The Area Research Center at UW River Falls is part of 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. The UWRF ARC covers the counties of; Pierce, St. Croix, Polk and Burnett. 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 Wisconsin Historical Society and 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.
Anyone can use the Search@UW Catalog to search for Library and Archives material.
At the right side of the search bar, change the dropdown menu from "Everything" to "Archives and Special Collections". This will limit the search to materials that are only in the Archives and ARC.
To search, utilize keyword searching, and try different variations for your search words. You can also further filter key terms using the Advanced Search. After your initial search, you can further limit your results using the "Refine My Results" on the left hand side of the page.
Searching by call number in addition to a keyword search can filter out a lot of secondary material in the UWRF Catalog. For example:
If you are using ArCat, these tips work for other ARCs as well. For example, "Dane Series" will get you government records from Dane County, and "Milwaukee Mss" will get you manuscript collections located in the Milwaukee ARC. If you don't want to limit your search in ArCat by location, knowing these numbering conventions will help you know where the material you find in a general search is located.
The UWRF Archives' Special Collections are comprised of local and county histories, printed family histories and genealogies, church and cemetery records, maps and atlases, newspapers from the four counties, oral histories, federal and state census records, local serials, and more.
The book collection also includes rare or unusual publications; older agricultural, Civil War, and Wisconsin and Saint Croix Valley history books; area cookbooks; books authored by local area residents; and books authored by UWRF faculty, staff, or students.
We also have photographs from the 4-county area (Burnett, Pierce, Polk, Saint Crox) and from UW-River Falls itself.
Some of our materials have been digitized and are available online. You may find useful materials here, or collections you might want to use. Or it may just give you an idea for a paper topic.