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Wisconsin Historical Society Government Publications | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Government Publications

Wisconsin Historical Society Government Publications | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society Library is an official depository for State of Wisconsin government publications and, with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a regional depository for United States government publications. It is also holds a large number of Canadian national and provincial documents and official state publications from most U.S. states and territories.

Document Collections

Items in the following collections may be requested in-person at the Library's crculation desk or via interlibrary loan.


The Society Library, with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library, is a regional depository for United States government publications. Particular subject area strengths are labor, foreign relations, census information, legislative branch activities, and civil rights.

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Wisconsin Government Publications

The Society Library became one of three state-level depositories for Wisconsin state government publications in 1992. The other two state-level depositories in Wisconsin are the Legislative Reference Bureau and the Department of Public Instruction. Of these three, the Society's collection is the most complete. It serves as the permanent collection for all Wisconsin state government publications (except for University of Wisconsin publications, which are held at university libraries). All three state-level depositories participate in the Wisconsin Document Depository Program (WDDP).

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Wisconsin County and Local Publications

The Society Library has a sizable collection of Wisconsin county and municipal government publications. It is particularly strong in publications issued by the City of Madison, the City of Milwaukee, Dane County and Milwaukee County.
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Other U.S. States and Territories

The Society Library has a large collection of government publications from all 50 U.S. states plus territories. For the period through 1819, holdings for virtually every state or territorial government are represented. From 1820 to the early 1930's, the Library, in conjunction with UW-Madison campus libraries, holds a high percentage of government publishing output of state and territories.

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The Society Library’s collection of Canadian federal government publications dates to 1841. The Society's Library formerly collected blue books, agency reports, legislative journals, statistical abstract, and histories from Canadian provinces and territories. As they are now available electronically, the Library receives very few current Canadian federal or provincial publications, however, the older Canadian publications remain available.

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Learn More

Have Questions?

To discover if the library owns a particular title, search the library catalog. Because records for many publications will not be found in the library catalog, please contact the Society's Government Publications staff at 608-264-6535 or by email below if you need assistance.
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