Rose M. Coughlin Room

About the Rose M. Coughlin Room

As a young boy, James Coughlin was influenced by his mother to develop an appreciation for books. As he grew, he combined that appreciation with his passion for history and began collecting local history books from all over the state of Wisconsin. As a community leader, James cared about his local community. By collecting local history books, James hoped to preserve the histories of not only his home town of Winneconne, but of communities and people from all over Wisconsin.

When the Village of Winneconne made plans to open a new municipal building, James saw an opportunity to share his collection and keep it safe. He generously donated enough money to the library to create a separate room in its new space that would be dedicated to the preservation and sharing of local history documents. Thus the Rose M. Coughlin Room was created, named after James’ mother.

The collection consists largely of hard-to-find, self-published, limited edition texts of the histories of municipalities throughout the state of Wisconsin. Other topics include Wisconsin authors, railroads, industry, education… the list is very comprehensive.

In every trip he took, James spent time seeking out these rare histories to make his collection as complete as possible. As a result, the collection of local histories in the Rose M. Coughlin Room is the second largest collection of its kind. The only library with a larger collection of similar resources is the Wisconsin State Historical Society Library. This collection is meant for browsing; James would be very sad to see the collection not being used, so please visit the room soon, and come back  often!

Featured Collections of the Local History Room

  • Books by Wisconsin authors, including an extensive collection of August Derleth, Edna Ferber, Zona Gale and Hamlin Garland
  • Limited edition local histories of townships, villages, cities and communities throughout Wisconsin
  • Historical copies of Winneconne newspapers, including the Winneconne News, the Winneconne Item and the Winneconne Local
  • James P. Coughlin's papers
  • Wisconsin Blue Books that date back to 1879
  • Copies of the Magenta and the Quiver yearbooks
  • A variety of Oshkosh City and Winnebago County directories
  • Books about a variety of topics in Wisconsin history including industry, railroads, education, fishing and many more.

Genealogy Resources

The Coughlin Room has a limited collection of resources to aid in genealogy research. Items that may be helpful to research include:

the Winneconne Vital Records Index

the Winneconne Cemetery Index

and Heritage Quest online database

Search our catalog for specific titles related to genealogy research.

Policy for Use of Items Found in the Coughlin Room

  • The historical materials that make up the Coughlin collection do not circulate.
  • Patrons have open access to the materials during established library hours.
  • To view items behind locked cases, patrons may ask a librarian to unlock the cabinets.
  • The materials may not leave the Coughlin Room.
  • Patrons must handle materials with care and clean hands, as many of the items are irreplaceable.
  • Patrons may ask a librarian for assistance in making photocopies, and will pay 15 cents per page of copies.
  • The library reserves the right to refuse a copy if doing so will endanger the integrity of the document. That decision is up to the discretion of the librarian on duty.
  • Wireless Internet access is available for use in the Coughlin Room.
  • Patrons may ask a librarian to borrow the Coughlin Room laptop to search the information contained on its databases. The laptop should be used inside the Coughlin Room.
  • No food or drink will be allowed in the Coughlin Room.

Who to Contact with Questions about the Rose M. Coughlin Room

Please contact Library Director, Holly Selwitschka, if you have questions about the Rose M. Coughlin Room. 920.582.7091or director@winneconnelibrary.org

The room is maintained by Marge Eid, a former librarian and very talented and dedicated volunteer. Marge Eid was a personal friend of James Coughlin and his family and has a deep understanding of the room and it's purpose. She would be happy to talk about the collection.

Support the Rose M. Coughlin Local History Collection

If you would like to make a donation in support of the local history collection housed in the Rose M. Coughlin Room, please contact Marge Eid via email or leave a message for her at the library 920.582.7091.