University Archives

Mission Statement

The primary purpose of the UW-Madison Archives is to: preserve University records and information of permanent historical value; provide records management services; serve as an educational resource encouraging administrative and scholarly research in its collections


The University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives was founded in 1951. In 1992 the University Archives became a member library of the General Library System. It is an official State records repository under 16.61(13) of the Wisconsin Statutes and is governed by Faculty Legislation II-500 and by policies set through the Faculty University Archives Committee. The University Archives is the official repository not only for the UW-Madison, but also for the UW-System Administration, and the UW Colleges and UW-Extension . The University Archives collects primary source materials from the university and makes them available to administrators and researchers, provides records management services to university offices, and maintains strong photographic and oral history programs.


Our collections are limited to items relating directly to the University, where we collect original source documents from administrative offices and from faculty and staff. The Archives has the Daily Cardinal and Badger Herald, the Badger yearbook, minutes of the Regents and the Faculty Senate, course catalogs, timetables and directories of students and staff. There are subject and correspondence files from University presidents, chancellors, deans, department chairs and other administrators, as well as faculty committees, papers of faculty members, and the University budget.

The Archives also collects material that document the development of affiliated groups and organizations such as student and staff organizations and societies. The majority of the collection is cataloged in the Library Catalog, and a smaller percentage in Archival Resources in Wisconsin: Descriptive Finding Aids

In addition, the Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible the born-digital and electronic records of the campus and its units.

Born-Digital and Electronic Records Collection Policy (Draft) [pdf]

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the University Archives

If you are looking for material about Wisconsin, you should to contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives. They are located at 816 State Street, Madison, WI, 53706. The Society serves as the archives of the State of Wisconsin; it collects books, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, relics, newspapers, and audio and graphic materials as they relate to the history of North America, including a very strong genealogical collection.

The WHS also maintains a museum, library, and research facility in Madison as well as a statewide system of historic sites, school services, area research centers, and affiliated local societies. It administers a broad program of historic preservation, and publishes a wide variety of historical materials, both scholarly and popular.

The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research is also housed in the Wisconsin Historical Society building. This center, co-sponsored by UW-Madison and the WHS, is one of the world's major archives of research materials relating to the entertainment industry.