Dane County Historical Society

Dane County Historical Society

The Dane County Historical Society was founded in 1961 to preserve and promote Dane County’s History. Since DCHS is a membership organization, anyone can join. You can find more info about becoming a member here. And since DCHS is a 501(c)3 tax-eempt non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Dane County Historical Markers Program

Robert M. LaFollette Historical Marker dedicated in 2018.

 Since 1963, DCHS has been sponsoring historical markers countywide. You can find out more about the Dane County Historical Marker program by clicking here.



Dane County Records Center

Dane County Records Center is formed with three way partnership

1968 newspaper article about the formation of the Dane County Records Center.

In 1968, DCHS partnered with the Madison Public Library and the Dane County Library Service to establish the Dane County Records Center. With the new partnership in place, Madison’s central library provided space for the Dane County Records Center in the basement. Library services offered free transportation. This unique partnership was so received, that it won a national award from the American Association of State and Local History.

Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center

In 2001, the Dane County Historical Society moved into our new home at the Lussier Family Heritage Center. The Center is in Lunney Lake Farm Park, just south of the Beltline. A generous gift of $50,000 from Amy Gilliland made it possible for DCHS to be part of the building project.¬† In honor of Amy’s gift, DCHS named the Otto SchroederArchives and Records Center after Amy’s grandfather.

Newspaper announcing the successful conclusion to a DCHS fundraising campaign

Newspaper article announcing the end of a successful fundraising campaign by DCHS to secure a location in the Lussier Family Heritage Center

The Dane County Historical Society manages the Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center. We want everyone to use our materials. Making an appointment is as simple as emailing us at danecountyhistory@gmail.com. Generally, it’s best to review our online catalog before making an appointment. In some cases, we may be able to copy the material you want. This might involve a charge for staff time and copying but might save you a trip to the archives.

FORWARD! A History of DANE The Capital County

Cover image of the book FORWARD1 A History of DANE The Capital County.

In 2001, Dane County Historical Society published Forward! A History of DANE The Capital County. This book is still available for sale today. Although written 20 years ago, it is still the best reference work for anyone studying Dane County history.