Using the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Database | Wisconsin Historical Society

Resource Description

The Wisconsin Historic Preservation Database (WHPD)

Access Information

The Historic Preservation-Public History Division is the official state repository for collecting, managing and preserving information about historic buildings, archaeological sites, burial sites, and archaeological surveys in Wisconsin. We manage and make this information accessible online in the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Database (WHPD). Records are added and revised on a daily basis to ensure that your research is up to date.

WHPD gives users access to these three databases:

  • Archaeological Reports Inventory (ARI) - contains summaries of archaeological investigations at archaeological and burial sites.
  • Archaeological Sites Inventory (ASI) - contains information about archaeological and burial sites, unmarked cemeteries, marked cemeteries and cultural sites.
  • Architecture and History Inventory (AHI) – contains basic information on historic buildings, structures, and objects. Most records include exterior images.

There are three options, described below, for authorized researchers who would like to request access to the entire WHPD database.

Three Ways to Access WHPD

WHPD Online Subscription

An annual license to access WHPD is available for subscription fee. With this license, the registered user can use the WHPD website to search all three inventories and view complete records, images, and maps of historic properties. The WHPD subscription is priced according to the number of users registered within an organization:

1-4 licenses: $1495 each 
5-9 licenses: $1349 each 
10-14 licenses: $1275 each 
15+ licenses: Please contact Amy Wyatt

To purchase a license, please complete the registration form and the license agreement. Mail, fax or email the forms and payment to us. We accept payment by check, Visa or MasterCard.

Submit the forms and payment information by mail, fax or email:

Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Preservation-Public History Division- WHPD
816 State Street 
Madison WI 53706-1482

Fax: 608-264-6504
Email: amy.wyatt@wisconsinhistory.org

Once we have received your payment and signed forms, you will receive an email with your WHPD user name and password, a receipt and a help manual. If you have questions concerning the registration process, please contact Amy Wyatt.

WHPD Access Terminal

The Wisconsin Historic Preservation Database (WHPD) can be accessed for no cost in our office by authorized researchers who make an appointment in advance. To make an appointment, you must reserve a time slot by contacting Amy Wyatt at 608-264-6506 or amy.wyatt@wisconsinhistory.org. Once you arrive for your appointment, you will sign a user agreement and receive a short WHPD orientation. After the tutorial you will be free to search the inventories on your own with staff available for any questions you may have.

WHPD GIS Data

Customers can also request GIS data as a subscription or for a single use. The data sets available are the Archaeological Sites Inventory, the Archaeological Reports Inventory and the Architecture and History Inventory and are provided in ArcGIS shapefile format in the WTM83, NAD83 (1991) coordinate reference system. (Note: We do not release the locations of sites located on federally recognized tribal lands. If you are a tribal organization seeking this information, please contact Amy Wyatt at 608-264-6506.)

There are 3 options for the purchase of GIS data:

  1. Shapefile Subscription for Regions
    GIS data sets are provided on a quarterly basis. Fee: $1495 per year
  2. Shapefile Subscription for Units of Government (county or smaller)
    GIS data sets are provided on a semiannual basis. Fee: $239 per year
  3. Customized shapefile for one-time (short term) use
    GIS data sets are provided one time only. The requestor defines the area and may request additional data fields to be included as attributes. Fee: $239

To request GIS data, complete the License Agreement for Digital Geographic Datasets and data request form. Mail, fax or email the forms and payment to us. We accept payment by check, Visa or MasterCard.

Please submit the forms and payment information by mail, fax or email:

Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Preservation-Public History Division- WHPD
816 State Street 
Madison WI 53706-1482

Fax: 608-264-6504
Email: elizabeth.finlay@wisconsinhistory.org

Upon receipt of your request, the GIS Coordinator will begin working on your order and will contact you directly with any questions. If you have questions about purchasing GIS data, please contact Betsy Finlay at elizabeth.finlay@wisconsinhistory.org.

Learn More

Have Questions?

Contact Amy Wyatt by phone at 608-264-6506 or by email below:

Wisconsin History Tour.
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