The Woody Guthrie Center Archives are accessible to those interested in scholarly and independent research. Student groups are also welcome. The research room is open by appointment only, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A research application must be submitted and approved by the archivist at least two weeks prior to expected visit. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the archivist.

Research Policy

  • The Woody Guthrie Center does not charge a fee for use of the collection. Individuals interested in conducting research at the archives must submit a research application. Unannounced researchers or walk-ins will not be permitted access.
  • Upon approval of their application, researchers must prepare a list of materials they seek to consult during their research session and send this list to the archivist prior to their scheduled appointment. Online finding aids are available for all materials in the archives.
  • Researchers will complete a researcher registration form during their initial visit to the archives. The archivist will meet with the researcher to discuss the details of the project and identify additional relevant research material.
  • The following materials are restricted from use: unprocessed materials, materials too fragile for handling, and donations for which the donor has indicated “restrictions” in the deed of gift agreement.
  • Personal effects are not allowed in the research area and may be stored in the lockers provided. Researchers may bring the following into the research room: pencils, writing paper, and laptop computers.
  • Cameras, scanners, and video equipment are not allowed in the research room.
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the research room.
  • The archivist will retrieve materials for researchers one box or item at a time or in a quantity that the archives staff deems appropriate.
  • Researchers shall maintain all materials in the order or sequence in which they are presented. If an item seems to be out of order, please notify the archivist or staff.
  • A researcher may request “reference” photocopies of archival material by completing a request to copy form, available from the archivist. Requests for reference copies will be denied if copying will damage or degrade the material, or if donor, acquisition, or legal restrictions prohibit reproduction. Upon approval of the request, copies will be made by the archivist and provided once the researcher has returned a signed reference agreement and rendered payment for services. Copy requests take 14-20 business days to process.
  • Service and reproduction fees apply for reference photocopy requests, as follows: $.50 per page for most copies and $1 per page for published lyrics. All unpublished materials have copy restrictions. A $15 processing fee will be applied to all photocopy requests. Researchers must agree to a reference agreement prior to receipt of any archival material.


Archives staff retain the right to review notes, written or electronic, prior to researchers leaving the reading room. Archives staff will make copies of all notes taken by researchers during the research appointment. Copies of notes will be kept on file with researcher records for reference purposes. Archives staff retain the right to prohibit researchers’ notes from leaving the reading room.

Research Application

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