Researching at the Idaho State Archives amid the Covid19 Pandemic

The Idaho State Historical Society has updated its COVID-19 protocols under Stage 2 following Governor Little’s announcement on November 13, 2020. The Idaho State Historical Society will continue to adhere to the Governor’s “Idaho Rebounds” plan in addition to following social distancing and sanitization guidelines as outlined by the CDC and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Staff and visitor safety remain the highest priority.
As of November 13, 2020, the Idaho State Historical Society is requiring that face coverings be worn by visitors and staff to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The number of visitors allowed in the Research Center is being limited to ensure social distancing and allow time for staff to carry out the enhanced sanitation procedures.

During the Covid19 pandemic, ISA will apply the following procedures:

  • Virtual reference service will meet the need for most researchers and many requests can be fulfilled by email.
  • Information about our collections, catalogs, digitized content, and helpful indexes are available at by clicking the Research tab.
  • Information about photograph requests is available at
  • Researchers should email their research questions to
  • Advanced appointments are encouraged when inquiries extend beyond virtual reference service and will require access to archival records in the Lincoln Reading Room.
  • These appointments are generally scheduled 48 hours in advance during regularly scheduled hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Appointments are incrementally scheduled to provide a healthy and secure space for researchers to access archival material.

The following recommendations apply for onsite access at the Merle W. Wells Research Center:

  • If you have been diagnosed with or experienced any illness symptoms commonly associated with Covid19 in the last 14 days, or if you have cared for anyone with Covid19 or its symptoms in the last 14 days, you are not allowed to visit our site.
  • To be compliant with local laws, all Idaho State Historical Society properties within Boise City limits now require the wearing of masks.
  • It is requested that researchers wash hands before entering the Idaho State Archives.
  • It is requested that researchers practice social distancing guidelines released by the CDC when visiting the Merle W. Wells Research Center.
  • Please also review these general but important guidelines:

If you have questions or would like to secure an appointment please contact us at or call 208-334-2620.