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Media History - Archives Dept.: Researching Media History in the Archives

This guide suggests how to use the Archives Department to study local media history. It provides recommendations for search paths and search tools, and lists some pertinent collections.

Recommended for Media History

The Archives Dept. includes many collections that can help you in research of local media history.  Our strengths are editors and journalists, the local press club, local television news, and the ethnic newspaper press.

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


Search the library catalog to locate archival and manuscript collections which pertain to local media and journalism. In the box below, search by keyword/s. This search box is already limited to the Archives Department's holdings. Note that these results will include some books that we hold here in the Archives, but most of the results will describe archival or manuscript collections.

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

1. journalism

2. journalist

3. radio television

4. mass communication

If your search doesn't produce relevant hits, 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 here at the Archives Department, UWM Libraries, which is also known as 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

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Archives Department
UWM Libraries
Room W250