Location, Hours, and Access Information

Researchers are encouraged to come to Madison to use the WCFTR collections of moving images, manuscripts and visual materials. All collections can be accessed in the Archives Reading Room, on the fourth floor of the Wisconsin Historical Society at 816 State Street, on the east end of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Reading Room hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 4 pm on most Saturdays. The Archives Reading Room is closed on Sundays and holidays. For more information on the Archives Reading Room visit Directions to the Wisconsin Historical Society, call 608-264-6460, or email askarchives@wisconsinhistory.org.

Mailing address:
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State St, Madison, WI  53706.

All onsite access services are provided at no charge.

Access to Films

Access to films and videotapes held at the Historical Society is provided through the Archives Research Room. Films and videotapes may be viewed by appointment onlybetween 1 pm and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, call 608-264-6466, or email askmovies@wisconsinhistory.org. Requests to retrieve films for viewing and appointments for use of the viewing room must be made no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day before the appointment. With the exception of certain films which may be shown to classes on the UW-Madison campus, films do not circulate.

How to View Films

WCFTR motion pictures can be viewed by anyone working on a specific research project. You do not have to be affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Historical Society or another academic institution. However, we cannot accommodate requests for viewing unrelated to research.

All film viewing is done at the WCFTR Film and Photo Archive. We have Steenbeck flatbed viewing machines for 16mm and 35mm film and videotape players for ¾” and ½” videocassettes. All viewing is done by appointment between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

You must reserve a viewing machine and the titles you wish to view by 3pm of the preceding day.

  • To make a reservation by phone, please call 608-264-6460 during reference hours.
  • You may also reserve via email, but you should reconfirm via telephone to insure availability of equipment and films.
  • All films should be reserved by call number. The call number for each title is noted in the call number field of the ArCat entry.

Access to WCFTR Manuscript Collections and Still Photographs

Information about WCFTR manuscript collections is available in ArCat. Access to still photographs and other graphic materials is provided through a card catalog in theArchives Research Room. Although no advance notice is required, patrons are advised to call or write, to confirm that the materials they wish to study will be available for their visit.  For more information on WCFTR manuscript collections or still photographs, please call 608-264-6466 or email askmovies@wisconsinhistory.org

Reproduction Services

In addition, photocopies of papers or photographs, as well as photographic reproductions of stills, can be purchased, and limited research services can be provided to offsite patrons for a fee. The WCFTR is not a stock footage library and does not provide reproductions of film footage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s