The Mineral Point Library Archives started as the “Mineral Point Roots Cellar” in 1981 when Robert Neal donated his collection of local history materials to the Mineral Point Public Library. Augmented substantially since then by items donated by local families and others interested in the early days of Mineral Point, the Archives now houses a diverse and deep collection that is especially rich in photographs. Thanks to Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Archives has acquired the equipment needed to digitize the photograph collection.
Mineral Point residences were chosen as the first category to scan and post online. Many patrons initially come to the Archives to find information about their home; finding a photograph of the house at an earlier time is always interesting and exciting. The collection also documents the history of Mineral Point with photographs of buildings no longer standing, streets before widening, and homes before renovation.