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Local History

Madison Public Library has several programs, initiatives, and partnerships to support the preservation of our collective history, including individuals looking to protect their own individual or family history, as well as neighborhoods and groups looking to archive and record those broader stories. 

Living History Project

The Living History Project is a community history initiative that focuses on gathering and preserving stories from Madison's recent past through audio story gatherings and longer history interviews. At this time, most of the digital collections are place-based, relating to specific neighborhoods, buildings, or spaces in the Madison area. Made possible with support from Marvin J. Levy and the Madison Public Library Foundation.

Personal Archiving Lab (PAL)

Central Library offers a collection of equipment that can be used to digitize at-risk analog materials such as VHS, Hi-8, and audio cassettes, as well as paper-based documents. The Library offers tutorials (Tuesdays and Thursdays) on how to use the equipment, after which patrons can make an appointment to work on digitization projects at a time that works for them. 


Archive-It is a service that enables the Library to manage archives for public websites of Madison-based people and entities, include arts and culture communities, business initiatives, civic leaders and officials, neighborhood associations, and non-profits that engage in public discourse on issues of racial equity and social justice. The public can access this collection at any time on the Archive-It website.

Research the Story of Your House

Have you ever wondered about the stories your home has to tell? Are you fascinated by the history of historical homes in your neighborhood? Madison Public Library partnered with the City of Madison Planning Department and Madison Trust for Historic Preservation to create a community presentation entitled, “Researching the Story of Your House.” The presentation is available to all, along with each presenter's contact information.


For more information about Local History resources and initiatives, please contact Laura Damon-Moore.