Laird Lucas Memorial Library & Archives


Recognized as one of the finest local archives in Minnesota, the Laird Lucas Memorial Library contains irreplaceable collections of manuscripts, documents and photographs. Professional historians, students and family researchers find this outstanding facility accessible to fill their needs for research, study and information. If you have ancestors from our area, you may discover your "roots" in this research center. We can provide you with information on how to trace your family tree or assist you with research in most areas of local history.

Our archivists are available to serve you on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. $5.00 Admission fee, except for students doing research. A research fee of $15.00 per hour is charged for mail, telephone or e-mail requests. e-mail us at

[About Us]    [Research Resources] [Attention Students]

About Us

reading roomThe Winona County Historical Society Archives are located in the Laird Lucas Library on the lower level of the Winona County History Museum, 160 Johnson Street in Winona, Minnesota. The library reading room can accommodate up to ten researchers at a time.

Research topics should be prepared in advance. Students should understand that our collections may not contain exactly the information required and should be prepared to modify, refine or narrow the scope of their project to make the best use of what is offered.

Stacks are closed to the public; staff archivists will bring materials to researchers as requested. While the staff will not supply or refine topics, they will help researchers identify potentially useful sources within the library.

Both photocopies and photo reproductions/enlargements are available for a charge. Microfilm reader-printer may be used with newspaper and census records stored on microfilm reels.

Research Resources

         Selco Online Catalog, including our own archives (under construction at this time):

         Winona County and regional newspapers from 1860 to the present

         WSU Winona Newspaper Project, searchable online collection of Winona Newspapers:

         Winona City Directories from 1866 to the present

         Telephone books from 1914 to the present

         Federal Census Microfilm for Winona County 1857 to 1920

         Winona area business records, including Winona Wagon Co., Chamber of Commerce, C&NW Railroad, etc.

         "Historical File" includes extensive and cataloged manuscript correspondence, press clippings, handbills, other published material and miscellaneous artifacts

         Scrapbook Collection

         "Old Settlers' Scrapbook," indexed, with material from 1841 to 1932

         Image Collection, Winona and region, from 1860, including street scenes, river views, steamboats, stores and businesses, residences, group photos and individual portraits

         Biographical/Genealogical File

         Sanborn Insurance Maps of Winona for 1894 and 1917

         Winona County Plat Books, from 1867

         Map Collection Winona and regional

         Winona County birth, marriage and death records, from newspapers) indexed

         Winona County cemetery records, indexed

         Historical, pictorial and biographical volumes

         Passenger and immigration list, first edition

         Other collections include post, greeting and calling cards, sheet music, records, posters, Bibles, film, slides, videos, programs and architectural renderings

The library also contains a substantial number of books related to local political and business history, river and rail transportation, institutions, cities and towns in the region, Native Americans and the Mississippi River.

Attention Students

Archive Rules

         Backpacks and bags are not allowed in the Archives; they may be left at the desk

         No food or beverages allowed

         Students must sign in on arrival

         Unruly behavior is not tolerated

Research Subjects

The Winona County Historical Society Library and Archives contains books and research materials related to: 

         Native Americans and Native American-European American relations in the Upper Mississippi Valley

         Winona city, county and regional geography

         Mid 19th-century westward expansion

         Regional, sectional and Civil War politics

         Winona's Civil War home front


         Regional business and industrial development

         Regional social, educational and religious institutions

         Social and political conflicts within the region

         The Great Depression and the New Deal in the Winona region

         Winona home front in World Wars I and II

         Regional economic and social developments in the 1950s and '60s

         Winona entrepreneurs and business history

         Immigration and ethnicity as factors in Winona's history

         Village and town history


What Our Archivists Can Do To Help

         Suggest appropriate materials

         Advise and assist in the use of indices and directories to access the collections

         Teach the use of microfilm readers

         Provide appropriate photo files

         Make copies (fee charged)

         Professionally reproduce or enlarge photos (fee charged)

         Provide suggestions for outside additional sources (libraries, individuals, archives, etc.)

What We Won't Do

         Pick, define, or refine the general subject and the specific research topic

         Lend materials for outside use

         Write a research paper