Library & Archives

The museum maintains a non-lending collection of books on the history of the Great Plains, as well as reference books on antiques and the Kuska Collection. The collections can be accessed by visitors and staff.

Researchers, scholars and visitors may browse the library with help from museum staff. Those interested in searching for local or family history are encouraged to do so in person. Research requests that are handled by museum staff are subject to a small fee.


Thomas County Archives

The Thomas County Historical Society is the county repository and maintains local historical archives and records including county newspapers, federal and state census records, marriage and birth notices, copies of obituaries. An extensive photograph and negative collection on many local organizations, events, families and other relevant topics that are catalogued according to subject. 

County newspapers and federal and state census for Thomas County are on microfilm. Photographs and documents are catalogued according to subject. The archives contain unpublished histories of communities, families and businesses in Thomas County and publications about the area.

Serving the community of Thomas County and the greater Northwest Kansas area as an educational organization dedicated to preserving the history of the high plains of Kansas, the Prairie Museum welcomes photos and documents from your personal collections for incorporation in our continuously growing database. Simply email a .jpeg and as much detailed information as possible to Scans with a resolution of 200-300 dpi are preferred. Discs of photographs are also accepted, as well as original photographs and documents.


Genealogy Resources

We welcome you to stop by and take advantage of a wealth of information at the Thomas County Historical Society. Our library contains genealogical materials, obituaries, birth and wedding announcements, and over 10,000 Sons & Daughters of the Soddies records, plus much more that you can use for research and scholarly endeavors. Please call ahead so we can be prepared to accommodate your research task.

Phone, email and other research requests are handled by staff and volunteers. Due to a large increase in research requests, a small charge is applied. The research fee is $10.00 per hour with a minimum of one hour. Copies are $.15 for paper documents and $.25 for the microfilm reader/printer.

Other Resources Available:

Two discs are available in the Prairie Museum library from Family History Expos that shares research strategies, how to find military ancestors, top Apps to use while researching, links and websites, plus a plethora of other resources that can help you research your family's history.


Thomas county yearbooks

Thomas County yearbooks have gone digital

The public now has access to digital copies of Thomas County's yearbooks, thanks to Oklahoma Correctional industries who contacted the Prairie Museum and offered to scan all of the books to DVD`s.....for free!!

The DVD`s are available for anyone to look through at the museum and pages can now be emailed, copied onto a jump drive or printed right from the computer.