Research Center


Uncover the past in the Research Center at the Waukesha County Historical Society.  Learn about the people, places, industries, businesses, organizations, and ideas that helped shape our community. The Research Center is located in the former Waukesha County courthouse complex, the building is handicap accessible.

Members of the historical society enjoy free access to the Research Center. Daily admission is $14.00 for non-members.

Academic historians, including students, please inquire for specific fee schedules and access.

The Research Center is open each Friday, by appointment, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. (last appointment scheduled at 2 p.m.) For detailed contact information, hours, and fees, please see the Research Center Details page.

Archival Holdings

See the Resources page for a listing of archival materials held by WCHSM.



Other Resources for Historic Research

WCHSM is just one repository for information. For additional organizations and research help please see our list of Professional Associations


Waukesha County History 1870 – 1920

Collaboration between WCHSM, the Waukesha Public Library and UW-Madison Libraries Digital Collections. The images and texts of “Waukesha County History 1870-1920” offer a broad sample of the historical materials available for research at each institution.

Wisconsin State Historical Society

The state Society’s collections contain a range of artifacts and documents about American history. North American genealogy and Wisconsin history are particular strengths.

Milwaukee County Historical Society

Located downtown on Old World Third Street, the Milwaukee County Historical Society holds a wealth of information, including early land and settlement records.

State of Wisconsin Collection UW Madison Digital Libraries

The University of Wisconsin Digital Libraries provide access to thousands of records held in their collection.

UWM Digital Map Collections

The American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection contains over 8000 maps, ranging from early maps of Asia to historical maps of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, and other American cities, states, and national parks. The digital collection is under continuing development.
Of particular interest for Waukesha are the 1859 County Map, 1873 Atlas, an numerous other township and regional maps.


National Register of Historic Places

Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources.

Historic American Building Survey / Historic American Engineering Record / Historic American Landscape Survey

Administered since 1933 these separate and ongoing programs have recorded America’s built environments in multi format surveys comprising more than 556,900 measured drawings, photographs, and written histories for more that 38,600 historic structures and sites dating for Pre-Colombian times to the twentieth century. Made available through the Library of  Congress.

General Land Office Records: Bureau of Land Management

The General Land Office Automated Records Project is responsible for making these important documents available to the public. The documents are scanned and indexed, making them readily available to researchers online. This site has a variety of documents available, and is continually updated as digitization continues. Current resources include: Patents, Survey Plats, Field Notes and Land Status Records.