Reference Maps | Wisconsin Historical Society

Resource Description

About Reference Maps of Wisconsin

Reference Maps | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeMap showing all 72 counties of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Counties, 2010. View the original source document.

There are approximately 200 modern reference maps available of basic cultural and geographical data about Wisconsin and its history. The maps are primarily intended for teachers, students, and others needing answers to simple questions such as: Where were Wisconsin's Indian tribes when the first white explorers arrived? What parts of the state did German immigrants settle in? Where were Wisconsin's first roads? Can I print a map of all Wisconsin counties and county seats?

How Reference Maps Are Organized


All reference maps are available online. To find maps on a particular topic, enter a specific search term such as "Norwegians" or "rivers".

Thematic Maps

Ninety-one maps were scanned from "Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin" (1986). Subjects include: agriculture, fur trade, religion, social & political, transportation, industry, government, settlement and education.

There are also maps from "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story" (2008), the Wisconsin Historical Society's elementary school history textbook. Subjects include: Blackhawk's route, fur trade routes and tribal lands.

Geographical Reference Maps

Ninety-six maps were scanned from "Origin and Legislative History of County Boundaries in Wisconsin" (1942). All Wisconsin counties are represented based on the General Land Office township and range system. The maps show the precise boundary of every Wisconsin county at any point in time. The original book was crudely printed by mimeograph and the scanned images accurately reflect the quality of the original work.

There are also maps from "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story" (2008), the Wisconsin Historical Society's elementary school history textbook. Subjects include: counties, glaciers, topography, longitude and latitude markers and waterways.


The reference maps were compiled from numerous sources for online retrieval only. They are not available in one location physically.

Checking Out Materials

Most maps and atlases do not circulate and must be used at the Society's Library or Archives. Also, some may be sent to any of our 13 Area Research Centers around the state for viewing.

Purchasing Copies

Photocopies of documents are available for a fee.

How to Cite

Bibliographic data will appear below each online document. Copy and paste the bibliographic data into your preferred citation manager.

Rights and Permissions

Digital maps on the Wisconsin Historical Society website may be printed or downloaded at no cost for nonprofit educational use by teachers and students, or for private use by individual researchers. Nothing may be reproduced in any format for commercial purposes without prior permission from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Related Resources

The State Cartographer's Office is a clearinghouse of information on maps and geographic data about Wisconsin.

Have Questions?

Contact our Library and Archives staff by email.