Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

Researching Your Historical Marker Topic

Questions to Get You Started

Researching Your Historical Marker Topic | Wisconsin Historical Society

A thoroughly researched historical marker topic will result in well-documented, comprehensive text for your marker inscription. Local libraries, local historical societies and local newspapers are excellent sources for information, as are the Library and Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Use These Questions for Your Research

  • Who was associated with the subject? Include names, birth and death dates, the chronology of important events in their lives and their significant contributions.

  • What events occurred at this particular time or place? Of those events, which events were the most significant?

  • What groups of people were associated with this event?

  • When did the event occur?

  • What is the subject's time span of significance?

  • How did the historical event develop?

  • What influence did the marker subject or event have on the national, state or local community?

  • Why is the marker subject important to the community, state or nation?

  • Why is it special, unusual or significant?

  • Did you document all statements of fact and dates with footnotes? Try to avoid words like "first," "oldest," "unique," or "only" unless there is irrefutable documentation.

Learn More

Have Questions?

Contact Richard Bernstein, Local History-Field Services, Office of Programs and Outreach, Wisconsin Historical Society

Richard Bernstein
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street, Room 455
Madison, WI 53706-1482
Phone: 608-264-6583