The Dane County Historical Society was incorporated as an affiliate of the State Historical Society on January 16, 1961. We're a private, non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization. Our primary mission is education: promoting an awareness of Dane County's rich heritage, thus aiding in its preservation. One hundred percent of our budget goes toward carrying out our mission. We carry out this mission through our programs and publications.
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Search the Otto Schroeder Records Center Archives
The Otto Schroeder Records Center is home to the Dane County Historical Society archives collection. It includes historical documentation of the people, places, businesses and organizations with ties to the County, including: books, periodicals, maps, photographs, diaries, reminiscence writings, scrapbooks, organizational records, clippings, high school newspapers and yearbooks, architectural drawings and more.
On November 13, 1968, the Dane County Historical Society formed the Dane County Historical Records Center, which opened at the Madison Public Library. In August of 1999 the archives was moved out of Madison Public Library and into storage at the Lakeview Sanatorium nurses dorm in Madison. Late in 2002, after a major fundraising effort, the Dane County Historical Records Center was renamed as the Otto Schroeder Records Center and moved into a new home in the basement of the freshly built Lussier Family Heritage Center.
An electronic cataloging project began shortly after the move. The collection had suffered from being held in storage for a period of time and needed to be inventoried, re-classified and re-cataloged. With the help of a consultant and a number of dedicated volunteers, the Society has reorganized and cataloged most of the collections in the Otto Schroeder Records Center using the PastPerfect online catalog software, in order to make the collections accessible to the public.
Much of the collection is now available for searching via the Dane County Historical Society website. Click here to search the online records for materials in the Otto Schroeder Records Center.
The Dane County Historical Society has very little information to help personal genealogists. Genealogists seeking specific family or ancestor information will not usually find indexed family information in the catalog and they are generally referred to the Dane County Register of Deeds, which has records for births, deaths and marriages, as well as land records, specific to Dane County.
The Otto Schroeder Records Center is not open for walk-in traffic or for general browsing of the collection. If you find a specific item in the catalog that you would like to view or learn more about, contact the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (608) 492-1660.
Updated December 28, 2013