Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule

Wisconsin Municipal Records Manual | Wisconsin Historical Society

Overview

The Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule (WMRS) is an adoptable general schedule, approved by the Wisconsin Public Records Board (August 2018), that can be used by Wisconsin municipalites for the administration and disposition of public records.

The WMRS is an updated version of the Wisconsin Municipal Records Manual, commonly referred to as the “Little Orange Book,” that was originally published in 1980.

The schedule includes a column that identifies whether or not the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) requires notification before destruction of records. All municipalities are required per Wis. Stat. § 19.21(4)(a) to notify the WHS prior to the destruction of ANY public records. However, municipalities who adopt the schedule may destroy the identified record series without providing written notification.

Please read the Introduction included with the WRMS for more detailed information regarding applying and following the new schedule.

Adopting the WMRS 

The WMRS must be adopted before municipalities can use it to schedule records. To adopt the Schedule, download and fill out the Notification of Adoption Form (PRB-002). Mail the original and 2 copies (three copies total) to: 

State Archivist
Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS)
816 State St.
Madison, WI 53706

Municipalites are not required to adopt the WMRS. However, the schedule must either be adopted or used to create ordinances for individual muncipal schedules.

The adoption form and additional information on the WRMS is availabe on the Public Records Board website. 

Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule 

The WMRS can be accessed in entirety or by individual section of interest. The Introduction provides general overall information about the WMRS. Individual sections include specific information that describes the types of records included under each heading. 

Access to the WRMS is also available on the Public Records Board website.

WMRS Sections

1. Introduction

2. Administrative

3. Cemetery

4. Community Development/Public Services

5. Election

6. Finance

7. Public Works

8. Revenue

Have Questions?

Contact the local government records archivist at: govarc@wisconsinhistory.org