The Society was founded in 1846, two years before Wisconsin became the 30th state, and it ranks as one of the largest, most active, and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, it receives about 60 percent of its funding from the state of Wisconsin. The other 40 percent comes from membership fees, admission fees, gifts, trust funds and grants. A 36-member Board of Curators governs the Society.
The Society helps people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories.