Harold S. Colton Memorial Library


The Harold S. Colton Memorial Library and the Katharine Bartlett Reading Room began with the donation of Harold S. and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton's personal library. As the collection grew, the library found a home in the Museum's Research Center Building, built in 1954.

The library's collection has grown to include several hundred periodicals, 50,000 books, over 25,000 separates, several thousand maps, over 300 manuscript holdings, and over 250,000 photographic images.

 The Harold S. Colton Library's collections are strongest in the fields of archaeology, ethnology, and geology, with additional materials on biology, geography, history, art, and museology.

The Harold S. Colton Memorial Library, with its strong retrospective collection, is an indispensable resource for anyone doing research on the Colorado Plateau.

The library has access to the Arizona State Library with its excellent selection of online databases. These resources are freely available to Arizona residents at http://www.lib.az.us/azlibrary/res.aspx.

Online guide to using the MNA Archives

MNA is currently in the middle of an NEH-funded grant to rehouse and move the archives into a new state-of-the-art facility. The downside to this fantastic opportunity is that this grant needs the majority of staff time and occasionally materials may be unavailable due to quarantine procedures for the move. Your understanding and patience is appreciated, as this work will ultimately improve access to these materials.

In order to accommodate researchers, MNA has hired a part-time Archives Research Associate to assist with permission and reference requests. To support this service, there will be a $25 per hour fee charged for onsite visits, as well as for the hours needed to conduct research for offsite researchers. the new Archives Research Associate, Susan Olberding, may be contacted at solberding@mna.mus.az.us.

An additional goal is to assess the Library's holdings. To allow MNA time to plan for its transition of the MNA Library into a Special Collections there will be a temporary moratorium on the use of the Library by the public. This moratorium is set to expire January 2015 and will allow MNA to focus its staffing and other resources towards the rehousing and move of the MNA Archives. In the meantime, researchers are encouraged to find electronic copies or other repositories holding publications of interest by utilizing tools like:

The goal is to answer "permission to use" requests within 30 business days and reference requests within 4-6 weeks of receipt. To help expedite your requests, please provide as much information as possible. MNA staff should view pertinent research policies available on MNA's intranet.

For permission requests, please feel free to bring your publisher into the conversation. The basic information needed for permission requests are the citation of the material, your deadline, and how the image will be used (publication, presentation, advertisement).

For reference requests, please provide your name, mailing address, a telephone number in case we have questions, and all relevant information pertaining to your question.

If you want to set-up an appointment to look at archival materials, please provide at least a month's lead time so that staff may locate relevant materials and ensure that materials are not in quarantine.

Home   Contact MNA     Contact WebMaster

Museum of Northern Arizona. All Rights Reserved.