Skip to Main Content
site header image

Primary and Archival Sources

This guide provides a brief overview of the UWRF Archives and Area Research Center.

UWRF Archives and Area Research Center

The University Archives and Area Research Center collects and preserves records that document the history, development, traditions, and activities of the University of Wisconsin River Falls and Northwestern Wisconsin. The UWRF Archives and ARC provide access to these historical materials to the university community as well as the general public. Find out more about the Archives and ARC at our website 

The University Archives and ARC are open for research Monday - Friday 10:am-4:30pm. Appointments are preferred, call 715-425-3567 or email 

Visiting the Archives and ARC?

Prior to your visit, we ask that you complete our annual registration form. It will ask for your contact information and you will be asked to acknowledge our Reading Room procedures. 

Reading Room Procedures:

The Archives Research Room is provided for the convenience of researchers wishing to use public records, manuscripts, maps, rare books, visual materials, and moving images.  Please remember that these materials are unique and fragile, and their continued existence depends on the care given to them.  The use of these materials is freely granted to all responsible researchers’ subject to the following regulations:

  1. The annual registration form must be completed and/or updated on the researcher's first visit to the Research Room during each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).
  2. Archives staff will register researcher visits daily electronically. 
  3. Only pencils may be used in the Research Room. Researchers must bring their own. 
  4. Computers, typewriters, and tape recorders may also be used with staff permission.
  5. Food and beverages are not allowed.
  6. The Archives’ stacks areas are closed to researchers unless accompanied by an Archives staff member.
  7. The use of certain materials is restricted by statute or by donors. For the protection of its collections, the Archives also reserves the right to restrict the use of unprocessed, extremely valuable, or fragile materials. Materials do not circulate and are not loaned to individuals.
  8. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved with his/her use of materials.
  9. All notes, photocopies, books, and other papers may be inspected by staff. By law, the Archives is given the right to detain any persons suspected of attempting the unauthorized removal of any archival material (WISCONSIN STATUTES, Chap. 943.60. Text in LAWS OF 1979, Chap. 245).  Penalties for archival theft include a fine of up to $10,000 and prison term from nine months to ten years depending on the value of the materials taken.

When working with manuscripts, public records, maps, books, and photographs:

  1. A researcher should only work with one container of archival material at a time and should complete work with that container and return it to a re-shelving cart before using another container.
  2. All materials must be handled carefully. They must not be leaned upon, marked, bent, or torn. Their existing arrangement must be preserved. Sheets must be turned in order and kept neatly in the folders.  Please report to the staff any errors in cataloguing, dating, or filing.
  3. Scanning and photocopying is only done by staff.
  4. No gloves are permitted, except when handling photographic materials not in plastic sheets.