Welcome to Documenting Milwaukee, a digital collection of primary source curations developed by the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Documenting Milwaukee’s student-produced analyses of historical documents, images, maps, and other compelling sources offer deep dives into the themes, events, people, and places discussed in the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. Each curation includes a high-quality digital version of a primary source, a discussion of the historical context in which it was created, and a critical analysis of the source’s contents and its significance to Milwaukee’s history. Furthermore, our curations provide links to Encyclopedia of Milwaukee entries that are relevant to the source(s) and suggest questions and resources for further discussion and research. We invite you to explore our curations and exhibits and learn more about our student-driven curation process. Please contact us for more information or to suggest sources to add to our collection.

Recently Added Items

A Rousing Call: Socialist Poetry in Milwaukee

October 5, 2020

John Kurth to Frank Zeidler, 7 January 2003, box 7, folder 47, Socialist Party of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Mss Collection 349, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department.

This 2003 letter to former Milwaukee Mayor and Socialist Frank Zeidler illuminates the importance of artistic expressions—in this case poetry—in the city’s historic socialist movement. The letter congratulates Zeidler on the publication of his new book of poetry, and shares a poem written by Milwaukee’s first socialist mayor, Emil Seidel.

Racially Restrictive Covenant: Shorewood, Wisconsin

September 9, 2020


This restrictive covenant from the Village of Shorewood contains a clause that prevents “any other person other than the white race” from owning, occupying, or using property in this area. This is a stark example of legal segregation in Milwaukee’s suburbs from the 1920s.

Lindsay Heights

September 1, 2020

uwmmss190_000001_Lindsay Heights Map.jpg

This map, created in the early 2000s, details the Lindsay Heights neighborhood on the near north side of the City of Milwaukee. It identifies key neighborhood organizations and institutions and provides a valuable window into collaborative efforts to revitalize and strengthen the community.

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