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The Winding Rivers Library System has expanded access to unique history materials in local libraries by developing a regional online collection of visual images (photographs and postcards) representing western Wisconsin history and culture.  This project and collection is named ECHO:  Exploring Cultural History Online and is made possible through a 2014 Library Services and Technology Act grant.

Explore just some of the collection by clicking on the images:

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Baseball & Other Sports

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Bridges, Lakes, Rivers, & Floods

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Tips for searching the ECHO site

If you are searching for something specific (i.e. 1912, automobiles, Vernon County, or Kickapoo River), please use the correct Subject category. This will limit your search and retrieve only the images that fit your criteria.

  • Subject Topic- Use these terms to search Subject Topic.
  • Subject Geographic- This field holds the names of rivers, bluffs, valleys, etc. (i.e. Kickapoo River)
  • Subject Country- United States.
  • Subject State- Wisconsin.
  • Subject County- Search by county.
  • Subject City- Use this to find a specific city, town, village, or township.
  • Subject Temporal- Dates are held here. They can be a specific year (i.e. 1912), or they can refer to a decade (i.e. 1910s)

Other Resources

Recollection Wisconsin – a statewide collection of digital images

Digital Public Library of America – a national collection of digital images

These WRLS member libraries are participating in the ECHO Project:

Alma Public Library, Arcadia Public Library, Black River Falls Public Library, Blair-Preston Public Library, Cashton Memorial Library, Knutson Memorial Library in Coon Valley, Elroy Public Library, Ettrick Public Library, Galesville Public Library, Independence Public Library, Kendall Public Library, La Crosse County Library, La Crosse Public Library, Lawton Memorial Library in La Farge, Hatch Public Library in Mauston, New Lisbon Memorial Library, Norwalk Public Library, Ontario Public Library, McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua, Bekkum Memorial Library in Westby, Whitehall Public Library, Wilton Public Library, Wonewoc Public Library, and Necedah Community Siegler Memorial Library (joining in 2015).

Thanks to:

IMLS:  This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [Grants 14-32-9940-14-211-LSTA, 15-32-9940-15-132-LSTA]. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.


ResCarta Foundation:  The ResCarta Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded to encourage the development of a single set of open community standards and open source implementations of those standards.  Our goal is to create, through collaboration, digital content production standards and open source applications that allow users to access disparate digital collections in a simple, user friendly process, leading to interoperability.