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Murphy Library
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  • University archives

    UW-La Crosse Homecoming
    Hanging the homecoming lantern off Main Hall, 1967 

    Special Collections actively seeks out and maintains archival materials related to UW-La Crosse. Materials in this collection include the student newspaper, photographs, yearbooks, university catalogs, various campus publications, and staff, student, and office records of a public nature.

    Many historic UW-La Crosse photographs are digitized and can be viewed online here: UW Digital Collections - UW-La Crosse Historic Photographs.

    The Racquet  student newspaper and yearbook, the Alumnus magazine, the Catalyst, course catalogs, plus more, are also digitized for online viewing on the Murphy Library Digital Collections webpage.



    Oral History Program and Collection

    Special Collections, in cooperation with the History Department and Oral History Program, stores and maintains over 3,000 hours of oral histories. History professor Howard Fredricks founded the Oral History Program at UW-La Crosse in 1968. Fredricks is personally responsible for over 2,500 hours of interviews, which have helped to make the oral history collection at UW-La Crosse the second largest oral history collection in Wisconsin. Currently, Dr. Charles Lee of the History Department is the executive director of the Oral History Program.

    University Archives - Howard Fredricks - Oral history

    Howard Fredricks conducting an oral history interview 

    The UW-La Crosse Oral History Program conducts interview projects that focus on the history of the La Crosse area, concentrating on two major themes: community and the history of UW-La Crosse. The collection is regionally and nationally significant and covers various topics including: the Hmong refugee experience, frontier town life, Midwestern rural life and culture, the Mississippi River, and the history of UW-La Crosse.

    A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) enabled Special Collections to add the oral histories housed in its facilities to the Murphy Library Catalog. Murphy Library received the $48,000 matching funds grant in the year 2000 with the ultimate goal of improving access to the oral history collection and to ensure the best physical preservation of the original reel-to-reel tapes in the oral history collection. All reel-to-reel tapes recorded prior to 1972 were copied onto new reel-to-reel tapes. Additionally, over 900 user cassette copies were produced from the master reel-to-reel tapes.

    Currently, the Oral History Program, in addition to conducting new oral history interviews, is working to create digital audio files of the most popular oral histories in the collection.

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  • Ask-a-Librarian


    Check the reference desk hours
    Schedule an individual appointment


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    Email: Use our Ask-a-Librarian form

    Call: 608-785-8508

    Text: 608-588-8158

    More information at the Reference Services page. 

  • Resource Cancellations Survey

     Resource Cancellations Survey
    Extended to April 24

    Like other units and departments on campus, Murphy Library has been asked to make budget cuts to meet reduced state support for the UW System. Some of the cuts will come from the library's budget for collections. That budget pays for databases, electronic resources, periodicals, books, multimedia, and similar. 

    Library users are asked to help the library in its selection of titles for cancellation. Please share your thoughts regarding specific resources that have been identified for likely cancellation by completing the one-page Resource Cancellations Survey.

    Read more about the rationale and selection criteria in the blog post: Proposed Resource Cancellations.

    The survey will be open until April 24.


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