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.

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

Reproduction requests

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