The Mineral Pont Library Archives started out as the “Mineral Point Room” in 1980 when Robert Neal donated his extensive collection of photographs, maps, books, and historic memorabilia to the Mineral Point Public Library. Neal, a Mineral Point native and co-founder, with Edgar Hellum, of Pendarvis, now a WI State Historic site, had been collecting historical material pertaining to the Lead Region for several decades.
The collection has since been supplemented by additional gifts, from area residents and others, of photographs, family histories, and a wide range of historical material, including some of Allen Ludden’s papers. (Ludden was born in Mineral Point and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, here.) The Archives also holds many City of Mineral Point records, most dating back to its incorporation as a Village in 1844.
When the municipal building was extensively renovated in 2012, the history room was moved from the basement to the former City Council Chambers on the top floor of the building and was renamed the Mineral Point Library Archives. The room retains many of its original architectural features, including the tall arched windows and the low wooden barrier that separated the Council members from the audience during Council meetings.