Research & Photo Library

The Glenn Curtis Smoot Library and Archives is home to thousands of photographs, manuscripts, books, oral histories, research files, and more, which provide insight into the history of the Chippewa Valley. As a non-circulating research library, we welcome visitors to explore our collections onsite.

Research

Dig into the past by researching your topic or family history in our library. All research requests are handled by appointment only.

Complete our Research Request Form and museum staff will contact you within two business days to schedule an appointment. Once you are here, the archivist will help you locate the information you’re looking for and provide copy services.

Review our Research and Collection Use Guidelines for more information about the research experience.

The library is open by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Appointment times depend on staff availability.

A fee of $10 per hour will be assessed to non-members for on-site research. Museum members and all students may conduct research for free. Research fees help support our ongoing preservation efforts. Membership starts at just $40 for an individual.

Contact the archivist with any questions at info@cvmuseum.com or 715-834-7871.

The Collections

Historic Photographs - The museum maintains the largest collection of historic photographs in the region with more than 20,000 images dating from the mid-19th century to the present. Subjects include downtown Eau Claire, farming, local parks, logging and lumbering, sports and recreation, and transportation. View a sample of our historic photos at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s website.

Oral Histories - An extensive collection of recorded interviews with regional residents collected from the 1970s to the present document living, working, and making in the valley from the late 19th century to today.

Genealogy - In partnership with the Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire, the library also offers a special section of local and national genealogical resources.

Logging and Lumbering - Images, business documents, personal correspondence, journals, diaries, maps, and other archival materials tell the story of this historically important regional industry.

Farming and Farm Life - Substantial photographic and archival holdings, much of which is associated with particular farms or rural families, reveal the agricultural foundations of the region.

Gillette/U.S. Rubber/Uniroyal - Photographs, union materials, advertising, and oral histories with former employees tell the story of this large rubber manufacturing plant and its workforce which operated in Eau Claire from 1917 to 1992.

Hmong in Eau Claire - Research and archival collections including photographs, oral history interviews, and field reports on folkways explore the history and culture of the Hmong.

Schlegelmilch Family & House - The museum owns the Schlegelmilch House, a home built in 1871 by German immigrants Herman and Augusta Schlegelmilch located in downtown Eau Claire. Photographs, correspondence, and documents saved by four generations offer insight into middle-class life during a period of civic growth and transition.

Author Michael Perry - A unique collection of manuscript drafts, correspondence, and ephemera documents the author’s published works created between 2002 and 2008, including Population: 485, Truck: A Love Story, and Coop.

Historic Photograph Reproductions

Reproductions of historic photographs are available in both electronic and print format.

Find reproduction and use fees on our rate sheet. Use fees help support our ongoing preservation efforts.

Contact the archivist at info@cvmuseum.com or 715-834-7871 to see if we have what you’re looking for or to set up an appointment to review options.

You can also view a small selection (about 8%) of our photographs at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s website. The images on this site are mostly of the city of Eau Claire. Note the Alternative Title, found by clicking on the 'i' (information) icon on the photo image, for any images you wish to order. Complete the Photo Order & Permission form and email it to info@cvmuseum.com to place your order.

Production & Shipping

Please allow one week for printing and 1-2 weeks for shipping. Shipping to any U.S. address is $5 for 1-3 prints, $10 for 4 or more. Rush orders (4-5 days) are available for an additional $20 within the continental U.S.

If you are local, you can arrange a time to pick up your order once it is ready.

If you order digital reproductions, the files will be emailed to you once payment is received.

Rights & Use

Images reproduced from the collections of the Chippewa Valley Museum are for viewing and personal use only. Possession of an image does not constitute permission to use it. We reserve the right to decline permission to publishers or individuals who have not complied with the conditions of use.

Permission for commercial use or any publication, display, or distribution is only granted by written application to the Chippewa Valley Museum.

Contact the archivist with any questions at info@cvmuseum.com or 715-834-7871.

Donate to the Collection

Most of the museum’s collections have been donated by locals. Donated materials are preserved in our climate controlled facility for future generations and made accessible to the public for use in projects like exhibits. If you are interested in donating photographs, records, or personal papers (letters, diaries, etc.), contact the archivist at info@cvmuseum.com or 715-834-7871.

Glenn Curtis Smoot

The library and archives honors the life and career of its namesake, Glenn Curtis Smoot. Glenn Curtis Smoot was born October 5, 1958, in Columbia, Missouri. A member of the faculty at Kentucky State University in Frankfort at the time of his death, Smoot was previously an archivist at Voyageurs National Park and with the Stearns County Historical Society in St. Cloud, MN.

He died January 29, 2002, at his home in Frankfort, KY. He was 43. Smoot, a voracious reader beginning at age four, held a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, IL.

A group of anonymous donors named the museum’s library in honor of his memory. The donors felt that naming a local library was an especially appropriate tribute to Smoot, who spent his entire working life in libraries and archives.

Smoot organized and catalogued archival collections for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the National Park Service, the Stearns County Historical Society, and Kentucky State University.

    Logging crew at C. Hunter's camp, 1905.

    Barn raising on John and Barbara Schuebel's farm near Boyd, Chippewa County, 1903.

    Tire builder William Harper milling rubber at the U.S. Rubber Company, 1944.

    Hmong truck farmers selling produce at the Farmer’s Market in Eau Claire, 1994.

    Clara Kinsely with child Andrew Blackhawk, 1895.

    Map of dams and reservoirs in northwestern Wisconsin, 1918.