The Wisconsin Historical Society (officially the State Historical Society of Wisconsin) is simultaneously a state agency and a private membership organization whose purpose is to maintain, promote and spread knowledge relating to the history of North America, with an emphasis on the state of Wisconsin and the trans-Allegheny West. Founded in 1846 and chartered in 1853, it is the oldest historical society in the United States to receive continuous public funding. The society's headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
|Headquarters||816 State Street|
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
|Parent agency||State of Wisconsin|
The Wisconsin Historical Society is organized into four divisions: the Division of Library-Archives, the Division of Museums and Historic Sites, the Division of Historic Preservation-Public History, and the Division of Administrative Services.
The Division of Library-Archives collects and maintains books and documents about the history of Wisconsin, the United States, and Canada. The society's library and archives, which together serve as the library of American history for the University of Wisconsin–Madison, contain nearly four million items, making the society's collection the largest in the world dedicated exclusively to North American history. The Wisconsin Historical Society's extensive newspaper collection is the second largest in the United States after the Library of Congress. Visual materials in the archives include some three million photographs, negatives, films, architectural drawings, cartoons, lithographs, posters, and a variety of visual ephemera. The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research is also housed within the division. The society's archives also serve as the official repository for state and local government records. The society coordinates an Area Research Center Network, an alliance between the Historical Society in Madison and four-year campuses of the University of Wisconsin System throughout the state, to make most of the archival collections accessible to state residents.
The Division of Museums and Historic Sites operates the Wisconsin Historical Museum in downtown Madison and 11 historic sites throughout the state. The museum has an archaeology program in collaboration with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources that undertakes research, and collects and preserves historical artifacts. The other historic sites are tourist attractions that display historic buildings reflecting Wisconsin history and provide exhibitions and demonstrations of state history, such as ethnic settlement, mining, farming, fur trading, transportation, and pioneering life.
|Black Point Estate||Lake Geneva, Wisconsin|
|Circus World Museum||Baraboo, Wisconsin|
|First Capitol||Belmont, Wisconsin|
|H. H. Bennett Studio||Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin|
|Madeline Island Museum||La Pointe, Wisconsin|
|Old World Wisconsin||Eagle, Wisconsin|
|Pendarvis||Mineral Point, Wisconsin|
|Reed School||Neillsville, Wisconsin|
|Sylvanus Wade House||Greenbush, Wisconsin|
|Villa Louis||Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin|
The Division of Historic Preservation-Public History administers the state's historic preservation program, the state's burial sites preservation program, and the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, which publishes books on Wisconsin and American history and a quarterly magazine, the Wisconsin Magazine of History. The division also provides outreach to local historical societies.
The Wisconsin Magazine of History (ISSN 1943-7366) is a quarterly journal published by the WHS since September 1917. The society maintains a fully digitized archive that contains more than 2,000 feature articles totaling more than 30,000 pages.
The Division of Administrative Services provides support and planning for the WHS and its divisions.
The society's website include a large, searchable collection of historical images and a vast digital archive containing thousands of scanned documents relating to Wisconsin history.
Wisconsin Historical Society employees are employees of the State of Wisconsin.
Founded in 1846 and chartered in 1853, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin is the nation's oldest historical society to receive continuing grants of state funds
the Wisconsin Historical Society, which is impressive both as a building and as an institution. It is the largest library for American history, it functions as a state archive, it is the premier place to do research on Wisconsin
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