There are a wide variety of historical and genealogical materials available at the Kenosha Public Library. Two resource brochures: Local Historical Resources (2005) and Genealogy Resources and Services (2005), are available at any Reference Service desk. They provide an overview of history and genealogy information sources at KPL, especially those related to Kenosha and the communities within Kenosha County.
Local Institutions and Resources
The Kenosha’s Lost Industries: Photographs and Corporate Materials, 1850s-1990s
digital collection contains over 1,600 images and 35 supplemental items owned by the Kenosha County Historical Society and Museum. This content, within the State of Wisconsin Collection, documents the impact former major manufacturers had on the area and the global economy. The items complement and enhance understanding of the Kenosha County materials digitized in 2008 and 2009. Many of the selections are rare or unique. The companies and corporations with the strongest representation are as follows: N. R. Allen Sons, American Brass, Bain Wagon Company, Dynamatic, Thomas B. Jeffery, Nash Motors, American Motors, MacWhyte, Pirsch, and Simmons. Most of the companies no longer have physical remains due to demolition, fire, and the course of urban development over the decades. Corporate materials for these industries have largely disappeared or are not available to the general public or researchers in libraries, archives, or museums.
The collection includes materials from the C.E. Dewey Lantern Slide Collection. Named collectively for Cortland Ernest Dewey, the 1,232 images primarily depict people, buildings, landscapes, objects and significant events in the city and county of Kenosha from the 1830s to the early 1940s.
Quality reproductions of photographs from all of the digital collections may be purchased through the Kenosha History Center. Please contact their Archives at (262) 654-5770 (ext. 107) for more information.