What is Recollection Wisconsin?
Recollection Wisconsin is a hub for searching and discovering Wisconsin history materials from participating libraries, archives, museums and historical societies across the state. We bring together thumbnail images and descriptive information from contributing partners and link back to full digital records housed on the servers of our contributors.
Recollection Wisconsin also provides guidelines, training and support to contributing partner organizations in an effort to standardize and coordinate cultural heritage digitization efforts at the statewide level.
Who is Recollection Wisconsin for?
Everyone! This website is intended for students, teachers, scholars, genealogists, history buffs, and anyone else interested in discovering more about our state and its wealth of historical and cultural resources.
Is there a fee to use the site?
Recollection Wisconsin is free–there is no cost to use this website.
However, our contributing partners may assess fees for permission to publish or distribute individual digital items, or to provide high-resolution copies. To find out more about fees for use, contact the contributing organization directly. Please consult individual item descriptions for contributor contact information.
Who’s behind Recollection Wisconsin?
The Recollection Wisconsin program is sponsored by Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS) in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Financial support is provided by a grant from the Nicholas Family Foundation and annual membership dues from contributing partners.
What can I find in Recollection Wisconsin?
Our search engine includes photographs, diaries, letters, maps, books, magazines, newspapers, postcards, oral histories, music, film clips, and museum artifacts from libraries, archives, museums and historical societies across the state. The search engine does not include indexes of historical information such as cemetery indexes, obituary indexes, or vital records indexes. Browse all collections to see the full range of materials you can find here.
What we make available through Recollection Wisconsin depends on what our contributing partners share online. That means some locations in the state are very well represented and others aren’t represented at all. The collection continues to grow as we work with new contributing partners, and new material is added every month.
What if I don’t find what I’m looking for?
Recollection Wisconsin brings together dozens of digital collections from around the state, but not all Wisconsin history materials available online can be discovered through our search engine. Moreover, not everything you may need for your research is available online–there are still vast amounts of non-digital materials housed in libraries, archives, museums and historical societies across the state. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, we have a few suggestions:
- Try a Guided Search to narrow your search parameters and get more precise results
- Check out Found in Wisconsin, a searchable index of digital collections created in Wisconsin, from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning
- Contact your local library, archive, museum or historical society to find out more about their holdings
- Contact us to suggest a resource you’d like to see online
Do I need permission to use, reproduce, or publish images or other content I find through Recollection Wisconsin?
The digital content brought together by Recollection Wisconsin and reproduced on this website may be used for non-profit research or teaching purposes or other Fair Use as defined by Section 107, U.S. copyright law.
I found a record with incorrect information, or I have more information about a specific item. What should I do?
Recollection Wisconsin does not guarantee the accuracy, authority, or completeness of any information provided here. Responsibility for accurate data rests with the organization contributing the digital content. We welcome corrections or additional information! To suggest a correction or share further information, contact us or get in touch with the contributing partner organization directly.
Can I add my own collection to Recollection Wisconsin?
All libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and other cultural heritage institutions that hold materials related to Wisconsin history and culture are invited to become contributing partners of Recollection Wisconsin by building digital collections and sharing digital content. To find out more about how your organization can participate, see Share a Collection.
At this time, Recollection Wisconsin only brings together digital collections contributed by collecting institutions, not private individuals. If you have a personal collection of materials you want to share, we encourage you to connect with your local library or historical society to discuss options for providing access to your content. If you have just a few images you’d like to share, or a story you’d like to contribute, check out our Share a Photo and Share a Story pages.
I don’t see my question on this list. How can I find out more information?
For assistance, please contact Recollection Wisconsin Program Manager Emily Pfotenhauer at epfotenhauer at wils.wisc.edu or 608-265-2138.