Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

Land Speculation and Cities

How Real Estate Owners Created Wisconsin

Discover how land owners promoted their towns and villages for settlers and created the cities you know today.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Early Schools

How the University was Began

Discover how the lack of educational opportunities in Wisconsin helped create the University of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Engine fragment from the van used in the Sterling Hall bombing, 1970. (Museum object #1994.8)

Historical Essay

The Vietnam War

America's Longest, Most Expensive War

Discover the history of America's longest, most expensive war and the incredible events that happened in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Marquetry table made by August Schlaak as a Christmas present for his daughter, 1923-1929. (Museum object #2003.78.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Minicom III TTY machine made by Ultratec, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1986-1989. (Museum object #2004.58.2a-h)

Historical Essay

1930s UW Gym Suit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

University of Wisconsin student gym suit worn by George Williams, 1933-1934. (Museum object #2005.144.1.1-2)

Historical Essay

The Civil War Home Front

How the Women of Wisconsin Helped Win the War

Discover how women on the Wisconsin home front helped win the Civil War.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 46th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on March 2, 1865, only a few weeks before the war ended.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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