The Archives serves the university’s historical needs by preserving and making accessible the records of UWM and its predecessor institutions. We acquire records from all levels of the university, including administrative and governance units; schools, colleges, and academic departments; athletic programs; and student organizations. The Archives also has a rich photograph collection, blueprints for most campus buildings, student newspapers, a complete run of yearbooks from 1896 to 1968, athletic films, and taped interviews with campus administrators. To assist in the preservation of UWM’s history, we administer the campus records management program.

The Archives supports research and instruction at UWM by providing access to historically significant papers and records created or collected by individuals and organizations in the course of their activities. Collection strengths pertain to the following subject areas:

  • Social justice, including peace activism, anti-discrimination and civil liberties, health, political and economic action, and community action/neighborhood revitalization.
  • Racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented populations in Milwaukee, including the Polish, Jewish, African American, Latino, and Native American communities. We also have extensive holdings pertaining to the history of Milwaukee women and Milwaukee’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.
  • Milwaukee’s brewing industry, as represented in the records of the Blatz Brewing Company, the Pabst Brewing Company, the A. Gettelman Brewing Company, and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Association.
  • The historical development of the archives profession in the United States, as represented in the records of the Society of American Archivists and the Midwest Archives Conference.

Significant individual collections include the WTMJ-TV news film collection (1950-1980), the largest surviving body of television news footage in Wisconsin; the Roman B.J. Kwasniewski photograph collection, documenting Milwaukee’s Polish south side from 1911 to 1947; the records of Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier; and the editorial files of the Little Review magazine.

Finally, the Archives maintains a reference collection of published sources that relate to its archival holdings and manuscript collections. It includes histories of area communities, businesses, organizations, and churches.