About the Wisconsin Council for Local History
A Proud Tradition
In 1899 Reuben Gold Thwaites, director of the Wisconsin
Historical Society, traveled by train to Green Bay and
Ripon. He was there to participate in the affiliation
of Wisconsin's first two local historical societies with
the state Society. Since then, more than 380 additional
local societies throughout the state have organized and
affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Affiliated local historical societies and the Wisconsin Historical Society have a special relationship defined in the Wisconsin Statutes. The Society offers organizational and educational assistance to local affiliates. The local societies, in turn, share in the mission and responsibility of preserving Wisconsin's heritage. This partnership has received national recognition, and it continues to serve as a model for other states.
The Wisconsin Council for Local History
In 1961 the Board of Curators of the Wisconsin Historical
Society authorized the establishment of the Wisconsin
Council for Local History. The council consists of all
historical organizations affiliated with the state Society.
Any local history group can become a member of the council
by becoming an affiliate of the WHS. For information about becoming
an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society and a member of the
Wisconsin Council for Local History go to organizing
a historical society.
The mission of the Wisconsin Council for Local History is to promote
communication and cooperation among local history groups. The council
provides opportunities for historical organizations in Wisconsin to
discuss mutual problems and promote wider interest in local history.
Through its Administrative Committee, the council also advises the
state Society on its local history programming and
serves as a voice of local historians. For more information about
the Administrative Committee, go to organization
of the Wisconsin Council for Local History.
An Umbrella for Diverse Heritages
The local historical societies that comprise the Wisconsin
Council for Local History represent a variety of geographic
locales, such as counties, reservations, cities, villages,
townships and neighborhoods. The council also includes
organizations with specialized interests such as railroading, labor
history, cemeteries and particular ethnic heritages. The council brings
together historical organizations from all parts of Wisconsin. A complete
listing of the over 380 member organizations of the Wisconsin Council
for Local History appears in the local
history society directory.