The Sante Fe Trail Center Museum has a wealth of resources available for researchers. Whether you want to learn about 19th century agriculture or are researching your family tree in Pawnee County the museum’s Research Library & Archives will be able to help you.

The Library and Archives are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. We recommend that you call in advance to ensure that a staff member will be available to assist you and pull records from the archives.

Research Library

The museum library holds over 3,500 books comprised of both primary and secondary sources. Subjects include the Santa Fe Trail, American Indians, Kansas history, 19th century agriculture, pioneer life, Lewis and Clark, trappers, Western art, transportation, and much more.
Included in the library are the following series of books:

  • War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
  • Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion
  • Kansas Historical Quarterly 1881-1977
  • Kansas History 1978 to present
  • State of Kansas Biennial Report of the Board of Agriculture 1881-1978

The library is free and open to the public. Books may not be checked out.


The museum has over 700 linear feet of archival papers and 7,000 photographs that document life in Pawnee County. Records include personal papers, self-published family histories, business records, fraternal organization records, newspaper articles, obituaries, school yearbooks and more. Furthermore, as the official repository for Pawnee County historical records the archives holdings include marriage licenses, school records, election records, court cases, Personal Property Tax books and court summons.


With over 7,000 historic photographs and 2,300 magic lantern glass slides, you get a glimpse into the past and a better understanding of what was important to people of the late 19th and early 20th century – historic sites along the Santa Fe Trail, dust storms, Pawnee County businesses, pioneer families, celebrations, farming, and more. And many of these pictures are available to view in our Online Photograph Collection.

  • Available Downloadable PDFs
    • Criminal Court Cases
    • Daughters of the American Revolution
    • Directories
    • Land Grants
    • Order of Parole Documents
    • Pawnee County Businesses
    • Pawnee County Clubs
    • Pawnee County Personal Property Statements
    • Pawnee County Schools
    • Research & Reproduction Fee Schedule
    • Yearbooks