James O. Hall Research Center


The James O. Hall Research Center contains material in reference to the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, his assassination and the conspirators, John Wilkes Booth, African American history, local history, and genealogy.  There are over 2,000 books which can be viewed in house in addition to a wealth of primary source material.  


Available for viewing by researchers are the reference files of the eponymous Lincoln assassination scholar James O. Hall, as well as those of Brigadier General William Tidwell, William C. Davis, John C. Brennan, and the Surratt House Museum.  Microfilm holdings include the Lincoln assassination Suspects file from the National Archives, Library of Congress materials, Provost Marshal’s files, Old Capitol Prison records, and more. Periodical collections include the Surratt Courier, 1976-current; Lincoln Herald, 1967-2014; North and South; Confederate History Association of Belgium (CHAB) News, 1982-current; Lincoln Log; Lincoln News/ Newsletter; Civil War Times, 1961-current; Journal of Lincoln Assassination, 1987-2013; Lincoln Lore, 1930-2000; The Rail Splitter, 1997-2006; The Citizen’s Companion, 2000-2002; Early American Life, 1981-1994; and more assorted and individual copies of a wide variety of Civil War related articles and magazines. The small photographic collection includes plate glass slides depicting the assassination of Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, his escape, and fellow conspirators; Victorian era childhood photos collected by Pam Diffee; and photos of the history of the Surratt Society and Surratt House Museum.  The Research Center also houses Civil War maps, blueprints of the site’s construction and development since 1970, and original newspapers and articles.  Finally, Surratt Society institutional memory rounds out the collection with a remarkable amount of early photographs, scrapbooks, news articles, member rolls, and other records dating back to its founding.  An adjacent meeting room serves as a gathering place for meetings and public programs.


  • The research center is open by appointment only.

  • The Library at the James O. Hall Research Center is a non-lending library.

  • Questions or comments? Email the librarian, Colleen Puterbaugh at colleen.puterbaugh@pgparks.com

  • Copying and scanning of materials is available for a nominal fee as copyright laws permit.


Notice of copyright responsibility: The materials in the James O. Hall Research Center at Surratt House Museum are made available solely for the purpose of private study, research, and education. Many of the items are protected by U.S. Copyright Law, and several major collections were donated with copyright privileges granted to the museum and its volunteer affiliate, The Surratt Society. Due to the size of our holdings, it is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.