Local Government Records | Wisconsin Historical Society

Resource Description

Local Government Records

The Wisconsin Historical Society has statutory responsibility to collect, maintain and make available for use permanently valuable records of Wisconsin's local governments, school districts and courts.

Our holdings include the following:

  • Common Council proceedings
  • County and Municipal ordinances and resolutions
  • County Board proceedings
  • Court case files (including criminal, civil, family and divorce cases)
  • Grantor/grantee indexes
  • Land deeds
  • Naturalization records
  • Probate case files
  • School district and school board reports
  • Tax rolls
  • Wills

Access to Local Government Records

Pre-1907 birth, death and marriage records are available in the Society Library and at Area Research Centers.

Most local government collections are physically located at Area Research Centers (ARCs) and not at the Society headquarters building in Madison. Only records for Columbia, Dane, and Sauk Counties, as well as some recent acquisitions from other counties, are housed at the Society headquarters building in Madison. See the counties served by each Area Research Center.

Search Our Local Government Records Online

  • To search for local  government records in the custody of the Wisconsin Historical Society, use ArCat (the Archives Online Catalog). Learn more about How to Search Our Archives Collections.
  • If you have specific reference questions, visit the Archives Research Room or your local Area Research Center. 

Local Government Records Program

  • If you work for a local government and would like more information about the Local Government Records Program, visit the Local Government Records Program page.
  • For questions regarding the donation of records, please contact Virginia W. Fritzsch by phone at 608-264-6469 or by email at virginia.fritzsch@wisconsinhistory.org.

Learn More

Have Questions?

Contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives by phone at 608-264-6460 or by email below:

Wisconsin History Tour.
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