• Office Hours:
  • Monday – Friday
  • 9am – 4pm


  • Tours:
  • Please call ahead to schedule tours, thank you!


  • Research Library:
  • M-F,  10:00 – 2:00pm
  • Please call to set up an appointment in advance, thank you!



Important Update on Research & Tours

Hello, everyone!


We know there has been some frustration about the lack of research-on-demand and tour options this year. We wanted to take a minute to reveal the reasoning behind those decisions and answer two of this summer’s most frequently asked questions:


  1. Why is research done by appointment and not available for walk-in research-on-demand request?
  2. Why isn’t DCHS offering Knute Nelson House tours right now?

The answers come back to what you’ve probably heard from other businesses and nonprofits:

We’re short on resources.


We know that this is a frustrating experience for many people, but we ask for your patience and understanding. We are a small nonprofit organization.

We have just one full time staff member who is routinely working 70-80 hour weeks and part time staff also working overtime. They have sacrificed children’s birthdays, weddings, funerals, weekends, and more to support Douglas County’s history.


In the past few years, we usually see 90-100 major research requests per year.

We are 2/3 of the way through 2021, and we’ve already recorded more than 120 research requests.

Again, we are 2/3 of the way through 2021, and our requests are already up 20-30% over previous YEARLY totals.

And we’re doing it all with a steep reduction in available volunteers. In 2019, before the pandemic, we counted about 2,300 volunteer hours, or about ~200 hours volunteer hours per month.

In 2020, we counted 670 hours for the entire year.

So far in all of 2021, we’ve counted about ~300 volunteer hours.


By doing research by appointment or through email/phone, we can serve requests in the order of their arrival & correspondence without compromising research quality. Through this arrangement, no one is jumping in front of the queue and causing longer wait times or rushed research for those already waiting in line.


Research requests, including searching for newspaper articles, family histories, or photographs, take time. We are not Google (and we certainly don’t have Google’s revenue!) A researcher may have to read through months (if not years) of newsprint (via microfilm or paper copies – no computer searching) to find a single article. Family histories are compiled from dozens of sources, where document availability, indexing, spelling, and accuracy may complicate the search.


Staff hours have been redirected to try and keep research requests moving as quickly as possible. This redirection is part of why tours have not been available – we must prioritize our working hours for the greatest impact right now.


Again, we know that this is a frustrating experience for many people, but we ask for your patience and understanding.


Thank you!