Research Resources And Loans

Research Opportunities

The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to offer opportunities for college students, researchers for scholarly publications, and nonprofit agencies to research metropolitan Detroit and Maritime related materials, or have materials researched on their behalf at our Collections Resource Center or Archives at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. 

All interested parties are asked to schedule an appointment with the Curator of Collections, preferably one to two weeks in advance of the dated requested. This allows the staff to make sure the pertinent material is available and ready by the appointment date. 

Contact the Curator of Collections at 313.297.8391 to schedule an appointment.

Collections research hours are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday unless otherwise arranged and additional fees are paid.

For out-of-town requests, we will do our best to accommodate your needs, but please know that additional charges may apply. A collections associate will be assigned to the researcher in order to assist with specific requests or use of special equipment. However, we cannot guarantee that this person will be an expert in your area.

Due to the sensitivity of the Collections and Reference materials, children are not allowed in the archives. 

On-Site research fees are as follows:

Individual - $40/day

Commercial - $60/day

Rush Fees - $80/day

This fee is paid as a deposit at the beginning of the session. Additional fees are billed at the end of the day as needed.

People working for nonprofit agencies receive a 10% discount on the flat fee.

Detroit Historical Society Patron-level members and above receive a 50% discount on the flat fee!

Additional fees for copying, digital formats of images, etc. may apply.

Payment of these fees does not automatically entitle the researcher to handle an artifact if deemed unsafe by the Curator of Collections or on-site staff. 

Artifact and Exhibit Loans

The Detroit Historical Society is always open to sending artifacts within our Collections to other museums, commercial business, associations and clubs as well as other locations. All loans are based on availability of an artifact or collection of artifacts, environment of the host location, security of the host location as well as other possible factors.

Individual artifacts can be borrowed at an average rate of $75 per year. This fee varies depending on the size of the artifact and its value to the Collection. This fee does not include shipping, handling or installation. All loans must be approved by the Curator of Collections after host site conditions are evaluated.

Special fees will be accessed for institutions borrowing large quantities of objects for specific displays or exhibits. All loan requests should be made no later than 30 days in advance of the date that the loan is needed.

Traveling Exhibitions

The Detroit Historical Society’s traveling exhibitions program provides cultural institutions and organizations with a selection of rentable exhibitions that are informational, eye-catching and budget friendly.  They are perfect for museums, historic houses, libraries and more.  Most offer options to scale the exhibition based on space and budget.  Our ever-growing catalog of exhibits range in topics: from war posters that inspired citizens during World War II, to individual kiosks that explore Michigan’s role in the Civil War, to masterful renditions of classic cars by transportation artist Jerome Beiderman.  These stories have their roots in Detroit and Michigan, but they resonate with a national audience.  Read more about our current traveling exhibits.