Wisconsin Historical Society
Founded in 1846, the Wisconsin Historical Society is the oldest historical society in the United States to benefit from continuous state funding. In fact, state officials began supporting the Society almost immediately after statehood in 1848. The Society occupied space in campus buildings of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but by the 1890s, the society's collections demanded a permanent home. The state legislature approved the construction of the Society's current building in 1895, hiring the Milwaukee architectural firm Ferry and Clas. Completed in 1900, this historic building has served as the headquarters of the Wisconsin Historical Society and the home to the state's history library and archives for the past century. Both are open to the public and together they represent the most significant collection of material on Wisconsin history.
Backstory and Context
The Wisconsin Historical Society presently receives 60% of its funding from the state legislature. Threatened reductions to this state funding threaten the continued ability of the Society to maintain current operating hours and services.