The Area Research Center is a regional repository of the Wisconsin Historical Society. It is one of fourteen such repositories in the state and includes the headquarters collections in Madison. The Area Research Center (ARC) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is housed in the Murphy Library Resource Center as a part of Special Collections. This collection totals approximately 900 linear feet of public records and manuscripts and 450 reels of microfilm. Unlike other collections within this department, ARC materials may (in most cases) be transferred within the State Historical Society network to another ARC or to the State Historical Society in Madison for use there.
The La Crosse ARC holds public records for Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon Counties in Wisconsin, and manuscript records for the same geographic area. Typical public record holdings include vital records through 1906, probate and deed records, naturalization records, tax records, and school records. Manuscripts include individual, business, and organization records, such as the Hixon papers for a prominent La Crosse family and its business holdings, the Elizabeth Comstock papers for an early female physician in Trempealeau County, and the Henry Bliss papers, 1851-1897, for an early La Crosse surveyor.