Gale Family Library

345 W. Kellogg Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55102


Library Hours

Tuesday: 9 am-8 pm
Wednesday: 9 am-4 pm
Thursday: 9 am-4 pm
Friday: 9 am-4 pm
Saturday: 9 am-4 pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Holiday Hours


$6 per day

Using the Library

Collections OnlineTimepieces

Copy Request Service

Copy Request services are not available while the Library is closed.

For more information, please see our Library Closure Information page.  


What is a Copy Request?

A Copy Request is a service we offer for researchers/patrons who are unable to visit the library to view the materials in person.
The Copy Request service is to request photocopies or low-resolution, black-and-white PDF scans of specific materials in the MNHS collection, and is compliant with the restrictions of US Copyright Law.
The following materials can be requested: 
  • A specific article from a periodical**
  • Specific pages from a book** (or the whole book if it was published before 1923)
  • Specific folders from an archive or manuscript collection
  • A specific letter or document from an archive or manuscript collection if you know the exact date as well as the author or sender & receiver.
**This is also available through Interlibrary Loan. Talk to your local public library about submitting an Interlibrary Loan request on your behalf. 
If you are interested in copying materials as an on-site researcher, please see our Copying Library Materials FAQ page.

What is NOT a Copy Request?

  • Copies of materials covered by a specific research service: If you are looking for documents or records that fall into one of those categories--including newspaper articles--please place an online order for that specific research service.

  • Copies of materials covered by self-search systems. Search online yourself:
  • Copying that involves preliminary research: Library staff cannot search in boxes or folders for “anything regarding…” or “documents about...” or “any correspondence from…”
    • If you need this level of research done, please consider visiting the library to search the collections yourself, or hiring an independent researcher to do the research on your behalf.
  • Copies of oversize items (dimensions greater than 11 x 17): These copies must be requested as an Image Order.
    • This includes items like maps, blueprints, or drawings,. including those from railroad company records.
  • High-resolution digital scans: If you need a high-resolution (publication quality) or color scan of a photograph or document, submit an Image Order.

How much does the Copy Request service cost?


Basic request fee: $15.00


PLUS Per page fees:

  • $0.20 per page for paper photocopies 
  • $0.20 per page for low resolution PDF scans

PLUS Additional service fee(s):

  • $0.15 per page for rush service (not available for requests over 500 pages)
  • $1.75 shipping for paper photocopy orders under 100 pages
  • $3.50 shipping for paper photocopy orders between 100-500 pages
  • $10.00 shipping for paper photocopy orders over 500 pages


Things to Keep in Mind:


  • Some collections have restrictions and cannot be copied at all
  • Some restricted collections require additional paperwork for permission to copy
  • Library Staff will notify you if your request includes restricted materials

Copyrighted books

  • Books published after 1923 cannot be copied in full without permission from the author/copyright holder.
  • One chapter of a copyrighted book can be copied
  • A table of contents can be copied if you’re not sure what chapter you need 

Questions regarding copyright and restrictions can be sent to


How to place a Copy Request

  1. Figure out what you want:
    • Search the Library’s catalog and/or online finding aid
    • If there is no online finding aid for the collection you’re interested in, email and ask that one be scanned and emailed to you.
    • Some collections do not have a finding aid or folder list at all. If this is the case, staff will contact you.
    • If you need assistance searching the library’s catalog or the Collection Finding Aids, please contact the library by email at or by phone at 651-259-3300.
  2. Make note of:
    • The title of the collection or periodical or book
    • The title/date of the article
    • Page numbers or chapter title of the book
    • The location number or call number
    • The name/title/brief description of the folder you want copied, as it is listed in the collection’s finding aid
  3. Decide how much you want to spend:
    • Page two of the Copy Request order form asks for a “maximum charge amount.”
    • An amount must be given, or your order will be delayed
    • If the cost to copy your requested pages will exceed your maximum charge amount, library staff will contact you
  4. Fill out and submit a Copy Request form
    • Return by email or USPS mail--addresses are on the form


What happens after an order is submitted?

  1. Library staff will review your request
    • If more information is needed or the cost will exceed your maximum charge amount, library staff will contact you
  2. Staff will make photocopies or PDF scans
    • Rush service copies are completed within 5 business days
    • Regular service copies are completed within 30 business days
  3. When copies are completed:
    • Payment for your request is processed
    • Receipts are sent with paper copies or emailed with PDF scans
    • Paper copies are mailed via USPS
    • PDF scans are sent via our FTP service,
      • You will receive a notification email with the subject “MNHS Copy Request” that contains a link to click to download your files from the FTP site
      • Sometimes the notification emails end up in email “spam” or “junk” folders. Be sure to check your inbox and junk folders regularly if you’ve requested emailed PDF scans