Skip to Main Content

Digital Collections: Murphy Library Digital Collections

Browse the Digital Collections

How We Choose Content

The Digital Production Unit works very closely with Murphy Library's Special Collections. Special Collections helps to identify collections and content that are heavily used, relevant to UWL and the community, and are of significance or unique/rare. Since resources to produce digital content are limited, we have to prioritize our efforts to focus on only select items or collections for inclusion. However, we are committed to continually expanding what our Digital Collections offers and encourage students, staff, faculty, and community members to suggest new content. 

About the Digital Collections

The digital objects contained within this collection are comprised of thousands of items, and tens of thousands of individual pages that have been scanned for or by Murphy Library. These items offer users instant and free access to unique and hard-to-find books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, academic publications, and other La Crosse and UWL related materials. In 2014 the Murphy Library Digital Collections underwent a major transition into a new content management system called ResCarta. Nearly all of the existing content has been migrated or re-scanned into the current Digital Collections. Utilizing multiple large format flatbed scanners to capture both transmissive and reflective items, as well as an overhead book scanner and a DSLR-mounted copystand setup for large format visual materials. All objects are stored in TIFF format and contain embedded metadata, with long-term digital preservation in mind. Murphy Library is continually adding new content to these collections. Please use, explore, and enjoy the items contained within, and follow the boxes below for helpful information regarding copyright, other collections, and how to navigate the site.

How to Use the Digital Collections

Browsing: Once in the Digital Collections, you can Browse Collections or Browse Titles. If browsing by title, you can limit your browsing by collection by using the dropdown menu at the top left of the page. Additionally, you can limit what you're browsing through using the facets on the left side of the screen. 

Searching: Our Digital Collections allows for full-text searching. You can access this feature by clicking on the "Simple Search" tab at the top of the browse pages in the Digital Collections. Once in the search tab, you'll find all of the collection listed in a box to the right of the search box. Here you can limit what collections you'd like to search, including from one collection to all the collections. When typing in your search term, you may notice that an auto-fill function pops up below the search box. This happens because our Digital Collections contains an index of every word that is contained in the collections and if your search term is present in that index, it will automatically appear as you're typing. When viewing a specific search result, your keyword will be highlighted in the document in which it appears.

Viewing: Using our object viewer when viewing an item, you will notice a toolbar toward the top of the image. This toolbar gives you the ability to manipulate the image in various ways and additional controls. The thumbnail(s) appears on the left side column. You'll notice additional tabs at the top of that column. If you click on the metadata tab, the information about that object will be visible. Feel free to adjust the width of that column by clicking and dragging.

Research Assistance

Reference Desk

Librarians can help you learn to make the most of the information resources, tools, and services of Murphy Library and beyond!

Weekdays & Sunday afternoons (fall/spring):

  • Visit us at the reference desk (1st floor)
  • Call us at 608.785.8508
  • Web Chat with us

Any time (year-round):

Local history and/or archives research? Special Collections / Area Research Center specialists are available!

Copyright and Use Information

The materials found in this digital collection are owned, held, or licensed by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership of the materials is properly cited. Most works published after 1923 are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. The publications of the United States government are not copyrightable and may be freely copied and/or re-published. Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Any commercial use of the materials, without the written permission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library, is strictly prohibited. For permission to use specific materials, please contact either Murphy Library Special Collections ( or Murphy Library Digital Production Unit ( 

Copyright Disclaimer: The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is not, under any circumstances, responsible for the unauthorized use or redistribution of digital collections found on this Web site. If the text or image is under copyright, it is the patron’s obligation, prior to publication or distribution, to determine and satisfy copyright requirements, or other use restrictions, from the owners of the rights.