Reedsburg Public Library boasts an extensive local history and genealogy collection. Information may be accessed in the library’s beautiful local history room, and much information can be obtained online at reedsburglibrary.org Over the last several years volunteers have been busy indexing hundreds of birth, marriage, and death notices that have appeared in the Reedsburg newspapers beginning with the 1860’s. To search this index online, click on “local history” on the library’s homepage, click again on “Online Genealogy Index, and a search box should appear at the top of the screen. Enter your ancestor’s name, and you will be presented with a listing indicating the titles of the newspapers and the dates that articles appeared about the person.
A second step takes you to the library’s microfilm collection and its new ST Viewscan microfilm machine. The microfilm copies allow the newspapers to be viewed exactly as they appeared at publication. Once the article has been located, it can be printed, saved to a flash drive or e-mailed to a user’s account. Older obituary articles in particular often contain much information about the person’s background, origin, occupation and descendants.
Reedsburg Public Library also houses an extensive photographic collection compiled by area resident Bill Schuette in 1999. These photographs are stored on discs and include scenes from Reedsburg, Lavalle, Loganville, Rock Springs, and Ironton. Portraits of individuals and Civil War veterans are also included. Thumbnail sketches, as well as verbal descriptions of these pictures appear on the Local History Page. Click on “Libraries Historical Photographic Collection.” Printed copies or cd’s of the original photographs can be ordered from the library for $5.00 per image.
Local county histories, cemetery indexes, old city directories and telephone books are also housed in the library’s local history room. County histories published in the late 1800’s and early 1900’ often had a section containing detailed biographies of early settlers. These biographies have been indexed in a binder that is displayed in the local history room.
Are your ancestors not from this area? The library may still hold a wealth of information through its subscription to Ancestry.com. This heavily advertised database contains state and federal census records from their inception to 1940. The Social Security death index can be found here as well as numerous other genealogical sources. Ancestry.com can be accessed free at any of the library’s public access computers. Because of licensing restrictions, this database is not available through the library for at-home use, but a similar database, Heritage.com can be accessed through the local history page and used at home.
Library staff will be happy to help you with these or any other questions. Call the library at 524-3316 or 768 Read