Local History Collection

section of old document with a picture of an eagle and a list of the names of Columbia County cadets

Our History Collection

History Collection Cabinet       History Collection Display Case      

The Columbus Public Library Local History Collection is located on the library's top floor. Visit us to learn about our city's history or perform genealogical research using this collection that includes Civil War registries, local family histories, and more. Please note that history collection materials are for in-library use only.

Not sure where to begin? Stop by the library's main desk and we'll be happy to help with your research needs! Library staff members have also compiled a listing of helpful online resources for local history and genealogy research. Additionally, our library will do limited genealogy research as time permits. If you are not in the area, please send requests to the library by mail to our address below. There is no charge for this service, although donations are gladly accepted.

Columbus Public Library
223 West James Street
Columbus, WI 53925

shelve of local history books



library computer with Ancestry Library Edition on its screen

AncestryLibrary Database

This database can only be accessed at the library. Need to print or save your findings? Visitors can use the library's printer for a small fee or save articles to a USB drive.

shelf of Columbus High School yearbooks

Columbus High School Yearbooks

The collection includes years spanning from 1901 through 2012 with some years missing.


microfilm reader and computer monitor for viewing

Microfilm and Microfilm Reader

Visitors are welcome to use the library's microfilm collection and ST Imaging ST200X series microfilm reader. Ask a staff member for help with accessing the microfilm cabinet and reader.

1 page Fred Stare's Columbus history articles

Fred Stare's Columbus History Articles

Frederick A. "Fred" Stare (1877-1966) was a local community leader and historian. Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 of his weekly newspaper column, The Story of Columbus, can be read at the library or online via the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries and Digital Collections.

several volumes of historic plat maps

Plat Maps

This collection includes historical and recent maps for both Columbia and Dodge counties. Learn more about plat maps in general from the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office.

cover of Personal War Sketches

Civil War History

Our collection includes Wisconsin volunteer rosters for 1861-1865 and a bound volume of Columbus Area Personal War Sketches that is available for viewing online through Recollection Wisconsin. Microfilm of local newspapers that were in print during the Civil War era and books on Wisconsin military history, Wisconsin Women's roles during the war, and Wisconsin at Vicksburg are also available for research.



panoramic photo of boxed microfilm reels in a drawer

Hillside Cemetery Records

Division I, II, III;  Addition I, II, III, IV;
Addition 1915, 1950, 1971

Columbus Journal

Ask at the front desk about years available.

Columbus Journal Republican

(Missing May 30, 1861 - October 14, 1868)

Columbus Democrat

1868 - 1937
(Missing August 26, 1870 - March 3, 1871)

Weekly Journal

June 1861 - June 1864

Union Banner

June 1862 - August 1862

Country Life

July 1961 - February 1963

U.S. Census Records

Ask at the front desk about availability.