Archives Research Room
The Archives Research Room
If you are interested in conducting research with manuscripts,
government records, rare books, visual materials, recorded
sound, or maps, the Archives Research Room is the place for
Before You Visit or Write
First: Review the Library-Archives
Collections page to see if we have the types of material
you need. If you do not find what you need review the
Library Collections descriptions.
Then: Search the Archives
Computer Catalog (ArCat) to see if we have specific
materials on your subject of interest. ArCat is an automated
version of a card catalog. It provides descriptions and
information about our holdings. At this point none of our
collections are available or searchable online. If we have
materials on your subject of interest note carefully the
catalog information regarding the format, call number,
size, and location of the collection(s). If materials are
on microfilm, they generally may be requested on interlibrary
loan through your local library. Some parts of the holdings
(all maps and atlases, and approximately 20 percent of manuscripts
and local government records) are not covered in ArCat.
For information about segments of the holdings not covered
in ArCat, you should submit a reference request to determine
if there is material relevant to your research.
After you have consulted ArCat:
We encourage all researchers to come
to Madison to do their research or, if more convenient,
to visit one of our Area
Research Centers (ARCs). The reference staff at Madison
or at an ARC will help you locate materials relevant to your
research. You can ask any ARC to borrow materials normally housed
at Madison or at another ARC.
If visiting Madison or an ARC is not possible:
You can submit
a reference request to help determine the extent of the
pertinent materials and how to best access them. If the materials
are large in quantity and require more in-depth research,
you will need to come to Madison to do your research or
hire a local freelance researcher.
Some collections are stored off-site or may be out
on loan and require advance notice for retrieval. Therefore,
call or write well before your visit to ensure that the desired
collection(s) will be available.