Laboratory techniques for high-throughput sequencing have enhanced our ability to generate DNA sequence data from millions of natural history specimens collected prior to the molecular era, but remain poorly tested at shallower evolutionary time scales. Hybridization capture using restriction site associated DNA probes (hyRAD) is a recently developed method for population genomics with museum specimens (Suchan et al. 2016). The hyRAD method employs fragments produced in a restriction site associated double digestion as the basis for probes that capture orthologous loci in samples of interest. While promising in that it does not require a reference genome, hyRAD has yet to be applied across study systems in independent laboratories. Here we provide an independent assessment of the effectiveness of hyRAD on both fresh avian tissue and dried tissue from museum specimens up to 140 years old and investigate how variable quantities of input DNA affects sequencing, assembly, and population genetic inference. We present a modified bench protocol and bioinformatics pipeline, including three steps for detection and removal of microbial and mitochondrial DNA contaminants. We confirm that hyRAD is an effective tool for sampling thousands of orthologous SNPs from historic museum specimens to describe phylogeographic patterns. We find that modern DNA performs significantly better than historical DNA better during sequencing, but that assembly performance is largely equivalent. We also find that the quantity of input DNA predicts %GC content of assembled contiguous sequences, suggesting PCR bias. We caution against sampling schemes that include taxonomic or geographic autocorrelation across modern and historic samples.