On Campus Staff Notes V1 Vault

PAGE BY PAGE: Want to Delve into the Pages of Volume One? UWEC Now Hosts Online Archive

digitization project includes every issue from 2002 to 2019 – and counting

Tom Giffey |

Until recently, if you wanted to look through 22 years’ worth of back issues of Volume One, the easiest way was to walk down the stairs to the basement of the Volume One World Headquarters, unlock a door labeled “Staff Only,” duck under some HVAC equipment, and explore shelf after shelf of dusty storage boxes. 

It just got a lot easier, thanks to the digital collections team at UW-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library. Click a link on their website, and you’ll now find a fully searchable – and free – digital archive of Volume One’s print edition. It now features almost every page, every article, every piece of cover art, every photograph, every event listing, every funny bio, and every not-so-funny typo this magazine has ever printed.

Point, click, and search your way to nearly the entire history of Volume One.
Point, click, and search your way to nearly the entire history of Volume One.

Starting with the first issue – a black-and-white 24-page magazine published in March 2002 (scroll down to see the editors’ opening statement from that very issue) – the archive is now complete through the start of 2019, and by this summer the library expects to have digitized every issue through the end of 2022.

“Volume One is a critical information source in the community,” said Greg Kocken, the library’s head of special collections and archives. Over the course of 500 issues, the magazine has recorded many thousands of moments of the Chippewa Valley’s cultural history. 

To truly be able to let this archive shine, we need to make it more accessible, and that’s what our digitization project allows us to do.



McIntyre Library has been saving copies of the magazine from the very beginning, Kocken said, and eventually the growing stack of issues landed in the university archives, where they now fill about 14 boxes. Eventually, such print collections become difficult to search. Consider, for example, if someone approached an archivist and asked to find articles about a certain Eau Claire-born, Grammy-winning musician whose career has been chronicled by Volume One. “We know we could go to Volume One and find some fascinating information, but amongst 14 boxes full of Volume Ones, other than knowing an approximate time period to be looking, we could be flipping through hundreds of pages in order to find those references,” Kocken said. “To truly be able to let this archive shine, we need to make it more accessible, and that’s what our digitization project allows us to do.”

The overhead scanner used to scan the first XXX issues (and counting) of Volume One at UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library. (Submitted photo)
The overhead scanner used to scan the first 379 issues (and counting) of Volume One at UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library. (Submitted photo)

The project emerged from discussions between staff members at McIntyre Library and the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, both of which had maintained archives of Volume One. With the permission of Volume One, McIntyre Library took the lead on the project, and beginning in 2023, started the laborious process of scanning every page of every issue in its collection. (A special shout-out to archive employee Seth Vircks, the man who has done the digitization work.) Images of each physical page are taken with an overhead scanner and enhanced, processed, and eventually displayed through an online archival system called ResCarta.

Now, any web user can easily browse issues by year or search their full text by topic. Articles and images can be found in their full print context, offering a rich experience of what’s been going on in the Chippewa Valley for the past two decades plus. (If you’ve ever done any research through the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s online historical archives, you’ll be familiar with the intuitive but powerful ResCarta system.)

“From my perspective as an archivist, one of the things we do is we appraise things for their information value,” Kocken said. “Somebody had the foresight in this library 20 years ago to say, ‘We need to collect these, there’s some value here.’ And over 20 years later, we can look back on that and say, ‘It had value then and it’s only increased in value.’ ”

Find the Volume One digital archive online at tinyurl.com/VolumeOneArchive.

Volume One Vault

March 2002: Our Very First Opening Statement

Paging back to issue one to see how this whole thing began

“While planning the premier issue of volume one, we came across a common misconception about art and entertainment in Eau Claire – many people believe they don’t exist. You’re holding in your hands our 24-page argument to the contrary.

We hope to highlight the slightly less accessible and worthwhile culture that this town and the country have to offer. If you’re of the variety that wants more than entertainment’s abundance of spoon-fed, homogenous standards, then you might be interested in our little endeavor.

It’s our goal to expose the people out there making good things happen; to uncover the genuine and significant art and entertainment worth your attention. Whether they paint, write, or act, whether they’re in a band, make films, or take photographs – we want to hear about them and share them with you.

This publication may very well be a one-time exercise in futility for us. Depending on what kind of reaction we receive, it might continue. And if it does, we’ll certainly be accepting writing contributions and original artwork. So please feel free to drop us a note. Let us know what you think, give us an idea for a possible upcoming issue, or share whatever comes to mind.”