Archives Resources

Archives Resources

Collections housed at the University Archives and Area Research Center (ARC) are divided into University Archives, Manuscripts, Local Government Records, Newspapers, Rare Books and Local Histories, and Photographs, though there is some overlap between the designations. 

University Archives Collections

The UWRF University Archives serves as the official repository for the permanent, historical records of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The University Archives collects and preserves materials pertaining to the establishment, development, history, and traditions of the University.

Most university records can be found in the UWRF online catalog. You may also search by the collection inventories, also called finding aids, which include important information about a collection such as a summary of the collection's content, dates of materials in the collection, and box/folder listings.

The University Archives and Area research Center has a small collection of museum items (3D objects). These are mostly university-related, but there are also some items from the four-county area. Examples include university-themed clothing and hats, a branding iron, several quilts and blankets, social and political buttons, pennants, university time capsules, and Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia from summer training camp.



Manuscripts collections are comprised of the papers and records created by organizations, individuals, and institutions. These materials represent the lives and work of community members, businesses, and organizations from the St. Croix River Valley. A large number of these materials are owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society and managed by the UWRF Archives as part of our membership in the Area Research Center (ARC) network.

Manuscript collections include such things as the records of local businesses, community organizations, and churches, as well as personal diaries, letters, and scrapbooks. You may search for manuscripts collections housed both at UWRF and available via the ARC network through our search@UW catalog.

Local Government Records

Our local government records collections are comprised of materials that form our Area Research Center collections, which are owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society and managed by the UWRF Archives as part of our membership in the Area Research Center (ARC) network. ARC Collections cover four northwestern Wisconsin counties—Burnett, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix. Materials generated by local government units include such things as naturalization (citizenship) records, tax and/or assessment rolls, court records, school records, city and county board minutes, and vital records.

You may search for local government records collections housed both at UWRF and available via the ARC network through our search@UW catalog.


Our Newspaper collections include local papers covering our four-county area (Burnett, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix) dating from the mid-1800s up to the present, as well as newspapers from Washburn County. (Until the late 1990s, the River Falls ARC also covered Washburn County.) Most of the newspapers are on microfilm, although there are a few scattered issues of original newspapers.

Rare Books and Local History

The UWRF Archives' Rare books and local history collections are comprised of rare or unusual publications; older agricultural, Civil War, and Wisconsin and Saint Croix Valley history books; local and county histories; printed family histories and genealogies; area cookbooks; maps and atlases; books authored by local area residents; and books authored by UWRF faculty, staff, or students.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Area Research Center materials supplements our rare books and local history collections with material such as church and cemetery records, oral histories, federal and state census records, local serials, and more.

We also have a biographical index of Birth, Marriage, Death notices, and obituaries. For more information see the section of the same name in the Newspaper resource page.


Photographic images are contained throughout our collections of University records, manuscripts, and government records but we also own a small series of subject and location based stand-alone photographic images and postcards. We also have daguerreotypes, tintypes, slides, and other images from the University and the four-county region. Some of these materials, mainly those from the postcards portion of our photographic collections, have been digitized and may be accessed via our online catalog in PastPerfect. Keep in mind, the digitized content available via PastPerfect makes up only a very small amount of the photographic images in our collections.

There are also some photographs from our four-county area digitized and viewable in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Visual Materials Collection available online.

 1907 Diary of Edna J. Gerrish
1907 Diary of Edna J. Gerrish (River Falls Mss CO)
Civil War Certificate
Civil War Service Certificate
"R" Club, 1933
"R" Club, 1933
Steam shovel working on railroad construction near Somerset
Steam shovel working on Soo Line railroad construction near Somerset
River Falls freshman beanie
River Falls freshman beanie

Contact Us

University Archives and Area Research Center
170 Chalmer Davee Library
(715) 425-3567 

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