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Center for Dubuque History: About the CDH

The purpose of the Center shall be to provide leadership and direction to faculty, staff, students and the public in the systematic study of local and regional history.  The general objectives of the Center shall be:

  • To collect, appraise, organize, describe, preserve and make accessible archival materials for research
  • To conduct research of local interest
  • 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, DVD’s, etc.
  • Art work, sketches, paintings, architectural drawings
  • Manuscripts, letters, diaries
  • Secondary sources including city & county histories, business and family histories, etc.

Supplementary source material is also provided in the adjoining Loras College Library which contains over 350,000 items and is also a partial federal and state government document repository. Obviously, the value of the Center is commensurate to the documents it contains.  If you have materials pertaining to the history of the Dubuque area (photos, post cards, maps, diaries, letters, and playbills, anything that documents the community) you would be serving the Center and its users by making a donation of these materials to the Center’s permanent archives. Such donations may be tax deductible.

The resources and facilities of the Center are open to the public. Anyone interested in Dubuque area history is welcome to use the material assembled in the collection. Because of the unique and/or archival nature the material does not circulate.  Photocopy/scanning services are available for a fee. Because of limited staffing, any major or time consuming research requests via phone or email cannot be accommodated.

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

Contact Information


Phone: 563-588-7163

Mail: 1450 Alta Vista St,
         Dubuque, IA 52001

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