University Archives and Area Research Center at UW-River Falls to Hold Open House

Oct. 5, 2012--The UW-River Falls Chalmer Davee Library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the River Falls Area Research Center, along with national Archives Month, with an Open House on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 3-6 p.m. in Room 170 (lower level) of the Davee Library. The event is free and open to the public.   

In 1962 the Wisconsin Historical Society established a network of archival repositories designed to make the society's rich archival collections available statewide. The Area Research Center Network is built on an innovative partnership with the four-year campuses of the University of Wisconsin System and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. The UWRF (Wisconsin State College-River Falls back then) Area Research Center (ARC) was one of the first to be established. For a map of area research centers around the state, visit   

The River Falls ARC serves Pierce, St. Croix, Polk, and Burnett counties. The River Falls ARC has local government records, manuscript collections, photograph collections, and oral histories from this four-county area, as well as maps, books, family histories, and most newspapers that have been published over the years in these counties.   

No other state has created this kind of comprehensive network. What is unique to  Wisconsin is the transfer of archival material throughout the ARC network. Students, faculty, genealogists, and the general public do not need to travel to Madison—or any other UW campus—to do research, the archival collections come to them in a matter of days.   

The Open House will feature a new exhibit on Wisconsin's theme for this year's Archives Month, "Wisconsin's Area Research Center Network: Implementing the Wisconsin Idea since 1962."   

"For 50 years the Area Research Center has implemented the Wisconsin Idea that the university should improve people's lives beyond the classroom. The ARC supports teaching, research, outreach, and public service by preserving unique historical records and making them available to professors, students, and members of the community," said Kathryn Otto, head of the UWRF University Archives and Area Research Center.   

In addition, the archives staff has borrowed some nifty resources from other ARCs for a display of Wisconsin treasures at the Open House. Materials from the UWRF University Archives and the River Falls ARC will augment that display.   

For more information, call the University Archives and Area Research Center at 715-425-3567 or email

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