1. Usage
    • Because of their rarity and fragility, most items must be used in SW Wisconsin Room.
    • Photocopying is available; minimal fee for paper copies.
    • Use archives and manuscripts with care. PENCILS ONLY, no pens.
  2. Types of research using SW Wisconsin Room Collections
    • University Research
    • Family histories
    • Local histories (communities)
    • Topical histories (lead mining, ethnic groups, agriculture, historic architecture, business collections)
  3. Geographical scope of the collections
    • Six county area of SW Wisconsin (Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland); also Jo Daviess County in Illinois and Dubuque County in Iowa.
  4. Types of materials          
Primary Sources            
  Archives (government records), for example:          
  • University records
  • County records (naturalization records, tax rolls, deeds, probates, court cases)
  • State records (census schedules)
  • Municipal (sparsely represented)
  Manuscripts (personal, business, organizational records)          
  • John Rountree papers
  • Potosi Brewing Company
  • Pleasant Ridge Community
  • SW Wisconsin Area Church Records
  • University Author Series
  Oral history interviews (audio tape records)          
  Maps/Atlases/Plat Books          
Secondary Sources            
  Books, magazines, and newspapers (primarily regional) are in SW WI Collections          
  Additional printed materials are in other library collections          

6. Examples of Selected Sources

  • University Newspaper: Exponent 1925 - (indexing ongoing)
  • Surname Index, compiled by Gerald Fieldhouse
    • Lists over 40,000 surnames from SW Wisconsin from ca. 1815 to 1860
    • Available onsite only (card file)
  • Vital Statistics-Births, Marriages, Deaths pre-1907
    • Statewide index available on microfiche only - Area registrations on microfilm.
  • Census schedules 1836-1920
    • Earliest schedules are less detailed
    • 1850 is the first census to list names, ages, occupations, sex, race, birth date.
    • Agricultural census lists owner, values, acreage, machinery value, livestock by type, crop production.
    • Industrial-Mills, shoemakers, etc. value, production, etc.
    • Social census schedule for churches, libraries, paupers
  • Naturalization records for area counties
  • Immigration passenger index list (publishers)
  • Probate (estates) and other court records (civil, criminal) for selected counties
  • Land records (deeds)
  • Tax records for 1836-1935 (also until 1980 for Grant, Green, and Richland Counties)
  • Plat Books (land ownership maps)
  • County and local histories, which include biographies and photographs
  • Indexes to magazines and historical society published papers, e.g. Wisconsin Magazine of History
  • Newspapers of area communities, 1830’s through 2011
  • Academy and university records
  • Blueprint collection from Platteville area architect

7. State Historical Society of Wisconsin Area Research Center (ARC) Archival Collection

  • Six county area of SW WI (Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland)
  • Materials from other state ARC archives are available through this network delivered within one week

8. Additional materials, such as area photographs and manuscripts, are continually added to the collection through donations, photocopying, microfilming.

Contact Information

Southwest Wisconsin Room - Archives & ARC

0540 Ullsvik Hall
Hours: noon-4 p.m., Monday–Thursday; Additional times by appointment