Research Center




The Willson Library and Wicklund Archives

The Willson Library and the Wicklund Archives make up the HCOC research center. The Willson Library holds the readily available resources of the History Center’s collections. This is where you can join us to do research. The Wicklund Archives contain the photographic and documentary treasures of Olmsted County. These materials are properly housed in the climate controlled room adjacent to the library.

Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00am to 5:00pm


The community regards the Willson Wicklund Research Center as a place that safeguards the heritage of Olmsted County. Patrons regularly gift cherished family photographs and manuscripts to us because they know items will be properly cared for and preserved for generations to come.

We are always looking for:

  • Pictures of Olmsted County people and places through the years, focusing on the 1950s to present
  • Information on businesses, smaller and neighboring communities, and ghost towns

Special resources include:

  • Rochester newspapers 1859-present
  • Olmsted County newspapers from surrounding communities
  • Rochester & Olmsted County City directories, 1873 to 1998
  • Birth, death & marriage records for Olmsted County
  • Birth, death, and marriage records for several SE MN Counties
  • Olmsted County probate & guardianship records
  • Olmsted County plat maps
  • Rochester high school yearbooks
  • SE Minnesota cemetery inscriptions
  • Olmsted County Histories
  • Federal census, 1857-1930, for the entire state
  • State census, 1865-1905, entire state
  • Funeral home records
  • Military scrapbooks
  • Wedding scrapbooks
  • Obituary Scrapbooks
  • Grantor/Grantee property record books, 1855-1901
  • Know Rochester Official Guide Book, 1930-1979

We no longer need:

  • Yearbooks (we are still accepting newer yearbooks)
  • City Directories and Plat Maps
  • Encyclopedias
  • Newspaper and Magazines