On the Same Page: RPL archival collections on Recollection Wisconsin website

By: 
Reedsburg Public Library staff

This 1899 photo from the Old Settlers Collection shows the cast of the play, "Under the Mistletoe Bough." Find this and other historical photos on Recollection Wisconsin. (Submitted photo)

The history of Reedsburg is at your fingertips with the new material added to the Recollection Wisconsin website by the Reedsburg Public Library in the last year! Recollection Wisconsin is a database containing the digitized collections of libraries and historical societies across the state.

A first step in accessing RPL’s collections is to go to the RecollectionWisconsin website (www.recollectionwisconsin.org). At the top of the page, click on “Explore” and then “Browse by Partner.” Scroll down the page to find Reedsburg Public Library in the alphabetical listing. Clicking here will bring up the following RPL collections, many of which have been added in the past year.

Reedsburg High School Yearbooks Collection contains the digitized contents of Reedsburg High School yearbooks, or “Gleaners” from 1905 through 1978. Click on a year to browse the contents of the book page-by- page, or “search this record” on the right hand side, to find yourself, your parents or your grandparents. The Library retains the original copies of the yearbooks in its Local History Room.

The Reedsburg Old Settlers Collection consists of portraits of area residents and photos of places and events collected by the Old Settlers organization, and donated to the Library when the group disbanded in 2022. Over 900 photos have been scanned, including the backs of the pictures, which often have extensive handwritten information about the people pictured, or the context of the photo. Search by keyword to find your ancestor, or sort the list alphabetically for an interesting and personal view into Reedsburg’s past!

The Reedsburg Historic Survey Collection contains records from the survey conducted from October 1983 through April 1984 to identify historically and architecturally significant properties in the city. Search by address or keyword to find survey results on homes and commercial buildings. Each record contains a photo of the property as it appeared in 1984, as well as historical and architectural data, which in some cases is quite extensive. Search for “Stolte Hotel” to find a good example.

Additional material from the RPL’s Archives that can be found on Recollection Wisconsin include the books “Reedsburg’s Architectural Heritage” and “Reedsburg Intensive Survey,” both written in conjunction with the 1984 Reedsburg Historic Survey. “Reedsburg’s Beautiful Residences,” published in 1912, supplements these materials. “Lake Redstone Beginnings” contains photos taken by the late Mildred Hinrichs of the construction of Lake Redstone, and was donated to the Library by Hinrichs’ daughter.

Later this year, RPL will contribute digitized copies of selected yearbooks from the Sauk County Teachers College to Recollection Wisconsin, as well as a number of Reedsburg postcards.

Explore local history from the comfort of your own home! If you have questions about any library resource or program, call the Library at 608-768-READ or email info@reedsburglibrary.org.