City of Milwaukee Archives List of Collections
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This list provides an overview by city department of the holdings of the City of Milwaukee Archives at Milwaukee Public Library. 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. Among the City Archives holdings are records of the following departments or agencies:
Annuity & Pension Board
Board of School Directors
City Plan Commission
City Service Commission
Department of Building Inspection
Department of City Development
Department of Employee Relations
Department of Public Works
Fire & Police Commission
Intergovernmental Fiscal Liaison
Office of Cable Regulation
Office of the Mayor
These holdings, documenting the City of Milwaukee’s growth and development during the period 1840-2002, are incomplete. For instance, the records of Mayor Henry Maier were transferred to the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
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of Milwaukee Archives contain a variety of materials, including departmental annual reports, consultant reports, and unpublished, one-of-a-kind items such as correspondence files, plat maps, tax records, department journals and ledgers, audio-cassette recordings of board and committee meetings and video cassettes. 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. These 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.