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Wisconsin Historical Society Newspaper Collections : For the Family Historian

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

Library Catalog

Off-Site Access to Physical Newspapers

Want to use something in our microfilm newspaper collection, but not able to visit the library?

Inter-Library Loan
If you can't visit the Society, you can order the microfilm through interlibrary loan. Then view it at your local library.

Purchasing Copies
Photocopies of published and unpublished materials can be made by the Library/Archives staff for a fee. If the material is still under copyright, only portions may be photocopied. The staff is unable to print entire publications or collections. To purchase a copy on microfilm, please visit the Microfilm Sales Page.

Are you looking for a name of a specific person?

On our website

Type the name you're looking for into the search bar at the top of the WHS website:

On the left side of the results screen, notice that there are many types of documents listed. The items in newspapers that family historians/genealogists tend to be interested in are clippings and obituaries:

There are two kinds of newspaper articles/clippings on our website: an index or record to let you know that an article exists and specifically where to find it, and full-text articles that have been scanned. Below are the icons that indicate what result is an index and which is full-text. The green book cover indicates that this result is an index record, the icon with "News" printed on it indicates a full-text item.




Don't forget to check out the Wisconsin Newspapers, National Newspapers and Chronicling America to get links to newspaper databases that let you keyword search! 

Newspapers and Family History

Newspapers are a great tool for genealogists. Obituaries, birth announcement, and the occasional clipping all come together to tell a rich family story.

Wisconsin Name Index (WNI)

Search by your ancestor's name or by topic. This WNI index contains 150 county and local histories, dozen of professional directories and biographical encyclopedias, more than 60 scrapbooks containing 30,000 obituaries, and selected articles in Wisconsin magazines and newspapers.  Most items were published 1870-1970. Search results provide index information for items related to the name or topic you entered.

Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles (WLHBA) 

Search by your ancestor's name. The WLHBA collection contains thousands of historical newspaper articles on notable Wisconsin people and communities. The entire collection of 16,000 articles is available digitally. Most articles were published 1860-1940. Results appear as scanned clippings of articles related to the name you entered.

Contact Us

Call the library: 608-264-6535

Email the library:

Obituary Search Service

Let us help you find an obituary in the thousands of newspapers in our collections.

Staff will search for one individual in up to two different newspapers per request. Please note that there is no guarantee an obituary will be found. For more information and to order, click here.