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The Wisconsin Historical Museum is a division of the Wisconsin Historical Society, whose mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving, and sharing our stories.
Travel back through time at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, exploring Wisconsin’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. In "People of the Woodlands", enter an Aztalan-style house, hear stories of native people living in Wisconsin, and unearth the work of archaeologists. In "On Common Ground" learn about themes unique to Wisconsin from settlement days through the present. Discover a frontier lead mine, track immigration routes through the state, explore work and play in a lumber camp, climb inside a Case IH tractor, and examine Wisconsin’s political heritage. Docents and staff present public programs for all ages, including approximately 25,000 schoolchildren each year. Changing exhibits, programs for all ages, and a unique museum store complement the exhibits.
The Museum also maintains collections of clothing, domestic items, business and agricultural equipment, political memorabilia, and archaeological artifacts at the Society's headquarters building located at 816 State Street. The Wisconsin Historical Society also serves as the archives of the State of Wisconsin; collects books, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, relics, newspapers, and audio and graphic materials as they relate to North America; administers a broad program of historic preservation; maintains a statewide system of historic sites, school services, area research centers, and affiliated local societies; publishes a wide variety of historical materials, and maintains a library. The Society's library, located in the headquarters building, is the largest in the world dedicated exclusively to North American history and houses one of the largest genealogical collections in the nation.