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Organizing a Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society assists all new historical societies that become affiliates with the organizational steps of preparing bylaws, incorporating and applying for tax-exempt status. This assistance is provided by the Society's field services offices in Madison and Eau Claire to all new historical societies that receive approval for affiliation by vote of the Board of Curators of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

To be eligible for affiliation, an organization must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The purposes of the organization must be primarily historical.
  • Membership in the organization must be open to any interested person for the payment of reasonable dues.
  • The organization must incorporate and receive tax-exempt status.
  • The organization may not be a unit of government.
  • The organization must include articles on:
    • Affiliation and
    • Dissolution in its bylaws as written in the sample bylaws
  • The organization must be located in Wisconsin.

Become a Local History Affiliate

Learn more about becoming an affiliated historical society of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Apply Today

Contact Us

To receive further information about organizing a historical society and affiliating with the Wisconsin Historical Society send a written inquiry to:

Rick Bernstein
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street 
Madison, WI 53706-1482
Janet Seymour
Department of History Hibbard 731
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
P. O. Box 4004
Eau Claire, WI 54701-4004


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