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City Archives

This list provides an overview by city department of the holdings of the City of Milwaukee Archives at MPL.

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The City Archives are a part of the Central Library’s Humanities and Archives Department.  By city ordinance, all records generated by the city must be scheduled and approved by the City Information Management Committee. Original materials not retained at City Hall are sent to the City Archives.  

The City of Milwaukee Archives contain a variety of materials, including departmental annual reports, consultant reports,  and unpublished, one-of-a-kind items such as correspondence files, plat maps, tax records, department journals and ledgers. Also found here are records for the City of Milwaukee's annexation of the Villages of Bay View and North Milwaukee and the Towns of Lake, Granville, and Wauwatosa. City Archive holdings are in differing stages of organization and preparation, hence accessibility varies.

More detailed finding aids for many of the collections listed here may be consulted in paper form in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at the Central Library. Finding aids for a growing number of City of Milwaukee Archives collections are available online at the Special Collections Finder, one of MPL’s Digital Collections. Links to individual finding aids will be added to the City of Milwaukee Archives List of Collections as available

The public may view City of Milwaukee Archives materials by appointment in the Archives Reading Room of the Central Library. To inquire about use of City Archives materials, contact the Humanities and Archives Department at 414 286-3061.