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Archives Collection Development

The Collections Development Section is responsible for the acquisition of manuscript collections. The Society focuses its current manuscript collecting activity on records documenting Wisconsin and three national topics: social action, mass communications, and organized labor. For more information on each of these collecting areas see below.

Wisconsin Collecting

The Society Archives is interested in acquiring private manuscript papers and organizational records that document the history of Wisconsin from the seventeenth century to the present, (in addition to state and local government records). We seek Wisconsin textual and audio-visual collections encompassing many subject areas including agriculture, the arts, business and industry, mass communications, labor, social action, the military, natural resources, politics and government, ethnic groups, and transportation.

Mass Communications

The Archives actively solicits new collections on citizen reaction to the media; activist citizen groups involved in issues such as censorship and regulation, public access, quality programming, media education, and media ethics; nationally known journalists who were active during the mid-twentieth century; direct response advertising; national advertising and public relations leaders; and Wisconsin's largest advertising and public relations agencies. See the Mass Communications History Collections (PDF, 116 KB) fact sheet to learn more.

Social Action Collecting

The Archives is particularly interested in new collections documenting the reproductive rights/right to life movements, and peace activism, particularly related to American policy toward Central America. The Division continues to collect materials on the Civil Rights movement and the protest movements against the Vietnam War. See the Social Action Archives (PDF, 116 KB) fact sheet to learn more.

Labor Collecting

The Society Archives has been collecting records of organized labor since the early twentieth century. Current collecting focuses on Wisconsin labor organizations, two national unions --the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the Textile Workers Union, and both the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Labor Party.

For More Information, Contact:

Jonathan Nelson
Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
816 State Street
Madison WI 53706
(608) 264-6447

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