Services for the Public

Among the library’s frequent patrons are scholars, students, journalists, attorneys, and many others with an interest in the history of immigration and nationality law, policy, and agency programs. The History Office and  Library  offers  a  variety  of  services  to public researchers.

  • The library is open to the public by appointment only. No materials are lent to public patrons, but a copy machine is available.
  • Historical Reference Library staff can answer researcher questions by letter, telephone, or email.
  • Images from the History Office and Library photo collection are made available to authors and publishers.
  • Historians will consult with researchers regarding research problems, records availability, and access procedures.

The Historical Reference Library does not hold or provide access to any genealogical records. This service is provided by the USCIS Genealogy Program, which is a fee-based service that provides family historians and other researchers with timely and accurate access to historical immigration and naturalization records.  For additional information please visit

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