Local History @ Your Library

Libraries are great sources for historical records including city directories, atlases and plat maps, vital records, old newspapers, census records, personal narratives, local histories and much more. Many of these resources are now available online through digital collections, library web sites, and library subscription. You can search InfoSoup for local resources, explore local history online, or visit your library and ask about their local history collection.

Searching InfoSoup

InfoSoup libraries' vast collection of local history materials, books, maps, newspapers, pamphlet files. For a good overview of materials available try browsing by county or city subject headings:

Try some of these other searches to explore local history resources:

@Your Library

These InfoSoup libraries have posted local history information on their web sites and/or descriptions of their local history holdings.

Census RecordsCensus Records

U.S. federal census records for Wisconsin counties are available on microfilm at some InfoSoup libraries, including Algoma, Appleton, Oconto, Shawano, Iola, and Waupaca. Please contact the libraries for more details on specific holdings or check with your local library for more information about locating census records.

Full image of census records are also available online from HeritageQuest and, inside any InfoSoup library, from Ancestry Library Edition.

Some Wisconsin State Census records are available at Famil

Local Indexes

Appleton Post-Crescent Index

A selective index of articles appearing in various Appleton newspapers from 1853 to the present. From the Appleton Public Library.

Kaukauna Newspaper Index

A selective index of articles appearing in various Kaukauna newspapers from 1880 to the present. From the Kaukauna Public Library.

APL Obituary Index

A partial but continually growing index to obituaries and death notices from Appleton newspapers. From the Appleton Public Library.

Veterans' Grave Registrations

Information on over 500 Fox River area deceased veterans from the War of 1812 to World War I. From the Appleton Public Library.

Outagamie County Plat book Index

A name index to four Outagamie County Plat books published between 1889 and 1942. From the Appleton Public Library.

Wisconsin Genealogy Index

Search for pre-1907 Vital Records (VR), including birth, death, and marriage records as well as for 150,000 Wisconsin Name Index (WNI) records, including biographical sketches, obituaries, and newspaper articles published before 2000. From the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Resource Libraries

Appleton Public Library

The resource library for public libraries in Outagamie and Waupaca counties features an extensive Wisconsin Collection, including city & county directories, cemetery records, local history books, census records, and more.

Brown County Library

The central library in Green Bay has a large collection of local history & genealogy material covering Brown and other northeast Wisconsin counties.

Oshkosh Public Library

An extensive genealogy and local history collection concentrating on the city of Oshkosh and Winnebago County.

Organizations, Archives, & Other Libraries

Wisconsin Historical Society

A vast collection of resources and services are available from the State Historical Society in Madison.

Recollecting Wisconsin

Brings together historical resources from across the state and provides new opportunities to discover and share community history.

Found in Wisconsin

Search for digitized books, photographs, videos, and other resources available on the websites of libraries, historical societies, and museums statewide. 

Area Research Center Network

Each Area Research Center serves a specific geographic region. The Society maintains a courier service which allows members of the network to borrow collections housed elsewhere for use by their local patrons.

Directory of Wisconsin Local Historical Organizations

A directory of more than 360 county, local, and specialized historical organizations affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Not sure of the name or region? Try the map search.

Family History Centers

Branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City provide access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the central Family History Library. Find Family History Centers in Wisconsin.

WI register of Deeds

Many counties in Wisconsin provide the ability to order Birth, Death, Marriage, and Real estate records online.

Digital CollectionsDigital Collections

A growing number of local and state projects are helping to bring more and more library resources to the Web. These Digital Collections include plat maps, city directories, photographs, postcards, local histories, and more. Explore Digital Collections ›

Subscription Databases

These premier genealogy databases are available to all InfoSoup library patrons.


Includes census data, family records, local histories, military records and PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index). Library card number & PIN required from outside a library.

Ancestry Library Edition

In Library use only. The library version of the popular Ancestry.com. Provides access to a vast collection of Census records, birth, marriage & death records, immigration and military records, directories, passenger lists, and more!

Web SitesWeb Sites

A very small selection of the many thousands of web sites available to those interested in local history and genealogy.

Wisconsin GenWeb

Part of the USGenWeb project of volunteers working together to provide free websites for genealogical research in every county. To view counties in other states, go to the USGenWeb Project homepage.

Fox Valley Memory

The project’s mission is to increase local history resources and awareness through collaboration, communication and web publishing. Includes photos, local and regional histories, and links to other web sites.

Cyndi's List

One of the oldest, largest, and most popular starting points for online genealogy. The site categorizes and annotates the full spectrum of genealogy material available on the web. Includes sections for Wisconsin and individual Wisconsin Localities.

Ellis Island

Free search of Ellis Island/Port of New York passenger lists records.

Family Search

This Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) site has a vast search engine covering all aspects of family history.

The National Archives

Information on doing research at the National Archives, using their microfilm rental program, and access to a growing collection of online resources.


The oldest and largest free genealogy site.