • There is no fee if we know we cannot provide the information requested.
  • There is no fee if we know the answer and can provide it without research.

Local Newspaper Obituary/Article Searches – $20 to $40 each

  • If day, month, and year of death/article are provided: $20 for the search and first obituary/article and $10 for each additional obituary/article.
  • If only month and year of death are provided: $40 for the search and first obituary and $20 for each additional obituary.
  • If the month of death is not known, we cannot do an obituary search.
  • If the full date of an article is not known, we cannot do an article search.

Harrisburg Birth and Death Certificate Searches – $10 each

  • Only City of Harrisburg certificates are available and these only for certain dates. At minimum, the month and year of birth/death must be provided.
  • Available in HSDC’s collections: Birth – Jan. 1915 through 1918; Death – Feb. 6, 1906 through 1918.
  • Available in the Harrisburg City Archives collections (which we can also retrieve for you): Birth – 1906 through 1938; Death – Jul. 1883 through Sep. 1884; Jan. 1890 through Feb. 1905; and 1906 through 1935.

Society Staff On-site Research Service – $20/hour, $40 minimum

  • We will consult our manuscript groups, photograph collections, and library resources to answer your inquiry.
  • This service includes genealogical inquiries where we will search HSDC’s church and cemetery records.

Society Staff Off-site Research Service – $25/hour, $50 minimum

  • We will search the holdings of the State Archives, Harrisburg City Archives, State Library, or the Dauphin County Courthouse as necessary to answer your inquiry.
  • This service does not include on-site research using HSDC’s manuscript groups, photograph collections, and library resources. If your request requires us to search HSDC’s collections as well, you will have to pay both the on-site and off-site fees.
  • If you ┬áneed only a birth/death certificate, obituary, or newspaper article, and you provide adequate information, you do not have to pay this fee. See instead the per-item fees above for the document you need.

Self-directed Research for Members – No Fee

  • Society members who wish to conduct their own research in the Library and/or most of the Archives.
  • Membership starts at $35; student membership is available for $15.

Self-directed Research for Non-Members – $10 per day

  • Those who are not members of the Society but desire to do their own research in the Library and/or most of the Archives.
  • Consider becoming a member if you plan to research for several days.
  • An additional fee may apply for certain collections*.

Student Self-directed Research for Non-Members – $5 per day

  • All students doing their own research in the Library or Archives if not covered under an agreement between the Society and Penn State or another institution.
  • Consider becoming a student member if you plan to research for several days. Student membership is just $15 per year. Contact us to join.
  • An additional fee may apply for certain collections*.

Special Collections Fee – $20 per hour

  • Applies to all situations (members and non-members) where it is necessary for a staff member to sit with the researcher in order to provide support or monitor handling of archival materials.

*These special collections currently include:

MG 061 – Rutherford Family Collection
MG 062 – Rawn Collection
MG 070 – Elder Collection
MG 198 – John Harris Family Collection
MG 220 – Christian Kunkel Family Collection
MG 405 – Kelker Family Collection
MG 466 – McCormick Family Collection
MG 500 – Cameron Family Collection

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