Photographs: Research & Ordering

Subjects: How-To Guides
Tags: arts, how-to, photos

How to Order (starting August 2023)

Image Ordering is only available using paper forms at this time. 
Our current goal is to fulfill all image requests within 3 to 6 weeks. 

Collections Online and online ordering are not available.

Please Note:

  • At this time, the Collection Online system is unavailable for both remote and in-person researchers, including staff. 
  • Use the process below to submit all orders.
  • Turnaround time on image orders will likely be 3 to 6 weeks after the order is processed.
  • Rush Service is currently unavailable.
  • Only digital images are available, no photographic prints can be processed at this time.


If you would like to submit an order for an image from the MNHS Collections please follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the Image Order Form. Be sure to complete the form completely including Collection/Record Title/Identifier and Document Title.  Be sure to sign the form and indicate the planned use.  
  2. If the image is for any type of Public Use, you must also submit the Image Use Permission Request Form.
  3. Once the forms are completed, please email them to The Library Permissions Team will review your order and process it. 

See our Photographs: Use Permissions and Licensing guide for more information about using photographs publicly, and please contact our us at for more information on completing paperwork.   

Prices for Digital Scans and Prints

Digital Scans:

The price of a digital scan of regular-sized materials* is determined by the resolution of the image/size of the file.  See "Selecting a File Type" below for more information.   

Small  $7
Large $25
Extra-Large $60

*Digital copies of original materials that are larger than 16 x 20 inches cost $25.  This oversized category includes things like maps and architectural drawings.  


Physical prints are not currently available.  


Minnesota Historical Society Members receive a 10% discount on image duplications. 


Selecting a File Type for Digital Scans

File Type Best For Technical Info
Small Internet publishing, reports, emails, student work, presentations, some printing (at original size or smaller only). 

JPEG only
1500 pixels, ~300 dpi 
2 to 15 MB file size 

Large Most uses, including publishing, documentary filmmaking, and printing up to 16x20 inches (unless original is very small),  TIFF or JPEG
3000-6000 pixel, ~300-600 dpi
20 to 60 MB file size
Extra-Large Recommended for very large printing (like murals) and fine publishing only
Not every item can be ordered at this size (none of the 3-D collections, for example). 

TIFF only
6000+ pixels, 300-600+ dpi
20 to 100+ MB file size


Pay by Credit CardCheck out stations in a store at Sun Ray Shopping Center, Hudson Road near McKnight Road South, St. Paul, 9/12/1957

  • Pay through the online system OR
  • On the paper form put your credit card info or mark "Invoice Me" and MNHS can invoice and you can pay securely online


Pay by Check

  • Place your order in the online system.  During the checkout process, select "offline payment" and then send your check in the mail.
  • If ordering via paper form, mail the check and the form together to the address on the form.



Note:  We cannot process any Image Orders until payment is received.  

Delivery (Starting August 2020)

Timeline for Delivery

  • When your order is received, we will first check to be sure that the image can be copied, according to our guidelines, copyright restrictions, etc.  
  • Orders will be completed within 3 to 6 weeks of permission being granted for copying.  
  • Please contact us for a completion date for orders with 20+ images.
  • Rush service is not currently available

Methods of Delivery

  • JPEG formatted files under 1MB or 1000k are sent via direct e-mail.
  • Large JPEG and TIFF formatted files are delivered through a secure FTP site.
  • Files may be compressed/zipped for delivery purposes, but will open to size ordered
  • For security reasons we cannot copy files onto disks or flash drives provided by customers.
  • A packing slip and/or use and permission PDF is shipped/emailed with each order.

MNHS Reference Staff

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Gale Family Library
Minnesota Historical Society Library

Located on the Second Floor of the Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Library Hours:
Thursday to Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday to Wednesday: Closed

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Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
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