Wisconsin Historical Society

Organizational Description

About the Local Area Research Center Network

About the Local Area Research Center Network | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Area Research Center Network is a cooperative venture between the Wisconsin Historical Society, 12 University of Wisconsin campus libraries, and the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center. 

The network's 13 Wisconsin Local Area Research Centers (ARCs) serve specific geographic regions around the state. ARCs provide access to records created by county offices and other local government units, original manuscript collections of regional interest and other resources for their specific regions.  Each ARC can borrow materials from the other ARC collections for local use as well.

ARCs are perfect for local history researchers, genealogists, business people, historic preservationists, schoolteachers, faculty and students, or historians who can’t or don’t want to travel far to do research.

Types of Information Available at Area Research Centers

Each Area Research Center is unique. Each has strengths in certain resources. Most have the following materials related to their region:

  • Business records
  • Census records
  • Citizenship records
  • City directories
  • City and county board minutes
  • Community organization records
  • Court records
  • Diaries
  • Genealogy books
  • Immigration records
  • Letters
  • Local and county histories
  • Local government records
  • Local newspapers
  • Manuscript collections
  • Maps and atlases (Wisconsin)
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs
  • School record books
  • Scrapbooks
  • Tax rolls
  • University records
  • Vital records (pre-1907)

Where is Your Local Area Research Center?

Each Area Research Center serves a specific geographic region. To locate your local Area Research Center, refer to the Area Research Center map.