Wisconsin Historical Society | Explore our historical collections, research your family history, teach and learn Wisconsin history, preserve historic properties, donate, volunteer and more.

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Circus World Big Top Show! Daily Performances 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Learn More History in Action for Thriving Communities. Learn more about the Local History & Historic Preservation Conference. Wade House Carriage Driving Days, Get you Tickets!
Rendering of the New Wisconsin Historical Society History Center.

Wisconsin's New History Center

The Wisconsin Historical Society collects, preserves and shares one of the most significant historical collections in the nation with 290 million items and counting. The future Wisconsin History Center will be a destination cultural attraction, providing unprecedented access to this distinguished collection and connecting the Society's vast resources to all 72 counties and beyond.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting the regions that the History Tour will reach.

History Makers Tour

Bringing history directly to local communities in every region of the state through pop-up exhibits, artifact displays, public programs, art installations, and other activities.

Sponsored by Culvers and made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Wisconsin History Makers Tour will travel throughout the state from September 2023 to February 2027.

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The first glimpse of this canoe from 1,200 years ago, still wet from the lake a beautiful deep brown wood almost looking blue in spots.

The Mendota Canoes

Connecting Past & Present

The Wisconsin Historical Society, in partnership with Wisconsin's Native Nations, is preserving a pair of historic dugout canoes recovered from Lake Mendota. Testing revealed the first canoe is 1,200 years old and the second 3,000 years old.

They will help provide a more complete story of how Native American ancestors lived in the area thousands of years ago while also connecting their traditions to the vibrant Tribal Nations of today.

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An Ojibwa woman, Francis Mike, harvesting wild rice in a boat on Totogatic Lake.

Discover Our Historic Images

Search more than 110,000 historical images online, with more being added every day.

Or hang history in your home by purchasing one of these most-loved historic images.

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Visit and learn more about WISCONSIN CENTER FOR FILM AND THEATER RESEARCH. The Wisconsin Historical Society works closely with the WCFTR in carrying out its mission.  Learn More about Political History in Wisconsin The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing lively narratives and engaging explorations of Wisconsin for history lovers, educators and young readers, since 1855.

On This Day

1855 - Cornerstone Laid for Seminary
1862 - (Civil War) Skirmish near Fayetteville, Arkansas
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