Online Resources

Online Resources

The resources listed below each make digitized primary sources accessible online. Materials about the La Crosse area, Wisconsin, and the Midwest can be found in each of these databases.

Through the Collections pages, Unbound links to many of the La Crosse area materials found on these external sites. This means that by clicking on a material found in Unbound's Collections, you may find yourself on a new site that could have a broader collection of digitized resources, like a statewide or a national scope. As a researcher, you should be aware of the path you are taking.

Sites like Recollection Wisconsin, Digital Public Library of America, and others listed below are similar to Unbound in that they act as curated platforms so you, the user, can find the exact topics you are researching. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the vast amount of resources out there, but these sites are organized to help keep you on track.

Look at this chart to understand how all of these different online resources connect to one another.

pathway of archival materials in their physical form to to user on their device

ECHO logo and tagline

Exploring Cultural History Online (ECHO)

ECHO is an online collection of regional photographs and postcards that represent western Wisconsin history and culture. The images featured on ECHO are from libraries that are part of the Winding Rivers Library System (WRLS), which is the west-central Wisconsin library system.

Participating libraries include:

  • Alma Public Library
  • Arcadia Public Library
  • Black River Falls Public Library
  • Blair-Preston Public Library
  • Cashton Memorial Library
  • Knutson Memorial Library (Coon Valley)
  • Elroy Public Library
  • Ettrick Public Library
  • Galesville Public Library
  • Independence Public Library
  • Kendall Public Library
  • La Crosse County Library
  • La Crosse Public Library
  • Lawton Memorial Library (La Farge)
  • Hatch Public Library (Mauston)
  • New Lisbon Memorial Library
  • Norwalk Public Library
  • Ontario Public Library
  • McIntosh Memorial Library (Viroqua)
  • Bekkum Memorial Library (Westby)
  • Whitehall Public Library
  • Wilton Public Library
  • Wonewoc Public Library
  • Necedah Community Siegler Memorial Library

Images from the La Crosse Public Library Archives are featured on ECHO as well as here, on Unbound. However, ECHO has images from the surrounding seven counties, many of which are not featured here on Unbound.

The WRLS website gives tips on the main ECHO page for searching the collection in the catalog, as well as a subject guide.

Recollection Wisconsin logo and tagline

Recollection Wisconsin

As a partner of La Crosse Public Library Archives and Murphy Library Special Collections & ARC, Recollection Wisconsin has materials available that can also be found here on Unbound. Recollection Wisconsin also has materials from other Wisconsin towns, cities, institutions, and people. Users can explore the collections available on Recollection Wisconsin by:

Browsing Collections

Browse All Collections: Arranged alphabetically, this section of the website lists all collections available on Recollection Wisconsin.

Browse Collections by Subject: similar to Unbound, this allows users to find collections available that are organized by subject.

Browse Collections by Format: if researchers are looking for one kind of primary source (e.g., film, maps, oral histories, etc.), browsing the collections by format would be most useful.

Browse Collections by Partner: when looking for materials held in a particular library, archive, or museum in Wisconsin, browse the collections organized by the Recollection Wisconsin partner who makes the materials available.

Recollection Wisconsin also has other resources for history researchers, including:

    • online exhibits
    • genealogy resources
    • historical newspapers
    • teaching resources and lesson plans

Wisconsin State Historical Society logo and tagline for collections

Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Digital Collections

Wisconsin Historical Society's Digital Collections make historic materials from throughout the state of Wisconsin accessible. Unlike the other digital resources listed on this page or Unbound, WHS's Digital Collections are arranged by the archival collection that the materials are part of, rather than curated into specific subjects like the resources available on other sites. WHS Digital Collections are archival collections digitized in whole.

Most of these collections are related to the history of Wisconsin, but some speak more to national or global trends and phenomena that have connections to Wisconsin.

To browse WHS's Digital Collections, simply scroll through or search their collections.

Digital Public Library of America logo and tagline

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The Digital Public Library of America makes over 30 million digitized historic materials accessible from around the U.S. Because Recollection Wisconsin is a partner (aka "Service Hub") for DPLA, all digitized materials on Recollection Wisconsin are also on DPLA. However, DPLA has Service Hubs all over the U.S., which means researchers looking to broaden their local or state history research can use primary sources from other locations.

These digitized materials are organized similarly to Recollection Wisconsin and Unbound. Users can search the collections, or:

Browse by Topic

To "showcase content strengths in [their] collection," DPLA offers a short list of topics that users can browse through for historic materials. These selected topics change periodically. However, not all of the materials available through DPLA are sorted into these selected categories—only a small percentage of the materials are curated into the categories.

Browse by Partner

DPLA has partners (aka "Service Hubs") all over the U.S. Most are defined geographically, but some partners are institutions that collect materials from all over. To Browse by Partner would mean users want to limit the historic materials they browse by the repository (or repositories, in the case of some partners) that holds the materials.

DPLA offers other resources, such as:

    • user guides
    • exhibitions
    • primary source sets
    • "My List" function, where users can collect sources they want to refer to later