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Special Collections & Archives

Frequently Asked Questions for Genealogists


  1. Are the actual records now online?
    None of our actual records are online at present, though there is some possibility for this in the future. Our records at Special Collections are either in paper or on microfilm.

  2. Are any indexes online?
    The Wisconsin Genealogy Index, which covers pre-1907 marriage, birth, and death records is available online. Also, some finding aids linked through ArCat contain online indexes. The Eau Claire Public Library has several online search tools, including the Eau Claire Obituary Index, the Local History Database, digital Sanborn maps, and Ancestry Library Edition. Additionally, the library has digitized city directories (1880-1923) and early Eau Claire newspapers (1858-1923). Be aware, however, that they can be difficult to search with precision and accuracy.

  3. Do you have a comprehensive name index to your public records?
    While we do not have a comprehensive index to individual names in our public records, several of the individual collections have their own indexes (see Are any indexes online?). In addition, there is a comprehensive statewide index for births, deaths, and marriages prior to October 1907 available on microfiche in Special Collections.

  4. Do you have the Soundex or other indexes to the census records?
    We have the manuscript federal and state censuses for our 6 counties but not the indexes. However, indexes to many of the census records (federal and state) for Wisconsin are available through interlibrary loan through your local library.

  5. How can I find out what Special Collections has for individual counties?
    We have described many of our holdings by county on our local Government Records page.

  6. Can I send a research request by email?
    Please use our Research Request Form.

  7. Are your collections cataloged online?
    Yes, see the Search Collections page for more information

  8. Which newspapers do you have?
    While we have few newspaper holdings in Special Collections, the library's Periodicals Dept. does have a complete run of Eau Claire newspapers dating back to 1859 on microfilm. In addition, we have a reasonably complete listing of all Wisconsin newspapers ever published through 1994 in Newspapers of the Wisconsin Historical Society (Loc. Hist. Z6952.W8 N49 1994).Any newspaper can be requested through interlibrary loan since most have been microfilmed by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Additional questions? Contact us by email or at (715) 836-2739.

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