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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Area Research Center

Special Collections research room

Special Collections
Murphy Library Resource Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1631 Pine Street
La Crosse, WI 5460l

Phone: 608-785-8511


Hours: Contact the Area Research Center and Special Collections for current hours of operation.

Contact: Paul Beck, Special Collections Librarian

The ARC is a cooperative project of the University and the Wisconsin Historical Society to preserve historical records in a five-county region. These counties are: Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon.

University students and faculty, genealogists, local history writers, and other researchers are encouraged to use the Center.


More than 120 series of local government public records include records (1855-1946) of the Town of Adrian, Monroe County; records of twenty-eight rural Trempealeau County school districts; Vernon County tax rolls (1859-1960); and City of La Crosse Justice Dockets (1871-1886).

The ARC holds over 100 collections of papers and records produced by private organizations and individuals. Among them are records (1872-1885) of the Greenwood Norwegian Lutheran Church in Vernon County, Civil War letters (1861-1865) of Edward Cronon, records (1856-1928) of Hixon and Company's lumbering and other enterprises, and records (1894-1938) of a La Crosse carpenters' union local.

Finding Aids

Detailed research tools at the ARC include registers and inventories for large collections and a card catalog listing of all holdings. The ARC also has all published guides to the holdings of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Network Transfer Provision

This feature makes available in La Crosse one of the nation's richest collections. Requests for temporary transfer of collections from Madison or other ARCs should be made to the head of the La Crosse ARC.

Other Research Resources

Related collections available for use in conjunction with the ARC include: University archives; 1170 reels of taped oral history interviews; 460 maps; 5,300 books dealing with local, regional and state history; 82,000 photographs dealing with local and regional history and Wisconsin towns and villages; 43,000 photographs and related data files on inland river steamboating and river history, and a data file on approximately 20,000 inland river boats.

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