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Transportation - Archives Dept.: Researching Surface Transportation in the Archives

This guide provides recommendations for using the Archives to study local surface transportation history. It also suggests the best search paths for effectively locating material.

Welcome

Recommended Collections on Roads and Rail

Explore the history of local surface transportation (rail and roadways) through many collections in the Archives. Our collection strengths are the development and destruction of city and metro-area road systems, from the vantage points of academics, politicians and residents. Rail is documented through public and private records, as well as in the collections of enthusiasts.

A list of pertinent collections follows below in this box. We have many other collections too, which you may explore by using the search strategies described elsewhere in this guide, or by asking an archivist.

Searching

Search the UW system library catalog to locate archival and manuscript collections that will contain primary sources. You can search by keyword/s in the box provided below. This search box pulls up results from the UWM Archives Department, the UWM Special Collections, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Note that these results will include catalog records for books that we hold here in the Archives, but most of the results will describe archival or manuscript collections, which include documents, reports, photographs, et al.

Here are three examples of simple keyword searches.  Note that the boolean operator and is not necessary between keywords.

1. World War I Milwaukee
2. Communism Wisconsin
3. Civil Rights African Americans Milwaukee


If your search doesn't produce relevant results, try again with different keywords, or contact us for help.

A general search hint: when reading any catalog record, follow the links found at "Subjects" to locate other material in the UWM Libraries on that same subject.

We write finding aids, or guides, for most of our collections. These guides explain the creator, contents and dates of the collection. This information is important to you when deciding if something is useful to your research. A finding aid also provides the information you will need to request and use a collection when you visit the Archives Dept.
 
All of our finding aids are included in Archival Resources in Wisconsin, a database of over 4,000 finding aids of collections held in seventeen repositories statewide.
 
Search our finding aids by using the search boxes below. Be sure to select an operator (and, or or not) as appropriate, and then click on "Search." Then explore the links in the grey band that appears with each result. Note: this search is limited to our holdings at the Archives Department, UWM Libraries, which is also known as the Milwaukee Area Research Center.
 

 

Use Archivegrid to find archives and collections in your geographic area.




The Library of Congress has a wealth of digital collections, which you can search right from their homepage.  

If you're not sure where to start, you can also browse their collections by topic.

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Subject Guide