Local Resources

Local Materials and Resources

La Crosse is lucky to be the home of multiple archives, a historical society, and public history projects that make history more accessible to the public. Find tips and tricks below to access the materials from these local resources.

LPLA logo and contact information

La Crosse Public Library Archives (LPLA)

To search for cataloged material held at LPLA, go to the general library catalog. If you would like to search the finding aids of manuscript collections, go to LPLA's website. It is recommended by LPLA staff that future visitors look through available materials on the website before visiting the Archives, though walk-ins are always welcome.

History Tours

The Footsteps of La Crosse history tours are about how class, culture, and architecture intersect on La Crosse's city streets. Self-guided tours are available online and can be downloaded and printed anytime. Watch for information on guided tours every May and September.

Dark La Crosse Stories

Travel back in time and explore the seedier side of La Crosse history with Dark La Crosse Stories, a video series produced in collaboration with the La Crosse Tribune. New episodes are released every other Tuesday through 2020.

Murphy Library logo and contact information

Murphy Library Special Collections & Area Research Center (ARC)

To find materials held at the UWL Murphy Library Special Collections & ARC, use the Search@UW catalog. Be sure to limit it to "Murphy Library Archives & Special Collections" using the menu options. Go to their website to find more information on the organization of their collections and how to search for materials.

La Crosse County Historical Society logo and contact information

La Crosse County Historical Society (LCHS)

The La Crosse County Historical Society collects and preserves artifacts that represent the history of La Crosse County. They host a variety of events every year and manage displays and tours at various historic sites.

Though open to the public during set hours (M-F, 9-4), users are encouraged to call rather than walking in. The LCHS holds various annual events, all of which can be found on their website.

Friendly Finding Aid logo and website url

Friendly Finding Aid (FFA)

The Friendly Finding Aid project makes La Crosse area archival collections easier to access for less experienced researchers with simplified finding aids. The target audience is National History Day students, who are researching local history for their projects, but these annotated finding aids could be handy for other users as well.

Visit the FFA website to learn more and look through available Friendly Finding Aids. The FFAs are organized by subject, similar to Unbound's content.

hear, here logo and contact information

Hear, Here La Crosse

Hear, Here is an oral history project that collects short, first-person narratives. These stories take place in La Crosse's downtown area and work to voice historically marginalized communities.

These stories can be accessed through orange street signs that are posted throughout downtown La Crosse. The street signs display a 1-800 phone number that, once dialed, guide the caller through listening to a story that happened in the location they are standing.

Each story's audio and transcript can be found on Hear, Here's website. The stories are organized by their location in the interactive orange banner map.