Research Requests

Collection Requests

Thank you for contacting the Computer History Museum with a research request. The Computer History Museum welcomes use of its collections by all researchers, including teachers, students, media members, intellectual property specialists and computer hobbyists. The archival collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, business plans, laboratory notebooks, marketing material, obsolete computer manuals, conference proceedings, near print newsletters, and rare market studies. There are records and personal papers from corporations, CEOs, computer science luminaries, female entrepreneurs and inventors, and enthusiastic collectors listed in more than 100,000 catalog entries in our collections database. The Computer History Museum's collection also contains thousands of still images and moving images from all areas of computing history. We offer assistance to researchers seeking audiovisual materials from our collection. Access to physical artifacts is limited to onsite inspections. Operation of computers and devices in the Museum’s permanent collections is strictly prohibited.

Requesting Audiovisual Materials

First, use our Collection Search to identify desired audiovisual materials. Please be sure to note the title and catalog number of desired items.

A processing fee is required for either commercial or educational use of our images. In many cases we cannot provide copyright clearance to images in our collection. Also many images in our collection are available for research purposes only. For more details on usage of the museum's audiovisual materials, please consult our Terms of Use.

To determine availability and pricing, submit a request containing the following information:

  • The title and catalog number of each audiovisual item you are interested in
  • How the item(s) will be used
  • Your name and contact information

Please send requests to Audiovisual Requests.

Using the Collection for Research

To begin, we suggest searching the museum's collections database to find applicable materials. Audiovisual materials may be requested by sending us an Audiovisual Request. For all other reference requests please email us at Research Requests to:

  • Discuss a research project in general
  • Seek access to the collection
  • Request a complimentary search of our collections to determine if we have materials relating to your needs

On-Site Research

For on-site research, the Computer History Museum’s research facility is located in Fremont, California. A staff member is required to be present, and research appointments must be scheduled in advance. Appointments are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Specialized research projects that necessitate a substantial investment of staff time, whether undertaken by individuals or on behalf of professional entities, may require special arrangements with Museum staff. To request an on-site research appointment email us at Research Requests for further assistance. Please search our archival finding aids to identify research material.

To request on-site research email us at Research Requests for further assistance.

Research Policies & Fees

Museum membership is required for access to research materials. Your membership fees help support our mission to preserve the history of computing for future generations. Membership rates vary based on use of the collection.

RESEARCH TYPE MEMBERSHIP LEVEL HOURLY RATES PHOTOCOPIES
Student Student ($60/year) FREE (3 Hours Max) $0.50/page
General General ($75/year) $50/hour $0.50/page
Professional Professional Researcher ($1000/year) $150/hour $0.50/page

General & Student Researcher

Individuals writing scholarly papers, dissertations, pursuing other academic projects, or having a keen interest in computing history are asked to join the Museum at the General level. Students may join the Museum at the Student level. We will gladly consider waiving fees for graduate or undergraduate students with a valid university ID. These students may email us at Research Requests for further assistance.

General Membership Level entitles members to:

  • 1 free hour of research assistance per year
  • Additional hours are billed at $50 an hour
  • CHM Digital Quarterly Newsletter
  • CHM Digital Core Magazine
  • Unlimited Admission for Member
  • 10% Store & Cafe Discount
  • Priority Access & Free Admission to CHM Lectures

Student Membership Level entitles members to:

  • 3 free hours of research assistance per year
  • CHM Digital Quarterly Newsletter
  • CHM Digital Core Magazine
  • Unlimited Admission for Member
  • 10% Store & Cafe Discount
  • Priority Access & Free Admission to CHM Lectures

Professional Researcher

Individuals representing professional or corporate entities for which the research outcome is financial (for example: lawyers, consultants, corporations, the motion picture industry) must become members at the Professional Researcher level ($1,000) before accessing the collection.

Professional Researcher Membership entitles members to:

  • 1 free hour of research assistance per year
  • Additional hours are billed at $150 an hour
  • CHM Digital Quarterly Newsletter
  • CHM Digital Core Magazine
  • Unlimited Admission for Member
  • 10% Store & Cafe Discount
  • Priority Access & Free Admission to CHM Lectures
  • Exclusive Invitation Only Events
  • CHM Printed Core Magazine

We appreciate your help in preserving computer history!