Collections & Research
Research Library & Archive
How to Use Our Research Library
The Mark Twain House & Museum maintains a collection of 16,000 museum objects and other artifacts, including an archive of more than 6,000 documents and 5,280 photographic images that were made, received or accumulated by Mark Twain and his family, friends and associates, or by The Mark Twain House & Museum as an institution.
These include books originally in the possession of, and/or annotated by Twain, his family, friends and associates; original manuscript and archival records, including letters and photographs, many of which relate to his residence in Hartford; original photographs, negatives and films; documentation related to the construction, landscaping, furnishings and decoration of the Hartford house; and institutional records of The Mark Twain House, including those related to the restoration of the house.
The Museum welcomes public access to its valuable historical material and welcomes personal and professional research with the following guidelines.
Archive Usage & Hours
Use of the archive and research library is available by appointment only. We kindly ask for at least 2 weeks advance notice for your appointment request, as this allows staff time to research, select, and pull requested items.
You can contact the following people to make an appointment:
Jodi C. DeBruyne
Once your request is received, the Director of Collections or Assistant Curator will contact you to schedule an appointment.
* Please note in order to provide a safe research experience for our staff and researchers, additional policies and protocols have been enacted for on-site research due to COVID-19. Any researcher coming on-site must agree to follow all COIVD-related guidelines before and during their visit. Any appointment may be canceled or rescheduled by Mark Twain House Staff or the researcher at any time without penalty to ensure safety of both staff and the researcher.
What to Expect
No food or drink is allowed in the research library.
Coats and backpacks, purses, and large bags will be placed in an area designated by staff.
Researchers may bring personal note-taking materials, but only pencils, laptops, and tablets can be used in the research library; no pens are permitted.
Photocopying and photographic reproduction services are available for a fee. Services will be performed by a curatorial staff member. All reproductions are subject to our image use guidelines and applicable publication fees.
Gloves will be provided and must be worn when handling permanent collection and archival material.
Research Requests by Phone, Mail, and Email
If you are unable to come on-site, The Mark Twain House & Museum’s curatorial department is happy to assist you with your research needs. Depending on the type of request, museum staff will respond within two-weeks of receipt of request. Staff will communicate with the researcher if they are unable to fulfill to the request within two-weeks.
Research assistance from The Mark Twain House & Museum staff is free for the first 30 minutes, after 30 minutes, a charge of $40/hour is required. Research past the 30 minutes will not occur without prior agreement with Researcher. Research requests needed in advance of a two-week notice will be charged “rush” research fee of $50/hour.
Reproduction and publication of all materials are subject to image reproduction fees, publication fees, and guidelines and must be approved by Museum staff in advance.
The staff of The Mark Twain House & Museum is not able to undertake photographic research or to select items from the collection for reproduction.
Please submit your research requests to: