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Center for Dubuque History: Home

About the CDH

The Center for Dubuque History (CDH) provides leadership and direction to faculty, staff, students, and the public in the systematic study of local and regional history.  Our objectives are:

  • To collect, appraise, organize, describe, preserve, and make accessible archival materials for research
  • To publish studies of local interest
  • To offer special courses, workshops, lectures, presentations, and other forms of instruction for those interested in local history
  • To provide internships, volunteer opportunities, and training in archival studies

The Center contains numerous and varied sources for Dubuque area history.  Among them are:

  • Over 30,000 photographs arranged by subject
  • Dubuque area newspapers on microfilm from 1836 to the present
  • Federal Census records for Dubuque County 1840-1930
  • Special Iowa Census for Dubuque County 1854,1856,1885,1895,1905,1915,1925
  • Works Progress Administration local newspaper index arranged by subjects
  • Dubuque County Tax lists 1853-1906 [incomplete]
  • Proceedings and reports of the Dubuque City Council 1837-1900
  • Extensive obituary file alphabetical by surname
  • Dubuque City Directories on microfilm 1856 to present [incomplete]
  • Dubuque County plat books, 1874,1892, and 1906
  • Dubuque Sanborn Fire Insurance Map (1909)
  • Maps—including city, state, Mississippi River, aerial, and topographic
  • Vertical files arranged by subjects (businesses, schools, churches, etc.)
  • Oral histories, videos, 16 mm film, DVDs, etc.
  • Artwork, sketches, paintings, architectural drawings
  • Manuscripts, letters, diaries
  • Secondary sources including city & county histories, business and family histories, etc.

Donations in the form of physical materials or digitized copies are always welcome. If you have materials pertaining to the history of the Dubuque area such as photos, postcards, maps, diaries, letters, and playbills, or anything that documents the community, please consider donating them to the CDH so we can make them available to future researchers. Donations may be tax deductible; please contact a tax professional for further guidance. 

The CDH is open to the public, see above for our posted hours. Anyone interested in Dubuque area history is welcome to use the material assembled in the collection. Because of the unique and/or archival nature of the materials in the collection, they do not circulate but can be scanned or copied. Photocopy/scanning services are available for a fee. We enjoy helping researchers find the information they are looking for, but do charge a fee for research requests that will take longer than 20 minutes to answer.

The Center for Dubuque History is located in the lower level of the Miller Academic Resource Center (MARC) on the Loras College campus. 


Fall 2022 Hours:

August 29 to October 7

Monday - Thursday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: Closed

October 8 to 23


Other hours by appointment

The CDH/LCA is closed when the Library is closed. Please check the Library Hours page for dates we will be closed or open for limited hours.

Contact Information


Phone: 563-588-7163

Mail: 1450 Alta Vista St,
         Dubuque, IA 52001

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