Wisconsin Archives, Societies & Publications
It is a good idea to familiarize personally with just about any repository in Wisconsin that you simply might travel to by communicating with to the best suited archive or library in advance.
Most, if not all, Wisconsin repositories have written and published content that present its collections as well as research policy.
Wisconsin archives and historical organizations usually have On-line sites that provide equivalent details. Several also contain down loadable data for some or parts of their collections.
List of 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.)
List of Wisconsin Libraries & Museums
List of Wisconsin Historical & Genealogical Societies
For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state genealogical council, or both.
In addition to their own work, Wisconsin groups many times help coordinate the efforts of local societies throughout the Wisconsin.
Their unique publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those created through the area societies.
Regional and State Societies
State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706-1488; Nearly one-fifth of the entire State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library collection, now more than one million items, deals with family or local history, making it one of the largest genealogical collections in the country.
It is not, however, limited to Wisconsin history. The library attempts to acquire all U.S. and Canadian historical and genealogical materials. Vital records prior to 1907 are on microfilm for the entire state (see Vital Records). Census holdings include all federal censuses for all states.
The society has all federal census indexes for Wisconsin and is acquiring some indexes for other states. There is an extensive collection of passenger lists and one of the nation’s largest newspaper collections, national in scope, but predominantly concerning Wisconsin.
Books, except for rare editions and pamphlet-size, are on open shelves.
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, PO Box 5106, Madison, WI 53705; This society serves as the parent body for eleven local chapters.
It holds two all-day meetings each year, featuring state or national speakers. Their quarterly newsletter includes material extracted from original sources. The society also publishes numerous indexes to Wisconsin county histories .
The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society purchased the microfilm copies of the pre-1907 vital indexes and records (see Vital Records), which are held by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin Genealogical Council, 2308 W Applegate Dr, Appleton, WI 54914-1952; Established in 1986 to promote open communication, education, and exchange of information among Wisconsin counties, libraries, organizations, businesses, and individuals, the group publishes a quarterly newsletter, sponsors an annual Gene-A-Rama, and maintains a file of family names being researched by members.
- Wisconsin Society of Daughters of the American Revolution
- Wisconsin Society of Sons of the American Revolution
- Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society, 1562 N 119th St, Wauwatosa, WI 53226; Phone: 414-771-7781
- Lower Wisconsin River Genealogical & Historical Research Center, PO Box 202, Wauzeka, WI 53826-0202
County, Township and City Societies
- Adams County Historical Society & Historic McGowan House / Archives , PO Box 264, 507 Main Street, Friendship, WI, 53934; Phone: 608-339-7732
- Albany Historical Society, PO Box 464, Albany, WI 53502; Phone: 608-862-3423
- Ashland Historical Society, 509 West Main, Ashland, WI, 54806; Phone: 715-682-4911
- Barron County Historical Society, 1866 13 1/2 – 14 Ave., Box 242, Cameron, WI, 54822; Phone: 715-458-2080
- Bayfield County Historical Society, PO Box 272, Washburn, WI 54891; Phone: 715-373-5868
- Bayfield Heritage Association, PO Box 137, Bayfield, WI 54814; Phone: 715-779-5958
- Beloit Historical Society, 2149 St. Lawrence Ave, Beloit 53511-5742
- Berlin Historical Society, PO Box 21, Berlin, WI 54923-0021; Phone: 920-361-4343
- Blue Hills Genealogical Society-Barron County, Inc. established in 2002; P.O. Box 383, Cameron, Wi 54822
- Brillion Historical Society, PO Box 35, Brillion, WI 54110; Phone: 920-756-2835
- Brown County Historical Society, PO Box 1411, Green Bay, WI 54305-1411Phone: 920-437-1840,
- Brodhead Historical Society, PO Box 33, Brodhead, WI 53520; Phone: 608-897-2635
- Buffalo County Historical Society, PO Box 87, Alma, WI 54610-0087; Phone: 608-685-6290
- Burlington Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 593, Burlington 53105
- Burlington Historical Society, 232 N Perkins Blvd, Burlington 53105-1927
- Cedarburg Cultural Ctr, W62n546 Washington Ave, Cedarburg 53012-1926
- Chippewa County Genealogical Society, 123 Allen St., Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
- Chippewa County Historical Scty, 123 Allen Street, Chippewa Falls 54729-2802
- Concord Historical Society, PO Box 402, Sullivan, WI 53178; Phone: 414-593-8099
- Cornish Connection Of Michigan Iii, P.O. Box 639 (Aurora), Rt 1, Florence 54121
- Cornish Society Of Greater Milwaukee, 3753 S. 85th Street, Milwaukee 53228
- Cornish Society Of Greater Milwaukee, 2405 N Brookfield Road, Brookfield 53045
- Crivitz Area Heritage Society, Oak & South St, Crivitz 54114
- Dane County Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 5652, Madison, WI 53705-0652
- Dartford Historical Society, 501 Mill St, Green Lake, WI 54941; Phone: 920-294-6194
- De Pere Historical Society, 403 N Broadway, De Pere 54115-2511
- Dodge County Historical Society, 105 Park Ave, Beaver Dam, WI 53916; Phone: 920-887-1266
- Dodge/ Jefferson County Genealogical Society, PO Box 91, Watertown, WI 53094
- Door County Historical Society, 4994 Ripp Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; Phone: 920-743-4945
- Dunn County Historical Society, PO Box 437, Menomonie, WI 54751; Phone: 715-232-8685
- Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire, PO Box 1204, Eau Claire, WI 54702
- Florence County Historical Society, HC1 Box 520-A, Florence, WI 54121; Phone: 715-528-3597
- Fond du Lac County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1264, Fond du Lac, WI 54935-1056; Phone: 920-923-3168
- Fond du Lac County Historical Society, PO Box 1284, Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1284; Phone: 920-922-0991
- Forest County Historical and Genealogical Society, PO Box 432, Crandon, WI 54520; Phone: 715-478-3559
- Forest History Association of Wisconsin, 403 McIndoe St, Wausau, WI 54403-4746; Phone: 715-848-6143
- Fort Atkinson Historical Society, 407 Merchants Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Phone: 920-563-7769
- Germantown Historical Society, Highway 145 & Holy Hill Rd, Germantown 53022
- Grant County Genealogical Society, PO Box 281, Dickeyville, WI 53808-0281
- Grant County Historical Society, 129 E Maple St, Lancaster, WI 53813; Phone: 608-723-6686
- Grantsburg Area Historical Society, P O Box 35, Grantsburg, WI 54840; (715)463-5660 or (715)689-2374
- Green County Genealogical Society, PO Box 313, Monroe, WI 53566
- Green County Historical Society, 1503 – 6th St, Monroe, WI 53566
- Hawks Inn Historical Society, 426 Wells St, Delafield 53018-1419
- Iowa County Genealogical Society, PO Box 321, Dodgeville, WI 53533-0321
- Iowa County Historical Society, PO Box 44, Dodgeville, WI 53533; Phone: 608-935-7694
- Iron County Historical Society & Museum, 303 Iron Street, Hurley, WI 54534; 715-561-2244
- Iron River Historical Society, P.O. Box 416, Cable 54821-0416
- Jackson County Historical Society, 13 S First St, Black River Falls, WI 54615; Phone: 715-284-5314
- Jacksonport Historical Society, 6275 Hwy 57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; Phone: 920-823-2288
- Jefferson Historical Society, 305 S Main, Jefferson, WI 53549; Phone: 920-674-2455
- Johnson Creek Historical Society, PO Box 113, Johnson Creek, WI 53038
- Juneau County Historical Society, PO Box 321, Mauston, WI 53948; Phone: 608-462-5931
- Kenosha County Genealogical Society, 4902 52nd St, Kenosha, WI 53142
- Kenosha County Historical Society, Kenosha History Center, 220 51st Place, Kenosha, WI 53140; Phone: 262-654-5770
- Kewaunee County Historical Society, 219 Steele Street, Algoma, WI 54201; (920) 487-2516
- La Crosse Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 1782, La Crosse, WI 54602
- La Crosse County Historical Society, PO Box 1272, La Crosse, WI 54602-1272; Phone: 608-782-1980
- La Crosse Heritage Association, 600 3rd Street N, La Crosse 54601-6299
- Lafayette County Genealogical Society, PO Box 183, Darlington, WI 53530; Phone: 608-776-2755
- Lafayette County Historical Society, 525 Main St, Darlington, WI 53530; Phone: 608-776-8340
- Langlade County Genealogical Society, PO Box 307, Antigo, WI 54409
- Langlade County Historical Society, PO Box 219, Antigo, WI 54409; Phone: 715-627-4464
- Lake Mills/Aztalan Historical Society, PO Box 122, Lake Mills, WI 53551; Phone: 920-648-8575
- Lakeland Area Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 308, Minocqua 54548
- Manitowoc County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1745, Manitowoc, WI 54221-1745
- Manitowoc County Historical Society, 1701 Michigan Ave, Manitowoc, WI 54220; Phone: 920-684-4445
- Marathon County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1512, Wausau, WI 54402-1512
- Marathon County Historical Society, 504 McIndoe St, Wausau, WI 54403; Phone: 715-848-6143
- Marinette County Historical Society, PO Box 262, Marinette, WI 54143; Phone: 715-732-0831
- Marquette County Historical Society, PO Box 172, Westfield, WI 53964; Phone: 608-981-2234
- Mazomanie Historical Society, 118 Brodhead St, Mazomanie 53560-9325
- Mercer Area Historical Society, PO Box 638, Mercer, WI 54547; Phone: 715-561-2922
- Merrill Historical Society, 102 E. Third Street, Merrill 54452
- Milton Wisconsin Historical Society, Milton
- Milwaukee County Genealogical Society, PO Box 27326, Milwaukee, WI 53227-0326
- Milwaukee County Historical Center, 910 N Old World Third St, Milwaukee, WI 53203; Phone: 414-273-8288
- Monroe County Historical Society, 1488 Aqua Rd, Black River Falls, WI 54615-7609; Phone: 608-269-8680
- Monroe, Jackson, Juneau Genealogical Workshop, Rt 3, Box 253, Sparta, WI 54615
- Monticello Area Historical Society, W3903 Gilbertson Rd, Monticello, WI 53570; Phone: 608-938-4442
- Mt. Horeb Area Historical Society, 138 East Main, Mt. Horeb 53572-2195
- Neenah Historical Society, 336 Main St, Neenah 54956-2425
- New Glarus Historical Society, 612 7th Avenue New Glarus, WI 53574; (608) 527-2317
- North Wood County Historical Society, 212 W 3rd St, Marshfield 54449-2706
- Oak Creek Wisconsin Historical Society, Oak Creek
- Oconomowoc Historical Society, 103 W Jeffeson St, Oconomowoc 53066-3633
- Oconto County Genealogical Society, PO Box 114, Suring, WI 54174
- Oconto County Historical Society, 917 Park Ave, Oconto, WI 54153; Phone: 920-834-6206
- Omro Area Historical Society, 144 E Main St, Omro 54963-1416
- Ozaukee County Historical Society, PO Box 206, Cedarburg, WI 53012
- Palmyra Historical Society, 226 W Main St, Palmyra, WI 53156; Phone: 414-495-4245
- Pewaukee Area Historical Society, 206 E Wisconsin Ave, Pewaukee 53072-3519
- Pierce County Historical Assn, PO Box 148, Ellsworth, WI 54011; Phone: 715-273-6611
- Polk County Historical Society, PO Box 41, Balsam Lake, WI 54810-0041; Phone: 715-268-8375
- Portage County Historical Society, 1475 Water St, Stevens Point 54481-2920
- Port Washington Historical Society, PO Box 491, Port Washington, WI 53074; Phone: 262-284-7240
- Price County Genealogical Society, 165 Wyoming St, Phillips, WI 54555
- Price County Historical Society, W7213 Pine St, P.O. Box 156, Fifield, WI 54524-0156; Phone: 715-339-2254
- Racine Heritage Association, 701 S Main St, Racine 53403-1211
- Richland County Historical Society, 29449 Pronold Ln, Richland Center, WI 53581; Phone: 608-647-4860
- Rhinelander Historical Society, 9 S Pelham St, Rhinelander 54501-3458
- Rock County Genealogical Society, PO Box 711, Janesville, WI 53547-0711; Phone: 608-752-5891
- Rock County Historical Society, PO Box 8096, Janesville, WI 53547-8096; Phone: 608-756-4509
- Sauk County Historical Society, PO Box 651, Baraboo, WI 53913; Phone: 608-356-9479
- Sawyer County Historical Society, PO Box 384, Hayward, WI 54843; Phone: 715-634-6075
- Saukville Area Historical Society, 200 N Mill St, Saukville 53080
- Sheboygan County Genealogical Society, 518 Water St, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
- Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, 518 Water St, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085; Phone: 920-467-4667
- Sheboygan County Historical Society, 3110 Erie Ave, Sheboygan, WI 53081; Phone: 920-458-1103
- South Wood County Historical Society, 540 3rd St. S, Wisconsin Rapids 54494-4352
- South Central Wisconsin Genealogical Society, now Dane County Area Genealogical Society
- Stoughton Historical Society, 324 S Page St, Stoughton 53589-2166
- St Croix County Historical Society, 1104 Third Street, Hudson, WI 54016; Phone: 715-386-2654
- Taylor County Genealogical Society, 224 S Second St, Medford, WI 54451
- Taylor County Historical Society, 224 S 2nd St, Medford, WI 54451; Phone: 715-748-5163
- Trempealeau County Historical Society, N33015 Square Bluff Rd, Whitehall, WI 54773; Phone: 715-985-3310
- Two Rivers Historical Society, 1622 Jefferson St, Two Rivers 54241-3017
- Vernon County Historical Society, PO Box 444, Viroqua, WI 54665; Phone: 608-637-7396
- Vilas County Historical Society, Main Street, Sayner 54560; Phone: 715-542-3388
- Walworth County Genealogical Society, PO Box 159, Delavan, WI 53115-0159; Phone: 608-752-8816
- Walworth County Historical Society, PO Box 273, Elkhorn, WI 53121
- Washburn County Genealogical Society, PO Box 366, Shell Lake, WI 54871
- Washburn County Historical Society, PO Box 366, 102 2nd Ave Shell Lake, WI 54871, (715) 468-2982
- Washington County Historical Society, 340 S 5th Ave, West Bend, WI 53095
- Waterloo Area Historical Society, PO Box 52, Waterloo, WI 53594; Phone: 920-478-2328
- Watertown Historical Society, 701 S Tenth St, Watertown, WI 53094-4833; Phone: 920-261-0275
- Waukesha County Historical Society, 101 W Main St, Waukesha 53186-4811
- Waupaca Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 42, King, WI 54946
- Waupaca County Historical Society, N4804 Cty Hwy B, New London, WI 54961-8114; Phone: 920-982-4847
- Waupaca Historical Society / Holly History & Genealogy Center, 321 S Main Street, Waupaca, WI 54981; Phone: 715-256-9980
- Waushara County Historical Society& Genealogy Society , PO Box 616, 212 S St Marie, Wautoma, WI 54982; Phone: 920-787-7584
- Wauwatosa Historical Society, 7406 Hillcrest Dr, Milwaukee 53213-2226
- Winneconne Historical Society, 611 W Main Street, Winneconne 54986
- Wisconsin Lineage Links, 2655 Fairview Lane, Brookfield 53045-4117
Religious and Ethnic Societies
- Celtic Cultural Center, P.O. Box 6646, Monona 53716
- Southwest Wisconsin Cornish Society, 23073 Sunny Slope Road, Mineral Point 53565
- Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society, PO Box 164, Cudahy, WI 53110; Phone: 414-744-8095
- Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53206; Phone: 414-372-7677
- Wisconsin’s Ethnic Settlement Trail, 518 Water Street, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085; Phone: 920-467-9518
Wisconsin Newspapers & Publications
Wisconsin Genealogical publications (magazines, newsletters, periodicals, books, etc.) contain all types of invaluable information about specific ancestors, whole lineages and families, places in time, and about all sorts of genealogical records and repositories.
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 Historical Newspapers
- Wisconsin Newspapers Directory Listings
- Historical Newspapers from Wisconsin (1837 – 1992) – 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
- 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.)
Genealogical journals provide you with plenty of sources of information and facts, they are generally overlooked by genealogy and family history researchers and genealogist in looking around for family history.
Many regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies produce periodicals which have records relating to the region or vicinity they operate.
Frequently these publications have articles involving records that are not obtainable somewhere 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.