Our Collections


Our collection of over 285,000 volumes is housed primarily on the 5th and 6th floors of Cofrin Library in the stacks, another word for our collection of books available for loan.

Government Publications

As a designated depository library for U.S. Federal and State of Wisconsin government publications, the 5th floor houses thousands of federal and state government documents. Many finding aids and our reference collection of government publications are housed on the 3rd floor. Consult the Reference staff for assistance with these collections, and see our government publications guide for further details.

Instructional Materials Collection

This collection consists of sample textbooks, teachers' manuals, workbooks, etc., for teachers and students of primary and secondary education. Located on the 4th floor, right rear corner.

Journals and Newspapers

Most of our journals and newspapers are available electronically, but some are also available in print or on microfilm. Our print collection of journals and newspapers are housed on the 4th floor of the library. To check the availability of specific journal or newspaper titles, please use our Journal Search.

Legal Materials

The library maintains a limited collection of legal materials including U.S. Federal and Wisconsin laws, as well as U.S. Supreme Court cases and Wisconsin Supreme Court cases. We do not collect circuit or lower court cases. For help with this collection, contact the 3rd floor Reference staff.


The map collection houses more than 50,000 maps, mostly from government agencies and dating back to the mid-1900s. For assistance with the collection, please contact library staff or see our guide to the map collection.


The library’s microforms collection includes archival backfiles of scholarly journals and magazines, as well as specialized collections such as the Human Relations Area File and ERIC. Consult library staff for assistance obtaining these collections.

Music Scores

Our collection of approximately 2,000 music scores is housed at the back of the 3rd floor and can be found in Search@UW.

Popular Reading Collection

If you need a break from classwork, the Popular Reading Collection on the 4th floor has fiction novels for your recreational reading.

Reference Collection

Located on the 3rd floor, the materials in the Reference Collection provide researchers with quick access to frequently requested information.


Physical materials, such as books or videos, that are for use in a specific class are placed in the Reserves area of the Public Services Desk (3rd floor). You can find them in Search@UW.

Sound Recordings

Our sound recordings include both spoken and musical recordings, including long-playing records and CDs. Records are housed in a non-public area, so please stop at the Public Services Desk to request an item. CDs are available on the 3rd floor by the Research Desk.

University Archives & Area Research Center

University Archives contains complete files of virtually every university-generated publication, departmental and administrative records, and the records of individual faculty members. The Area Research Center is the official repository for the Wisconsin Historical Society’s collections of manuscripts and public records relating to Northeastern Wisconsin. Special Collections include print materials pertaining to Northeastern Wisconsin history. Types of materials include books, census records, photographs, oral histories, Belgian-American research materials, and maps. See the Archives and ARC web pages for more information.

Video Recordings

Video recordings and DVDs are searchable in Search@UW and are located on the 3rd floor by the Schneider Foundation Library Research Lab (CL304).


A zine (from the phrase fan magazines) is commonly a small circulation, non-commercial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon (such as a literary or musical genre) for the pleasure of others who share their interest—often a minority. Our collection of more than 200 of these unique publications is housed on the 4th floor.