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Research & Instruction

The AGS Library staff can provide basic reference services, such as looking up places in gazetters or locating places on maps, but we are not able to undertake extensive research. It is preferred that users visit the AGS Library in person, but if that is not possible, we do provide some reference services by mail, e-mail, and telephone. Call or email to schedule an appointment or to discuss your information request.

E-mail the AGS Library at or call at 414-229-6282.

Users should provide as much information as they can about the places they want located (variant spellings, alternate names, name of administrative unit or province in which the place is located, time period in question, etc.). Relative locational information can also be helpful (what larger towns or cities are near by, is the place on a river or lake, on the coast, etc.). If possible, photocopies of actual documents containing the place name, such as birth or marriage certificates or naturalization papers, should be provided.

If a place can be found using gazetters or other reference sources, we will give the basic information needed to locate it on a modern map (latitude and longitude, country in which it is presently located). In many cases, photocopies of places of maps on which the place is shown can also be made. Large maps will be copied in sections. Not all maps can be photocopied however, due to their age, condition, or copyright restrictions.

Genealogy research at the AGSL 

Online resources

Social Explorer (US Census data)

National Historical GIS – access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography, including states, counties, tracts, and blocks.

Online Gazetteers (place name authorities)

Old Maps Online – has over 200,000 antique map price records collected from dealer and auction catalogs since 1982. It has integrated the Antique Map Price Record database into the existing database (UWM log in required).