Library and Archives

The Library and Archives offers a unique collection for scholars of women’s history, temperance, rhetoric, social reform, and social/political movements, in American and transnational contexts. The collection is also used by independent writers, K-12 students, undergraduate and graduate students, and genealogists. The Library & Archives has been cited in innumerable monographs, articles, dissertations, and films, including the Ken Burns documentary PROHIBITION.

Doing Research at the WCTU Archives during the Covid Era: A Guide for On-Site Researchers


  • As is the case at all times, on-site researchers must make appointments in advance.
  • Prior to scheduling, Archives staff will speak by phone with researchers to ensure that they have read and agreed to the rules outlined here.
  • Only one researcher at a time may be on site
  • Visits will be scheduled so that at least three days elapse between researchers.


  • Researchers will be asked to do a health self-assessment upon arrival and after 5 hours on site (see list below)
  • Masks will be worn at all times by staff and researchers.
  • Researchers will wash their hands after they enter the building.
  • Researchers will fill out their registration forms and leave them in a box in front hall.
  • Researchers will be seated in a designated chair at the eastern end of the Reading Room (over 6 feet from the staff desk).
  • Researchers will bring their own laptops, digital cameras, writing materials.
  • The materials used by researchers will be retrieved before their visit and placed on their table.
  • After researchers depart, the materials will be removed (by masked and gloved staff) and placed in a quarantine area for three days before being returned to the stacks.

Equipment Use

  • Researchers will not use any of the equipment in the Reading Room (copier/printer/scanner, desktop computer, phone, etc.)
  • Researchers may use the microfilm reader and printer, preferably wearing gloves, and may retrieve the microfilm reels they need. These will then be quarantined after use.

Health Self-Assessment for Archives Staff and Visitors

  • Self-assess for symptoms before and upon arrival
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Please do not arrive on site with any of the above symptoms.
  • Please perform a self-assessment again after 5 hours if still on site.
  • Please leave the site immediately if symptoms develop at any time.
  • Please inform the Archivist or Executive Director if symptoms develop, or if results from any Covid-19 testing are received. Health information will always remain confidential.

Additional health recommendations

  • It is recommended that anyone with symptoms remain home for at least 10 days.
  • It is recommended that anyone with symptoms get tested.
  • It is recommended to quarantine if exposed to someone who tests positive for 14 days.
  • More at CDC website – Symptoms of Coronavirus

Access and Use

The Frances E. Willard Memorial Library and WCTU Archives is staffed by part-time staff and volunteers who make every effort to answer reference inquiries and assist researchers in a timely manner. Onsite use of the collection is by appointment only. For general research questions, please contact the archivist at

Visiting the Archives for on-site research

The Library and Archives welcomes visiting researchers. Since it is a volunteer-run repository, appointments to visit need to be made well in advance by contacting or submitting a research request. Days (including Saturdays) and hours can usually be scheduled to accommodate the needs of visitors. The Library and Archives has copier/scanner and a printing microfilm reader; researchers may also use their laptops, digital cameras, or personal scanners. Please contact us for directions to the Library and Archives, suggestions for nearby lodging, and other questions about the logistics of using the repository or about our holdings.

Reference inquiries


There are no comprehensive lists of past WCTU members, who number in the hundreds of thousands. Our resources for information about individual members include the annual meeting minutes from local and state Unions. We do not necessarily have all of these in the Willard Memorial Library and Archives, and in any case they are most likely to mention individuals who held a leadership role at the local, state, or national level. This does not mean that the work and dedication of each member of the WCTU was any the less important; just that not all names were listed or mentioned in the sources. In order to search for answers to genealogical inquiries, we need the following information:

  • Full name, including maiden and married name(s) of the WCTU member
  • Approximate dates of involvement in the WCTU
  • Location, including county, of involvement in the WCTU

Reference and Research Services Fees