Use the Archives

The UW-Madison Archives exists both to preserve historic materials and to make them available for use.

Archives can hold both published and unpublished materials, and those materials can be in any format. Some examples are manuscripts, letters, photographs, moving image and sound materials, artwork, books, diaries, artifacts, and the digital equivalents of all of these things.

Materials in an archives are often unique, specialized, or rare objects, meaning very few of them exist in the world, or they are the only ones of their kind and our Archives staff strive to preserve them for use today, and for future generations of researchers.

The UW-Madison Archives maintains specific guidelines for how people may use our collections to protect the materials from physical damage and theft, and keep them accessible for posterity.

Visitors to the University Archives must register for an Archives and Special Collections Account. Anyone can register for a free account and this new system will allow you to request non-circulating materials from the University Archives, Special Collections, Mills Music Library, and the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. Sign up for an Archives and Special Collections account to request materials via the library catalog, schedule a visit, order reproductions, track the status of your requests, and access your research history.

Contact the UW-Madison Archives for more information at uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or 608-262-5629.

Men playing cards, 1908. #S08805

Men playing cards, 1908. #S08805

1931 Octopus, campus humor magazine, #S12041

1931 Octopus, campus humor magazine, #S12041

Tug of war contest, 1958. #040502as210

Tug of war contest, 1958. #040502as210

UW cheerleaders, 1981. #S12004

UW cheerleaders, 1981. #S12004

Sledding on Bascom Hill, #S12110

Sledding on Bascom Hill, #S12110