In addition to the resources below – many of which are now available digitally through our website – the library’s local history & genealogy section contains plat books, old city directories, genealogical society newsletters, historical atlases and much more.
Please visit the Ripon Historical Society for additional information about the history of Ripon.
The Ripon Public Library, in cooperation with the Ripon Historical Society, digitized the Pedrick Genealogy Notebooks Collection for both preservation and online accessibility. The collection consists of numerous historical and genealogical records kept by local historian Samuel Pedrick, a long-time Ripon resident and prominent figure in the city’s history. For more information on the collection left by Samuel Pedrick, please visit the Pedrick Collection Guide at Ripon College. Biographical information is also available from the Ripon College website. Please note: mentions of “Necrol” refer to Samuel Pedricks original working notebooks, which the library does not have available. These items are held by the historical society.
The Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce provides three self-guided walking tours of Ripon, covering the historic downtown, residential areas, and Ceresco. Visit https://www.ripon-wi.com for more information – we’ve provided PDF copies of the brochures here for your convenience.
Our local history collection includes local city and/or county directories dating back to 1901. There are some gaps in the collection. These directories are for in-library use only.
For obituaries published after 1961, the Ripon Historical Society has compiled an obituary database using information from the local newspapers and countless volunteer hours. The index (now part of the Winnefox Vital Records Index) is searchable by name and date and will usually indicate either the death date or the actual newspaper date for the obituary of the person in question. The full text of issues of the Ripon Commonwealth-Press from 2005 and newer are searchable online at http://badgerlink.newsmemory.com/wna/badgerlink/
Included in the library’s local history collection are local high school yearbooks. Please note that there are a number of gaps in the collection. If you would be willing to donate copies to help fill in the missing years, please contact the library.
Follow the link to view our digital yearbook collection, including several years’ worth of digitized issues (which the library believes to be in the public domain) of the RHS Tiger starting from 1917.
The library owns a large number of genealogical reference books of interest to those seeking information about the central Wisconsin area, as well as books related to immigration records and state history. The city directory collection stretches back to the turn of the century.
Books in the local history collection are for in-library use only and may not be checked out.
Ripon residents Joann and Melvin Ingram have spent many years cataloging many area cemeteries. The library’s copies of these records included several ring binders which were quickly falling into disarray. The contents have been scanned and digitized, and are now available online. Use the text links or the image maps below to select the cemetery of your choice.
Update: More recent cemetery records have been made available via the City of Ripon website for Hillside, Woodlawn, and the Garden of the Cross, including an Excel file with a complete index of names. Visit the City of Ripon Department of Public Works website for details.