Municipal Archives


Visiting the Archives

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The records held by the Dallas Municipal Archives (Archives) are open to the public and available for research by appointment Monday-Thursday between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. The City's archival records are unique documents that detail governmental actions and activities.  To protect these valuable resources, the Archives has established guidelines for using and handling the records. These measures ensure that the materials remain accessible and in good condition into the future.
 
Archival records may only be viewed in the archives research area; they do not circulate and may not be checked out.  A small reference collection on Dallas history in the research area is open to all researchers.

Preparing for Your Visit

If you are planning a research visit to the Archives, please call or email to make an appointment.  Not only will this help ensure that a staff member will be available to assist you, it will also enable us to pull the records you need before you arrive, saving you time.  Additionally, it will allow us to learn more about your research topic and suggest materials that might be useful, which may help you plan your research time.
 
We recommend that you review our online collection guides before you come in to see what kinds of materials we have relating to your topic and focus in on what you'd like to look at.  Our website has subject guides for frequently requested information, and Archives staff are also available by email or phone if you have questions about our holdings.
 
You should also consider printing the pages for any collection guides of interest to you and/or printing a copy of any email describing which collections you have requested.

At the Archives

Upon arrival at the front desk, you will be asked to sign in and sign a user agreement. Archives staff will retrieve requested materials from our closed stacks.   We ask that you follow certain rules while using the Archives:
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the research area.
  • Records may be viewed only at the research tables.
  • Researchers may use only loose sheets of paper the research area.  Sheets of paper are available from the archivist.  Materials taken from the research area may be checked prior to the researcher’s departure. 
  • Pencils only may be used in the proximity of archival materials.  Ink pens of any kind are prohibited. Personal computers may be used. 
  • Briefcases, notebooks, binders, notepads, bags, purses, and other personal property are not permitted in the proximity of archives materials.  These items will be secured during your visit.
  • Handle all items with care.
For more information, see the User Agreement.  Visitors must read and sign the agreement before viewing any collections.

Photocopies/Reproductions

Archives staff will make photocopies for researchers and will make every effort to supply the copies while the researcher waits.  However, large orders may require additional time.  Orders are processed in the order in which they are received but may be prioritized according to size, preservation concerns, or other factors.  Photocopies are ten cents per page.  For other duplication needs, including scans of photographs,  discuss your specifications and costs with archives staff.  Rush requests for reproductions are generally not accepted; researchers are urged to plan accordingly.

See the price list for costs on photocopies and other types of reproductions.  Click here for the reproduction agreement/order form.  Payment via cash or check must be received before orders are filled.

Rights

One-time non-commercial use is included in the photocopy order fee and/or any emailed scans.  Additional uses must be approved in writing by the Archives.  Commercial uses must be discussed individually, and if the use is for a book, film, or other reproducible media, the author must agree to donate a copy of the final work to the Archives before permission will be considered.

Citation

Your signature on the User Agreement indicates your intention to abide by its content, including providing proper credit to the Archives on or about each and every item used.  Use the following citation for each Archives reference:

Name 
and date of collection, (box number, folder number), repository name

For example:
Annual Independent Audit Reports, 1931-1950 (Box 2, Folder 3), Dallas Municipal Archives

For oversized material:

Annual Independent Audit Reports, 1931-1950 (OS), Dallas Municipal Archives

Do not hesitate to ask an archivist the best citation to use.

Electronic equipment

Laptop computers are allowed at the research tables.  Scanners are not permitted.  Mobile phone photographs are permitted; professional camera equipment is not allowed.

Questions?

Call us at (214) 670-5270, or send an email.