Behind this website is a powerful tool that enables you to search all of our contributors’ digital collections at one time. When you enter a search term or terms in one of the boxes at the right, you’ll be taken out of this website and into our search engine, where you’ll see a list of your search results. To view any item more closely, click on its thumbnail or title. The item record will open in a new browser window. Remember to click back to our search engine to continue browsing your search results or to start a new search.

What will I find?

Our search engine will point you to 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.

Through Recollection Wisconsin, you can . . .

  • Explore photos of local people and events from dozens of Wisconsin communities
  • Read letters home from Wisconsin soldiers who served in the Civil War, World War I and WWII
  • View baskets, beadwork, furniture, pottery and other objects made by Wisconsin craftspeople
  • Listen to folk music and oral history interviews
  • Page through yearbooks, city directories and other full-text publications

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. The search engine does not include indexes of historical information such as cemetery indexes, obituary indexes, or vital records indexes.

What we make available through Recollection Wisconsin depends on what our Content 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 expand as we add new Content Partners, and as existing partners continue to add new resources to their digital collections.

Of course, not everything you may need for your research is available online — there are 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, try a Guided Search to get more precise results, or contact your local library, archives, museum or historical society to find out more about their holdings

Corrections, updates and inquiries

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 Content Partner directly. Please consult individual item descriptions for contributor contact information.

Video tutorial: Searching Recollection Wisconsin

Tutorial transcript (pdf).