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History 293: Seminar on Historical Methods: Course guide for History 293 and the Archives

This guide is for students in History 293. It gives general information about the Archives, explains how to locate archival material at UWM, and provides examples of types of primary sources.



The Archives Department at UWM Libraries has the primary sources you need to complete your class assignment. We have historical material that was created by people who live/d in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha counties, so the subject matter is often local in nature.

To find a source, search for what we have either via Search@UW or by searching within our "finding aids." The boxes in the middle of this page will guide you through each type of search.

Then, visit the Archives to view the source/s. Our contact information is in the right-hand box. We are open from 8 am to 4.30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and 8 am to 6.30 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.


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

1. civil rights African Americans Milwaukee
2. child welfare Wisconsin
3. journalism
4. journalist

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.


Subject Guide

Archives Department
UWM Libraries
Room W250
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