Wisconsin Historical Society

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Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin Historical Society.jpg

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

E-mail:[1]  Ask a librarian form


816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Telephone:[2]  608-264-6536

Hours and holidays:[3]  Mon-Thu, 8 am-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 8 am-5 pm; Sunday and Major Holidays - Closed

Map, directions, parking, and public transportation:

Internet sites and databases:

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The Wisconsin Historical Society serves as the state archives, the state library, an Area Research Center, and the American history library for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Its research collections are divided between library and archives divisions. The library houses printed and microfilmed materials, while the archives maintains the original records for Wisconsin government jurisdictions. The Wisconsin Historical Society is the largest free-standing American history library in the United States. It has the second-largest collection of newspapers in the U.S., after the Library of Congress.

Over 3 million family history sources: birth, death and marriage record indexes; newspaper clippings; photographs, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, obituaries, biographies, church histories, Civil War, Indians, transportation, and county records.[1] Includes the best manuscript collection in Wisconsin, along with censuses, tax and land records. They have the Draper Manuscript Collection of interviews, genealogies, and early pioneer histories. They also have the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society burials in the earliest cemeteries.[4]

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin System jointly operate a network of Area Research Centers located at UW campus libraries throughout the state. Each geographic region is served by an Area Research Center (ARC), which houses the original records from that region. Centers often have probate records, tax records, school records, church records, naturalization records, and other local historical records.[5]

Guides[edit | edit source]

These guides contain references to the papers of many families and businesses.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the Wisconsin Historical Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.[6]

Similar Collections

Neighboring Collections

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Research Your Family History in Wisconsin Historical Society (26 March 2015).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Location and Directions in Wisconsin Historical Society (26 March 2015).
  3. Hours in Wisconsin Historical Society (26 March 2015).
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 119. At various repositories (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 J54d.
  5. Area Research Centers Network in Wisconsin Historical Society (26 March 2015).
  6. Information for Researchers at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC in National Archives (accessed 31 December 2013).
  7. Genealogy Center Collections in Genealogy Center (accessed 27 February 2015).
  8. Genealogy in National Archives at Chicago (accessed 27 February 2014).
  9. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).
  10. Discover the Collection at Library and Archves Canada (accessed 6 August 2013).
  11. The Records in Tracing Your Family History in Archives of Ontario (accessed 27 March 2015).