About the Division of Historic Preservation-Public History | Wisconsin Historical Society

Organizational Description

About the Division of Historic Preservation-Public History

The Division of Historic Preservation-Public History helps people preserve places of enduring value and presents a fresh perspective on history through publications, programs and services.

Historic Preservation

The Society is the federally-designated state historic preservation office. In partnership with communities, organizations and individuals, the Division works to identify, interpret and preserve historic places for the benefit of present and future generations. 

The division administers the state’s burial sites preservation program.

The division administers the Wisconsin portion of the National Register of Historic Places in partnership with the National Park Service and manages the State Register of Historic Places. 

The division provides educational resources and assistance in historic preservation to property owners, local organizations and governments.

The division maintains state records on archaeological sites, protects sites on public lands, administers property tax exemptions and provides access to research and public education about Wisconsin’s archaeological resources.

The division reviews federal, state and local projects for their effect on historic and archaeological properties.

The division certifies historic building rehabilitation projects for state and federal income tax credits.

The division maintains historic building, archaeological and burial site inventories.

Public History

The Division also has several programs that support history education, local history and publications.

The division's Wisconsin Historical Society Press edits and publishes most of the materials issued by the society, including books and the quarterly Wisconsin Magazine of History.

The division coordinates the state's National History Day program for more than 10,000 students statewide.

The division operates two field service offices to provide technical assistance to over 375 local historical societies and museums affiliated with the society through the Wisconsin Council for Local History. The Madison office serves the southern half of Wisconsin and the Eau Claire office serves the northern half of Wisconsin. The division also hosts the annual Local History and Historic Preservation Conference to provide information and networking opportunities to local groups.

Wisconsin History Tour.