Wisconsin State Archives and State Records
The Wisconsin Historical Society has statutory responsibility to collect, maintain and make available for use, permanently valuable records of Wisconsin's state government. The Society maintains the State Archives to fulfill the following mandate:
"The historical society, as trustee of the state, shall be the ultimate depository of the archives of the state, and the board (Public Records Board) may transfer to the society such original records and reproductions as it deems proper and worthy of permanent preservation, including records and reproductions which the custodian thereof has been specifically directed by statute to preserve or keep in the custodian's office." Wis. Stat. 16.61(13)
Our holdings include the following:
- Administrative rulemaking and legislative files
- Legal opinions
- Narrative and statistical reports
- Policy records
- Records of state agencies that contain formal minutes of governing boards, committees, commissions and task forces
- Records of the governor's office
- Selected case files
- Selected visual, audio, graphic, cartographic and electronic records
- Special study records
Access to the State Archives and Government Records
State government records in the State Archives can be accessed by the public and state employees with the assistance of our staff, either in person by visiting the Archives Research Room, at your local Area Research Center or remotely via email.
Search Our State Government Records Online
- To search for state government records in the custody of the Wisconsin Historical Society, use ArCat (the Archives Online Catalog). Learn more about How to Search Our Archives Collections.
- The Society has archivists on staff to respond to questions from state agencies regarding records of historical value. See more information about the Administration of Wisconsin State Government Records.
Learn about our Local Government Records
Visiting the Library and Archives
Contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives by phone at 608-264-6460 or by email below: