How to Access Microfilm at the Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Society

Resource Description

About Our Microfilm Collection

Access Information and Sales Service

How to Access Microfilm at the Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeImage of Oshkosh Daily Northwestern Newspaper, 1945

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern Newspaper, 1945

Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Historic newspaper from the end of World War II, one of over 12,000 newspapers available for purchase.

Nearly 2 million items in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library exist on some sort of microform and these represent virtually all the subject areas in which the Library collects. The Library has particularly strong genealogy, labor union, North American exploration, African American and Native American holdings.

The Library's collection of newspapers is the second largest in the United States, surpassed only by that of the Library of Congress. Many of the newspapers in the collection are on microfilm.

In addition to newspapers, you will also find the following in large numbers on microfilm:

  • Archival series
  • Manuscript collections
  • PhD dissertations
  • Pre-1820 American books
  • Pre-1850 American magazines
  • Also on microform is the Library's collection of family history records, including published and microfilmed family histories, church and cemetery records, birth, death and marriage registrations, federal and state census, local histories, and military information covering the United States and Canada.

How the Microfilm Collection is Organized

Microfilm holdings can be found by searching the Library Catalog using the blue button below. Wisconsin residents may check out most microforms in person, additionally, most microforms are available to non-Wisconsin residents through interlibrary loan (depending on copyright compliance and/or physical condition) from participating institutions.

Note: Some heavily used materials (including genealogical resources) do not circulate. See the "Purchasing Copies" section below to learn how you can buy copies of partial or full microfilm reels.

Search the Library Catalog

Purchasing Copies

There are multiple options for purchasing copies of microforms. Portions of microfilm may be purchased for a fee as show below. The Society also has a dedicated Microfilm Sales service for those who wish to purchase from their catalog, which includes the option to purchase full reels in addition to single pages or sections. See more information in the links below.

Due to staff limitations, the Wisconsin Historical Society Microfilm Reproductions Lab is not currently accepting new orders. We are working through existing orders as quickly as possible. Questions regarding the status of orders can be directed to

Digital or Paper Copies of Portions of Microfilm

Researchers who cannot visit the Library-Archives may order copies by mail, fax or e-mail. We do not accept orders by phone. See the List of Fees. In your request, please be sure to include a specific reference to title, author and page numbers.

Place an order by email:

Please note: Requests that do not include a specific reference to title, author and page numbers will be treated as requests for research assistance. The Library and Archives can only provide limited research service and we reserve the right to turn down research requests on a case-by-case basis.

Purchasing Full Reels or Pages from Our Microfilm Lab

In 1941 the Society secured funding for an on-site microfilm lab which has operated without interruption ever since and now holds over 120,000 master negatives. Search our catalog of over 12,000 titles to purchase single pages, sections, whole microfilm reels or digital files of:

  • Directories
  • Newspapers
  • Organizational newsletters
  • Research journals
  • Trade publications and other publications


We are experiencing problems with the site. We are working on resolving them and apologize for any inconvenience. Please email for assistance purchasing microfilm or digital microfilm.


Each month we add more to our Microfilm Catalog. However, it does not yet contain microfilm of manuscripts, archival collections or monographs.

If you have questions about finding a record in our database, making a purchase, setting up a standing order or any other questions, please contact us by phone at 608-264-6517 or by email below:


Learn More

Have Questions?

To discover if the library owns a particular title, search the Library Catalog. For more information, contact the Microforms staff at 608-264-6536 or by email below: