About the Archives
The Archives & Local History Department at the La Crosse Public Library holds a non-circulating collection of materials which has been developed around two major themes: local history and genealogy.

Mission Statement

The local history emphasis directs the Archives to identify, collect, organize, preserve, publicize and provide public access to primary and secondary resources that document the history of La Crosse.

The Archives also serves as the official repository for historic City of La Crosse public records.

Genealogical collections are broader in scope and reflect the interests and informational needs of La Crosse area residents.


Archives Services During Temporary Reading Room Closure


Requesting Local History & Genealogy Reference Services

As of May 26, 2020, the LPL Archives will accept reference services via phone, email, or mail. Archives staff will assist you the best they are able.

Call the Archives at 608.789.7136 or email at archives@lacrosselibrary.org for your request.

To mail in an obituary request, follow instructions here.

For most requests, Archives staff will be able to communicate resources and answer your questions via phone or email. For requests that require photocopies, please follow the below instructions for Curbside Service or Contactless Requests.


Curbside Service

Curbside Pickup from the Archives can be scheduled from the Main Library during the following times:

Mon-Fri: 10am-1pm and 3pm-5pm

When your photocopies are ready for pickup, the Archives Staff member you are in contact with will ask for the following information:

  • Your preferred 15-minute window appointment time for pickup
  • Your phone number
  • Your car color and model

You will be asked to park in the parking lot on the south side of the building. You will need to access the parking lot from 8th Street due to construction in the parking lot. Archives staff will come out of the south side entrance. You may choose to come meet staff by the door, or for them to come to your vehicle. Please know that if it is raining, the staff member may ask that you come into the south side vestibule. You will be asked to bring exact change for the photocopies, or a check.

If you would like, donations to the Archives are always welcome.


Contactless Requests

If you live outside of the area, or would prefer to have a contactless exchange of Archives resources, you may also request that the Archives staff mail you requested photocopies, or send scans via email. You may request this in your communication with Archives staff. Money or check can then be mailed to the Archives for the photocopies or research once the request is complete.


Updates on Archives and Library Services

Please check the main library website (lacrosselibrary.org) and social media for updates regarding updated services and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.