State Archives & Government Publications | Wisconsin Historical Society

State Archives & Government Publications

Photograph of the State Office Building, 1 West Wilson Street, ca. 1954.


The State Archives and Wisconsin Government Publications programs collect, catalog and make available records and publications of permanent value created by Wisconsin state agencies and local units of government.

What's New

The Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule has been approved and is now available for use. 

The new WHS Electronic Records Portal (WERP) is available for users to explore Wisconsin public records online:

State Archive Preservation Facility.

State Agency Records

The State Archives collects records of permanent value created by Wisconsin state agencies. Please visit the state agency records section for information regarding the administration of records, retention schedules and guidelines, and how to transfer records to the State Archives.

Electronic storage media.

Electronic Records

Visit the electronic records section to find resources for managing electronic records and for transferring electronic records to the State Archives.

Additional Resources

Learn about the records facilities and resources available to state agencies and local units of government.

Stereograph view of the Vernon County Courthouse, ca. 1885.

Local Government Records

The Wisconsin Historical Society is tasked with preserving Wisconsin local government records that have long-term historical and informational value. Visit the local government records portal to learn about records retention periods, how to schedule records, and how to properly notify the Society on the destruction of obsolete records. 

Historical Society Library Reading Room, 1908.

Government Publications

The Wisconsin Historical Society Library is one of the three official state-level depositories for State of Wisconsin publications participating in the Wisconsin Document Depository Program (WDDP). In addition to publications from Wisconsin state government agencies, our collections include U.S. Federal government publications, as well as publications from Wisconsin county and local governments, other state governments, and Canada. Please visit the government publications section for information regarding WDDP and our collections.

Web Archives

The Wisconsin Historical Society harvests selected websites of state agencies, local governments, political campaigns for gubernatorial or U.S. Senate races, topical issues and online publications. These websites are preserved using the Internet Archive's "Archive-It" web harvesting tool.

Electronic Records Portal

WHS Electronic Records Portal logoExplore Wisconsin public records online in the new WHS Electronic Records Portal.


NHPRC logoIn 2019, the Wisconsin Historical Society received a one-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Citizen Petition Access and Digitization Project to arrange, describe, preserve, and make digitally available citizen petitions to the Wisconsin legislature.

Petitions are direct means of citizens to communicate with the government and reflect the specific time and location of authorship. Topics found in the collection include treatment of Native Americans, development of the railroad, school funding, care of Civil War soldiers and their families, and women's suffrage.

Records Management Guidelines

General guidelines for managing records at a state or local government agency.

For more specific guidelines and procedures, consult the State Agency Records or Local Government Records sections.