The University of Wisconsin Press

Wisconsin History / Geography & Cartography


Wisconsin's Past and Present
A Historical Atlas
Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild
With an Introduction by William Cronon

"A wonderfully useful book."—William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"This atlas fills a void in the bibliography of Wisconsin history."—Margaret Beattie Bogue, professor emeritus of history, University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of Around the Shores of Lake Michigan

"The Historical Atlas of Wisconsin is a first of its kind for this state and is long overdue."—Onno Brouwer, associate director, University of Wisconsin Cartography Laboratory, coeditor of the Cultural Map of Wisconsin

Despite Wisconsin's rich history, no historical atlas has been produced in the state since 1878. The Historical Atlas of Wisconsin, created by the Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild, has filled this void with a fascinating and colorful portrait of the state's complex development. This useful and entertaining guide, produced to mark 150 years of statehood, provides a lasting resource for map lovers and history buffs of all ages, and anyone interested in Wisconsin's heritage. The Atlas features more than 100 pages of historic and geographic data, including full-color maps, descriptive text, photos, and illustrations.

The Atlas highlights the peoples and cultures, economy and land, and socio-political landscape of Wisconsin—from Native American mounds to weather hazards to labor history. Situated at the intersections of natural and cultural regions, Wisconsin has always been an area "on the cutting edge." It formed a boundary between the glaciated and unglaciated regions of North America, which evolved into the "tension line" between the Northwoods and the Central Plains. It later became the meeting ground among Native American nations, and a new home to diverse groups of immigrant settlers, who introduced cutting-edge political and economic ideas to the rest of the country. Wisconsin still serves as a borderland between the agricultural Midwest, the industrial Great Lakes, and the Northern forests. The Atlas explores the history of indigenous cultures, immigrant groups, natural resources, agriculture, industries, boundaries, political and social movements, and government institutions in lively detail.

The Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild
: Marily Crews-Nelson, Laura Exner, Michael Gallagher, Zoltán Grossman, Amelia Janes, and Jeffry Maas. The Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild, founded in 1996, is an association of professional freelance mapmakers with a total of forty years of experience in the craft and complementary backgrounds in thematic cartography, geography, history, art, science, and computer graphics. Members pool their skills and resources to produce maps, illustrations, and other educational materials.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover of Wisconsin's Past and Present is tan, featuring a map of the state in the center.

November 1998

144 pp.  9 x 12
135 color maps, 20 color photos, 15 charts   

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