Research in Wisconsin Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

It is smart to familiarize your self with just about any repository in Wisconsin that you choose to might visit by getting in touch with to the proper archive or library ahead of time.

The majority of, if not all, Wisconsin repositories have written and published materials that present its collections and research policy.

Wisconsin archives and historical agencies usually have Internet web sites that supply identical content. Quite a few even contain down-loadable lists for some or parts within their collections.

Wisconsin Archives

  • National Archives – Great Lakes Region (Chicago), 7358 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois 60629-5898; 773-948-9001; (Maintains retired records from Federal agencies and courts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.)
  • Wisconsin Area Research Center Network Thirteen area research centers in Wisconsin hold public records transferred by counties, towns, cities, and other local governments and collections of papers and records from private individuals and organizations. The goal of each center is to build comprehensive collections documenting the history of its region. The collections include photographs, newspapers, maps, and family histories. Many of the centers are enhanced by the contributions and volunteer hours of local genealogy groups. Newspaper indexes to vital records, cemetery readings, and original local church records can be located in some of the centers. Centers vary considerably in their collections and, therefore, in their value to genealogists. Archival collections usually located at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin or at one of the centers may be transferred temporarily within the network to accommodate local researchers. All archive and manuscript materials at the centers are cataloged centrally at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Write or call the appropriate center before visiting since hours vary by center, the calendar, staffing, and university schedules. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin serves Columbia, Dane, and Sauk counties. The other Area Research Centers and the counties they serve are:
    • Ashland (counties covered are: Ashland, Bayfield, Forest, Iron, Oneida, Price, Sawyer, and Vilas counties.)
    • Eau Claire (counties covered are: Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, Rusk, and Taylor)
    • Green Bay (counties covered are: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, and Shawano counties)
    • La Crosse (counties covered are: Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon)
    • Milwaukee (counties covered are: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha)
    • Oshkosh (counties covered are: Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, and Winnebago)
    • Parkside (Covered are Racine and Kenosha counties)
    • Platteville (Counties covered are Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, and Richland)
    • River Falls (counties covered are Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, and Pierce counties. )
    • Stevens Point (Counties covered are Adams, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, and Wood)
    • Stout (counties covered are Barron, Dunn, and Pepin counties.)
    • Superior (Counties covered are Douglas County.)
    • Whitewater (Counties covered are Jefferson, Rock and Walworth counties.)

Wisconsin Museums

Wisconsin Libraries

Wisconsin Periodicals

Genealogical publications offer plenty of sources of information and facts, they might be dismissed by genealogy researchers and genealogist in researching for family history. The majority regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies issue periodicals that have records in relation to the region or vicinity they support. Quite often these publications offer articles concerning records which are not accessible anywhere else.

  • Wisconsin Magazine of History – published in Madison by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, is a quarterly publication with historical articles, book reviews, and listings of acquisitions of historical and genealogical material. There are published indexes to this periodical.
  • Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter (originally titled Wisconsin Families from 1940–41) is available quarterly through membership or at subscribing libraries (see Archives, Libraries, and Societies for address). The periodical contains pertinent state activities, queries, and recent publications acquired by the group. The majority of material is the publication of records from Wisconsin counties, including cemetery readings, church records, vital records, newspaper extractions, and other genealogically important items.

Wisconsin Historical & Genealogical Societies

For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state genealogical council, or both. Together with their own work, Wisconsin groups from time to time help manage the efforts of local societies throughout the Wisconsin. Their particular publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those provided through the local area societies.

State or Regional Societies

County, City, Town or Township Societies

Ethnic Societies

Religious Societies

Research in Wisconsin Newspapers & Publications

Wisconsin Genealogical publications (magazines, newsletters, periodicals, books, etc.) include all sorts of useful information pertaining to individual ancestors, whole lineages and families, places in time, and concerning all types of genealogical records and repositories. They allow you to uncover a abundance of details about your ancestors from many historical newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. These different kinds of sources can frequently bolster public records and give information and facts that is not documented someplace else. Here, you can discover more concerning your ancestor’s potential daily activities by putting them in the context of their time.

Books

Newspapers – On December 11, 1833, the first issue of the first Wisconsin newspaper, the Green Bay Intelligencer, was published. It was printed on a semi-monthly bases at a cost of $2 annually. It featured 4 pages that were each 12 x 18 inches.

The Wisconsin Historical society has the largest collection of Wisconsin newspapers in the state. It includes more than 1,600 titles, which is about 75% of all of the newspapers ever printed in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Historical Society’s newspaper collection has been placed on microfilm. Those microfilms can be accessed through inter-library loan programs. The society has also published special bibliographies of their newspaper holdings. Those records can be quite helpful when researchers are looking for information about African Americans, Native Americans, and ethnic groups in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Public Library holds original copies of the Milwaukee Sentinel. However, the Wisconsin Historical Society also has copies on microfilm. A two-part index for the years of 1837 to 1879 and 1880 to 1890 is also available.

  • Wisconsin Newspapers Directory Listings (onlinenewspapers.com)
  • Historical Newspapers from Wisconsin (1837 – 1992) (genealogybank.com) Immediately locate names and phrases in over 450 million articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth notices as well as other items written and published in over 2,800 historical U.S. newspapers. New content and articles added every month!
  • Wisconsin Newspaper List (usnpl.com)
  • Wisconsin Newspapers, 1833–1850: An Analytical Bibliography (Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1979) – contains information on the very earliest Wisconsin newspapers.
  • Guide to Wisconsin Newspapers, 1833– 1957 (Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1958)
  • Newspapers in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin: A Bibliography with Holdings (New York: Norman Ross Pub., 1993)
  • Index to Green Bay Newspapers, 1833–1840 (Monroe: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, n.d.)