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Urban Studies 984: Research Project in Urban Institutions: Course guide for History 940 and the Archives

Archives Resources for Urban Studies 984 students.



The Archives Department at UWM Libraries has the primary sources you need to complete your class assignments.

See the other pages in this guide for specific information on the collections you will use for your short papers or to suggest sources on other topics such as Latino Migrant Labor.

And to find sources for your larger research paper, search either via Search@UW or in 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.

The sign for our room (W250) says "Archives/Area Research Center."


Search the library catalog to locate archival and manuscript collections that might be pertinent to your research.

There are 2 recommended methods for searching in Search@UW.

1) Use the search box below which brings up results from the UWM Archives, the UWM Special Collections, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Note that these results will include some books on the subject, but more of them will describe archival or manuscript collections.

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

1. hunger milwaukee
2. stadium baseball 
3. public school* (returns "school", "schools", "schooling")
4. Business Improvement
5. immigra* (Returns "immigrant", "immigrants", and "immigration")
6. milwaukee architec* (returns "architect", "architects", "architecture", "architectural")

2) In Search@UW main page, search by subject headings that have been predetermined by librarians.

First, select the Subject tab at the Search@UW page.

Enter a term in the "Subject" box. Keep the "Subject Words Anywhere" option for the "Search type" box - it usually works. If you don't like your results, try different word/s.

Explore the links into the catalog records. Any entries that show an icon of an box (for an archives box) will very likely be in our Archives, but read the "Holdings" information at the bottom of the catalog record carefully. (Most, but not all, links will be for material located in the Archives).

And, explore the subject headings which appear near to your first term, if they make sense for your research.

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.

Watch our video about searching in and understanding finding aids at What is a finding aid and how does it help me?

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

Archives Department's picture
Archives Department
UWM Libraries
Room W250