Saukville in Images

The Jim & John Peterson Collection of Images

These photographs, which were donated to the library by Mr. James Peterson, are available for you to browse through by doing click HERE. This is a work in progress and more images will be added periodically in order to complete the total uploading of the almost 2000 images in the collection. Meanwhile, if you would like to inquire about any of the images on display, please contact the Oscar Grady Public Library.

This project was made possible by the ResCarta Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The below text, which was used as introduction to a recent exhibit in which these images were shared, gives a brief insight on these images and the value of such collection:

The Past. A small phrase that carries a heavy load of responsibility.

Whether distant or close, thinking about the past allows us to reflect on where we came from and how far we have come. Since its invention, photography has presented us with a kind of mirror in which we can look at ourselves and make comparisons between who we once were and who we are today. When you consider photographs, deceptively simple pieces of paper that provide us with tangible evidence of what once existed, the past comes alive in a mesmerizing way.

For over forty years, the late John Peterson and his brother Jim Peterson, two Saukville residents, collected thousands of objects relating to the history of the Village of Saukville. A large percentage of those objects are photographic images collected over time, a small selection of which are presented here, which document a vast archive of the not-so-distant past, as well as showcase the labor of love that went into a lifetime of preserving memories of their beloved town.

Happily, thanks to a generous donation from Jim Peterson, this massive collection of local memorabilia has found a permanent home at the Oscar Grady Public Library in Saukville.

The Oscar Grady Library, with the use of its Digital Media Conversion Lab, a valuable resource available to the public for which the Library was awarded the 2016 Governor’s Award for Archival Innovation, has begun the process of digitizing the photographs in The Jim & John Peterson Collection. Thanks to the tools available at the Library, these images are being made available online through the ResCarta Foundation, which will allow the public to access to the rich history of Saukville from the comfort of their own homes.

This collection offers a unique look into different aspects of life in a town with its own identity and dreams. Its photographs showcase local businesses and historic buildings, those gone and those still standing, its social life, including organizations and sports clubs, as well as the fires and floods that are part of Saukville’s history. It is our great privilege to share these images of Saukville’s past, carefully collected by Jim and John Peterson, and to preserve them for everyone to look upon in the future.

The Oscar Grady Public Library
Saukville, Wisconsin 2017