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

Hill Street Blues Badge

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Police captain's badge prop worn by Wisconsin's Daniel J. Travanti on the television series Hill Street Blues, 1981-1987. (Museum object #2007.41.2)

Read about African Americans and the struggle for civil rights in Milwaukee and Madison in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Printer and the Priest

Discover how Wisconsin got its first printing press, and the impact that a Catholic priest would have on Ho-Chunk literacy.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deauville-style chair used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, 1930s. (Museum object #1982.271.9)

Historical Essay

Hopewellian Human Figurine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at Pine River site, Richland County, WI (Museum object #2004.5.1)

Historical Essay

Ukrainian Decorated Egg

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pysanky Ukrainian Easter egg decorated by Wisconsin artist Betty Pisio Christenson, 1980s. (Museum object #1996.118.356)

The Constitutional Convention's Influence on the City

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Historical Essay

Prohibition Soda Pop

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Case of soda pop bottles shipped by the Kurth Company of Columbus, Wisconsin during prohibition, 1920-1933. (Museum object #1994.77.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Multi-Purpose Food from Cold War fallout shelter in Racine, Wisconsin, 1960. (Museum object #1996.81.81)

Historical Essay

Depression and Unemployment

Read about the Great Depression, its effect on Wisconsin industry, agriculture, banks and labor, and New Deal efforts that aided economic recovery.
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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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