Our photographic collections total approximately 150,000
images. Of these, approximately 50,000 are of inland
river steamboats and river scenes, making this one of
the nation's largest collections for this subject.
For more information:
Steamboat Collection Photographs
Ralph DuPae was the volunteer collector of steamboat
images for Murphy Library for over 37 years. For
Ralph DuPae – Steamboat Sleuth for Murphy Library
The other major portion of our photograph collection is historic photos of La Crosse and the surrounding area. Subjects covered include agriculture, daily and domestic life, business and industry, transportation, architecture, street scenes, social, professional and cultural organizations, sports and outdoor activities, and other categories.
The historic photograph collection also includes images for over 1000 Wisconsin towns and villages, hundreds of Iowa and Minnesota towns and villages, and lesser numbers for other states. Many of these images are real-photo postcards (over 12,000 for Wisconsin alone). Also included are early stereo views and more contemporary scenes.
Copy prints of most of these black-and-white photographs may be purchased in standard sizes, subject to any donor or copyright restrictions. Prices vary by size. Exhibit, publication, or commercial use is permitted for most images at a higher cost. Buyers must sign a licensing agreement which stipulates use and limitations. Any display, exhibit, publication or commercial use must be accompanied by a credit identifying Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as the source. The buyer's use is limited to that which is stipulated in the statement, and no further duplication or use is permitted.
Great Lakes Maritime History Project
Taylor Brothers Photographs
Exploring the History of the Mississippi River by the Wisconsin Historical Society
Special Collections & Area Research Center Home Page