Saturday, October 25, 2008

Milwaukee Public Library

If you are just getting started researching your Milwaukee German heritage, one of the best places to start is at the library!

Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
phone: (414) 286-3000

Hours
Monday - Wednesday, 9am to 8:30pm
Thursday - Saturday, 9am to 5:30pm
Sunday - 1 to 5pm (They are closed Sundays from May through September)

Parking information can be found
here.

What You Can Find at the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch
  • Books about Germans, Milwaukee history, Germans in Milwaukee, histories of neighborhoods and churches, etc. Search the library catalog to discover what they have.
  • Milwaukee City Directories in book form. Available in the Zeidler Humanities room.
  • Large, historical maps of Milwaukee that include where buildings were on the map. (Milwaukee street names changed in the later part of the 1920s--around 1929, I think--so seeing historical maps from before and after will help your search tremendously). Available in the Zeidler Humanities room.
  • City of Milwaukee Archives--Tax rolls, aldermen’s records and correspondence, 1862-1911. Available in the Zeidler Humanities room.
  • Great Lakes Marine Collection--Thousands of historical items, photographs and information on 85,000 ships that sailed the Great Lakes. Available in the Zeidler Humanities room.
  • Milwaukee Road Archives--Engineering drawings of engines, bridges and railroad structures. Available in the Zeidler Humanities room.
  • Microfilm of Milwaukee newspapers, including The Milwaukee Journal, The Milwaukee Sentinel, German-language newspapers for Milwaukee, and so on. These newspapers can be found on microfilm in the Periodicals Department.
  • Indexes to Milwaukee newspapers. The Milwaukee Area Necrology compiled by Manning M. Bookstaff can be used in the Zeidler Humanities room, as can Milwaukee's German Newspapers: an Index of Death Notices and Related Items compiled by Gary Rebholz . The Milwaukee Sentinel Card Index, 1837-1879; 1880-1890 and Death Notices/Obits, 1930s (?) - June 30, 1992 (available on microfilm) can be accessed in the Periodicals room. There are other indexes available as well.
  • Government Documents--More than 1.5 million state and federal documents. Available in the Periodicals room.

The resources I enumerated above are only a few of the many available at the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch. I could spend days there searching all that they have--and still need more time to finish my research! The staff is very friendly and helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them questions.

Happy searching!

1 comment:

Gary said...

Thanks for your excellent post.

There doesn't appear to be any organized German Genealogy Research Group in Milwaukee County. If they're out there, where? If one doesn't exist - who wants to help start one????

Gary Rebholz
Milwaukee