The Historic Portrait Collection consists of photographs and images of almost 2,000 individuals related to Milwaukee.
These individuals include Milwaukee residents of various levels of prominence, as well as photos of famous individuals who visited Milwaukee. The images run the gamut from ordinary citizens to prominent national politicians and celebrities. To date, none have been digitized.
Also included in the collection are images of individuals with a more regional or national level of celebrity who visited Milwaukee. These portraits include many presidents, national politicians, members of Congress and the Senate, as well as well-known entertainers.
The photos range in date from the mid- to late 19th century through the present day.
A finding aid describing the collection is available both online and at the Humanities Desk. The finding aid lists alphabetically by last name and first name, the individuals included in the Historic Portrait Collection. A more detailed alphabetical index has also been prepared and is available online from the link on this page, as well as in print at the Humanities Desk. It also lists individuals whose photographs may be found in the following sources:
Bielfeld Kegelklub Album
CETA: Spirit of Milwaukee (digital collection)
Historic Photo Collection
Jones Island, March 1904 to April 1905
Horace Seaman Collection (digital collection)
Yenowine’s Illustrated News, 10/12/1895
The Historic Portrait Collection is part of the Historic Photo Archives at Milwaukee Public Library. To access these portraits, please visit the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at Central Library or call 414-286-3061.