Researching at the Idaho State Archives amid the Covid19 Pandemic

The Idaho State Archives has aligned its business practices with Governor Little’s Idaho ReBounds: Our Path to Prosperity to safely continue public access to the building. ISA is accepting appointments to access material in the Merle W. Wells Research Center. Regularly scheduled hours will resume in Phase 4 (June 16), while appointments are still encouraged.

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

  • Virtual reference service will meet the need for most researchers and most requests can be fulfilled by email or phone.
  • Information about our collections, catalogs, digitized content and helpful indexes can be found by clicking on the Research Tab on the search bar above.  A  drop down menu will display links to collections, catalogs, indexes.
  • Information about photograph requests is available at https://history.idaho.gov/collections/idaho-state-archives-photographs/
  • Researchers should email their research questions to public.archives@ishs.idaho.gov or call 208-334-2620.
  • ISA will schedule an in-person appointment when inquiries extend beyond virtual reference service.
  • 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.
  • It is requested that researchers wash hands before entering the Idaho State Archives.
  • It is requested that researchers wear a mask or face covering while in the building.
  • It is requested that researchers wear gloves when handling archival materials in our Reading Room. Gloves will be provided by Archives staff.
  • Review these guidelines: https://history.idaho.gov/archives/guidelines-for-researchers/

If you have questions or would like to secure an appointment please contact us at public.archives@ishs.idaho.gov or call 208-334-2620.

Creating and Conserving the Idaho State Constitution Exhibit

UPDATE: The Idaho Constitution exhibit has been postponed until further notice. We are prioritizing the health and safety of visitors and staff above all else and look forward to rescheduling the exhibit and constitution programs in the future.

Following a successful fundraising campaign by the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) and the Foundation for Idaho History, the Idaho State Archives worked with the Preservation Lab at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library to conserve the Idaho State Constitution.  The conservation process included paper conservation, removing laminate from two of the pages, surface cleaning, tear mending, tape removal, humidifying and flattening the document, and attaching a new custom binding.

ISHS partnered with Idaho Public Television to document the history of the Idaho State Constitution and the conservation work, as part of the Idaho Experience documentary series, titled Idaho Constitution Revealed.  The documents and photographs represented in the exhibit were featured in the documentary.