Aug 16, 2023

New Local History and Genealogy Research Center Planned for Brown County, Wisconsin Central Library

Brown County is in the beginning stages of putting together a new local history and genealogy research center inside its central library in downtown Green Bay.

Part of the effort is absorbing all it can from one of its most trusted resources, so the information is available for generations to come.

Brown County’s local history and genealogy department has been inside the downtown library for nearly 50 years and Mary Jane Herber has been there the entire time.

“You just don’t know who is going to come and show up and ask questions,” said Herber.

Herber has been answering those questions and adding to what has become quite a collection since 1974.

“To be perfectly honest, I put another bookcase in a year and a half or two years ago, we can’t put anymore bookcases in here without taking out tables,” said Herber.

Luckily for Herber and other local historians, the county will be modernizing what it has and making it more accessible, in a bigger space on the building’s first floor. It’s something Herber says she has actually been working on for years.

“Some people think all I do is think about stuff from 150 years ago or 100 years ago, but what I have to do is think about what’s being produced today that we need to make sure we have a copy of for you 50 years from now,” said Herber.

“We’ll be crafting a sensible, smart workplan to be able to put into place these research elements in a space that is really going to meet the needs of our community,” said Sarah Sugden, the library director for Brown County.

Sugden says more than $161,000 is already set aside to bring in outside help to sort through all the information and make it more accessible for both serious historians and casual ones.

You can read more in an article by Ben Krumholz in the fox11online web site at