Reedsburg Public Library’s Historic Photograph Collection

Recent visitors to the Reedsburg Public Library may have noticed the display in the foyer featuring artifacts and photographs from Reedsburg’s Historic Woolen Mill.  The Woolen Mill operated on the banks of the Baraboo River from 1882 to 1967.

As library patrons may guess, the items displayed are graciously provided by the Reedsburg Historical Society from their copious files and treasure trove of artifacts housed at the Log Village museum on Highway 33, just east of Reedsburg.  What library patrons may not realize is that Reedsburg Public Library also houses an extensive collection of historic photographs from Reedsburg and surrounding communities.

Reedsburg Public Library’s Historic Photograph Collection is the result of the efforts of local historian Bill Schuette to compile a comprehensive photograph collection in 1999.  The collection fills over 30 volumes on CD, and contains pictures donated by the Reedsburg Historical Society, the Old Settlers Association, as well as a number of individual contributors. Communities included in the collection are Reedsburg, Loganville, LaValle, Ironton, Plain and Rock Springs. Special collections cover photographs of Reedsburg’s 32nd Infantry from World War I, area Civil War veterans, Reedsburg citizens and historic Reedsburg homes.

To view a sampling of the Historic Photograph Collection, go to the Reedsburg Public Library’s homepage at www.reedsburg and click on “Local History” at the top of the screen.  On the right hand side of this page, click on “Historic Photograph Collection.”  A next step may be to click on any one of the listed volumes to get a verbal description of the contents, or click on “Historic Photographs Now Online” to view the actual photos.  A “Flickr” link allows the user to enter a keyword to view photographs.  A search on “Reedsburg Woolen Mill” garners over thirty results from Reedsburg Public Library’s collection.

The Historic Photograph Collection may also be viewed at the Reedsburg Public Library.  In the Local History Room, two large binders contain verbal descriptions of each picture as well as a small thumbnail print of each photograph. Digital copies of these historic photos are available for personal use for $5.00 per image.  Many genealogy and local history projects as well as commercially sold books have benefitted from reproductions from the library’s collection. Copyright restrictions may apply for publication or public display of images from the collection.

Be sure to join us on Saturday, November 21, at 10:00 a.m. as Craig Braunschweig, President of the Reedsburg Historical Society, and Pastor David Glesne, present the program “Weaving a Community Together: The History of the Reedsburg Woolen Mill.”  The program is free and no registration is required.  For questions about this upcoming program, the library’s Historic Photograph Collection, or any library resources, please call the library at 768-READ (7323).