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Wisconsin Historical Society Newspaper Collections : Home

Information about the newspapers at the Wisconsin Historical Society and beyond.

About Our Newspapers

The Wisconsin Historical Society houses an extensive collection of historic and contemporary newspapers, surpassed in size only by the Library of Congress. The collection includes publications from every state and Canadian province dating from 1704 to the present in form of about 12,000 bound volumes, 150,000 reels of microfilm and a fast-growing number of digital pages. The approximately 8,000 historic titles archived comprise the largest collection of African American, Native American, and military base newspapers in the country. Moreover, the first Spanish-language newspaper published in the U.S., El Misisipi, can be found along with a vast amount of local foreign-language publications in Czech, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, and Yiddish.

This guide will help you understand what is available through the Wisconsin Historical Society and how to access our newspapers. Additionally, visit the section on Chronicling America to learn about our participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program.

What's in the Collection?

Microfilm Newspaper Collection

The Society owns over 150,000 reels of microfilm, including a rich and diverse collection of Wisconsin newspapers, colonial and early American newspapers west of the Appalachians, and the largest collection of labor and trade union papers in the nation. This also includes a full run of the New York Times. 

Microfilm is arranged by call number, not by newspaper title or date. Find the call number in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library Catalog.

Print Newspaper Collection

The society has a continually growing collection of over 230 weekly newspapers. All titles are in the catalog, but the newest issues in a series may not appear on the catalog record. Please contact a librarian for assistance locating a title. Search titles here.

Online Newspaper Access

The Society's Library has subscriptions to several newspaper databases available on the Library's public computers. Access from computers inside the Historical Society Reading Room, or through your NetID. Major digital collections include:

Chronicling America: Historical American Newspapers

Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963, and use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is a FREE database that can be used anywhere. 

Contact Us

Call the library: 608-264-6535

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Newspaper Collection

Freedom's Journal

First African American newspaper in the U.S.

El Misisipi

First Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S.

Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser

First newspaper printing of "The Star Spangled Banner"

Green-Bay Intelligencer

Wisconsin's first newspaper


Women's rights newspaper published by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Vicksburg Daily Citizen

A newspaper printed on wallpaper due to paper shortage during the Civil War

Vicksburg Daily Citizen, Verso

Wallpaper on which the newspaper was printed

Evening Record

Handwritten Wisconsin newspaper

Workingman's Advocate

Chicago labor newspaper

Neue Rheinische Zeitung

Prominent German Revolution (1848/49) newspaper published by Karl Marx