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Newspapers & Periodicals


The Society Library owns one of the nation's largest collections of North American newspapers, with more than 11,000 bound volumes and 100,000 reels of microfilm as well as access to digital collections of newspapers dating back to the early 18th century. Particular strengths include Wisconsin newspapers, colonial and early American newspapers west of the Appalachians, and the largest collection of labor and trade union newspapers in the nation.

The Library's holdings of 1960s "underground" or alternative newspapers are also extensive. Other areas of the collection that have attained national importance are Native American and African-American newspapers. Among rarities in the newspaper collection are the first African-American and Native American newspapers and the first Bohemian, Dutch, Norwegian, and Spanish language newspapers published in the United States.


The library maintains approximately 7,800 subscriptions to current periodicals on all aspects of American social and political life. Its retrospective holdings include virtually all American magazines of news and opinion published before 1860, and specialized periodicals published by abolitionist, ethnic, military, religious, radical/reform, labor, and women's organizations. Visit African-American periodicals for details about this collection.
Most newspapers and periodicals held by the Society Library are available for:

To discover if the library owns a particular title, search the Library Catalog (formerly MadCat).

For more information, contact the Library staff by email at or call us at 608-264-6535.


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