Research Services

Due to health and safety precautions surrounding COVID-19, we are not accepting research requests until further notice.

Research Services at the J. Welles Henderson Research Center

On-Site Research Visit

The J. Welles Henderson Research Center is open to the public has served authors, historians, filmmakers, boat builders, and hobbyists for many years. 

Access to the collections is by appointment only.

Three ways to make an appointment:

It is recommended that visiting researchers first consult our online catalog prior to making an in person appointment.

J. Welles Henderson Research Center Hours
Wednesday - Friday 
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Our library/archives is located on the second floor of the Independence Seaport Museum on Penn’s Landing. The research center is handicapped-accessible and is located a short distance from our elevator. The Independence Seaport Museum and our Research Center has lockers available for storing personal items. Our reading room is equipped with large tables and conveniently placed 110V outlets to support most electronic devices. WiFi is available for visiting researchers and will be provided on request without charge.  

On your arrival to the Independence Seaport Museum, please check in at the front desk. We ask that all our visitors check in, even returning researchers. A collections staff member will meet with you after check-in. 

Research or reproduction fees will be charged by cash or credit card at the end of the visit. 

Conducting Off-Site Research

Please call or email our collections staff on how we can assist with your research.

To access our Online Catalog, please use this link.

Digitized Collections

Only a portion of our archival and rare book collections have been digitized or transcribed. including our material culture holdings.

However, the catalog contains links to digitized documents available through our collaborations with the following institutions:

Additional Services and Fees

Our staff can complete reasonable research projects for anyone unable to visit. Please make your request via email or phone. Please make your question as specifically as possible. Don’t forget to provide your contact information so we can get back to you with answers to your questions. Please contact our collections staff to arrange to see artifacts. There is no charge for this service. 

Research Fees
 Quick Search Free
 Member Hourly Fee $30
 Non-Member Hourly Fee $35

Reproduction Fees

A photocopier is available for reference library materials at a cost of $0.25 per page. Copying fragile material is at the staff's discretion.

All orders will have a preservation fee added. 

Preservation Fee  $15 per order (all orders)
 Existing Digital File  $5 per image
New Digital Scans

$20 for the first scan

$5 for each additional scan

 New Digital Photography Quote by request

Digital reproductions are available by default in .jpg format, 600 dpi and 16-bit RGB color depth. In most cases, larger digital files or higher resolution can be provided for an increased fee. Photo negative scans are processed and priced the same to photographic prints. Our scanner can handle material up to 11x17 inches. Larger material and other special requests are quoted individually. 

The commercial use of images is quoted on an individual basis. Please contact a staff member about commercial use of images.