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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Area Research Center

Researchers at work in
Milwaukee Urban Archives

Archives Department
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Division of Archives and Special Collections
Golda Meir Library, Room W250
PO Box 604
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604

Phone: 414-229-5402

Hours: Contact the Archives Department for current hours of operation.

Contact: Michael Doylen and the Archives Department Staff

The ARC is a cooperative effort of the University and the Wisconsin Historical Society to preserve historical records in a five-county area and to make them available to researchers. These counties are: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha.

University students and faculty, local historians, researchers, and genealogists are encouraged to use the center.


More than 100 series of local government public records include the tax rolls from Milwaukee County (1868-1970) and from Waukesha County (1848-1940), Village of Greendale board minutes and incorporation papers (1938-1966), and extensive Town of Milwaukee records (1846-1955).

The ARC holds over 500 collections of papers and records produced by private organizations and individuals. Among them are the Henry S. Reuss Papers (1959-1982); the Lloyd Barbee papers (1933-1982); Milwaukee-Downer College Records (1852-1964); City Club of Milwaukee records (1909-1969); United Community Services of Greater Milwaukee Records (1903-1966); and the records of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 311 (1906-1967). The ARC also holds many other personal, family, business, and organizational records and papers.

Finding Aids

ARC holdings are described in a published Guide to Archival and Manuscript Collections in the Milwaukee Urban Archives (1994). More detailed research tools at the ARC include registers and inventories for larger collections and an online catalog listing of all holdings. Other specialized finding aids include the Register of Records of the Henry W. Maier Administration (1960-1988) (1993); Guide to the Records of the Chancellor's Office at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1995) and the Guide to the Henry S. Reuss Papers (1995). The ARC also has published guides to the holdings of the State Historical Society.

Network Transfer Provisions

It is possible to transfer most materials from the Wisconsin Historical Society to the ARCs, and between ARCs. This service makes available in Milwaukee one of the nation's richest collections. Requests for temporary transfers of materials should be made to the curator of the Milwaukee ARC.

Related research resources in the Golda Meir Library

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee archives; the Fromkin Memorial Collection on the quest for social justice in America (1865-1940); the American Geographical Society map collection; the UWM Manuscript Collection, including the Kwasniewski Photo Collection (1907-1947) consisting of more than 30,000 prints and glass plate negatives from the Polish Community and Milwaukee's south-side; as well as rare books and other special collections.

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