Wisconsin Heritage Online, the statewide digital collaborative, has a new name—Recollection Wisconsin—and a new look. Our newly redesigned website, recollectionwisconsin.org, provides free access to a growing set of historical resources from the collections of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies across the state. Anyone can use the site to explore historic photographs, postcards, maps, letters, diaries, articles, books, artifacts, oral histories and other materials from dozens of Wisconsin communities.
But the new site is a space for more than just viewing digital resources. You’re also invited to contribute your own memories, images, knowledge and thoughts through a variety of social features. These new features, which incorporate social media tools including Tumblr, Pinterest and Flickr, are central to our updated vision for the program: to create opportunities for people to discover personal connections to the past.
The new site is structured like a blog so we can share program news, collection highlights and other updates on a regular basis. Our goal is to offer this website as a showcase—a venue to spotlight intriguing and inspiring digital history projects happening around the state—as well as a hub—a meeting space where anyone can take part in the ongoing conversation that is the study of our past.
New features to explore on the website include:
- Share a story. Recollection Wisconsin has partnered with Wisconsin Life, an audio essay series on Wisconsin Public Radio that celebrates what makes Wisconsin unique, to collect and share stories contributed by visitors like you. Our first Share a Story theme focuses on winters in Wisconsin, including memories of snow days, sledding hills and other Wisconsin wintertime experiences.
- Share a photo. We’re using the photo-sharing website Flickr to uncover local histories from across the state. You’re invited to join our Flickr group and share your own photos of historic Wisconsin people and places.
- Stories from Wisconsin collections. This ongoing series provides a closer look at small slices of state and local history, told through photographs and documents from participating organizations. Topics covered so far include deer hunting, grand hotels, home economics education, early bicycling culture and Welsh settlers in Wisconsin.
- Browse collections by category. A user-friendly browse interface lets you sort collections by topic categories, such as cranberries, music or World War I, or by types of materials, such as plat maps or scrapbooks.
- Explore collections on a map. You can also use an interactive map to locate digital collections in or near your hometown or other locations of interest.
Share your feedback
This website is a work in progress, and we welcome your thoughts, questions and suggestions. We’re especially interested in recommendations for new digital projects or collections to highlight and new topics to spotlight in our Stories from Wisconsin Collections series. You can connect with us by leaving a comment below or using our contact form.