Additional Research Resources
A variety of other resources are available in the Library Catalog (formerly MadCat) and Archives. Many town and county histories contain short sections describing archaeological sites, as well as chapters discussing early settlement and Native American villages. Some of these sources, but not all, have been integrated into the Wisconsin ASI.
The J. William Trygg Composite Maps
The Trygg maps combine information from the GLO Survey plats and field notes and miscellaneous other early sources into a series of 46 sheets covering Minnesota and portions of Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. Most of northern and central Wisconsin are included, though sheets for areas near the Minnesota and Michigan borders may be filed with those states. The Trygg maps, like the GLO maps, depict both Native American and Euro-American features. They have the advantage of graphically depicting large areas, allowing researchers to scan multiple townships at once. The Trygg maps have not yet been fully integrated into the Wisconsin ASI.
Location: Archives, Fourth Floor
Call Number: H GX89 T87
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps provide detailed information concerning structures and land use in urban areas. The Sanborn maps depict all structures and streets in each surveyed area, and give information concerning construction technique, street address, and property boundaries. A number of editions are usually available for Wisconsin towns and cities, spanning the latter half of the 1800's and the early 1900's. The Sanborn maps are perhaps the most valuable resource available for project areas in urban settings.
Location: Archives, Fourth Floor. Black and white copies are available in Microfilm on the Second Floor.
Call Number: Consult Archives Staff for location.
Online Resources: An online version of the maps is available for a fee. Individual maps may be purchased online.
Aerial photographs and photo-mosaics are available for most areas of Wisconsin. The Robinson Map Library holdings contain photos taken between 1930 and 1990. These photographs provide valuable records of land use, and are of particular use to researchers working in forested areas. Clearings created by logging camps and farmstead are often visible on the early photographs, allowing surveyors to pinpoint areas of archaeological interest. Mound groups and other large sites may be visible on some aerial photographs as soil shadows in cultivated fields. Newer satellite imagery is available on-line.
Location: Robinson Map Library, 310 Science Hall, UW-Madison Campus (across the street from the WHS). Contact the library at 1-608-262-1471 for hours.
The Society's image collection contains many photographs and paintings of interest to archaeological researchers. Those with project areas in urban settings may wish to browse the Wisconsin Place Files, in the Archives reading room. Birds-eye views are available for many communities. Photographs of individual archaeological sites and mound groups are available in the Charles E. Brown photograph collection. Efforts are also currently underway to complete a catalog of ships and shipwrecks included in the Archives collections.
Location: Archives, Fourth Floor. Please search the card files and finding aids for individual call numbers
Online Resources: Portions of the Chales E. Brown photograph collections may be searched and viewed online.
Numerous historic atlases, land ownership maps, plat maps and city plats are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society. These maps allow researchers to examine patterns of land use within their project areas and determine where former cemeteries and the remains of demolished structures might be found. Cemetery areas have been integrated into the Wisconsin ASI, but many other features on the historic maps have not. Researchers are strongly encouraged to consult as many historic maps as possible, covering the period between settlement and 1950.
Location: Archives, Fourth floor.
Call Number: Please consult the card catalog for the map files for individual call numbers.
Online Resources: Historic maps may be examined in a number of places on the web, particularly at sites devoted to genealogical research. The David Rumsey map collection
contains exploration-era maps as well as a statewide
atlas produced in the 1870's.