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Archives Research Room

The 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 you.

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.

A reminder:
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.


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